Curbside Coaching

Curbside Coaching

The frustration with today’s sales training is that not all salespeople are able to apply it in their field. They appear to be able to comprehend the movement but make self-destructive mistakes that become a routine. They are able to answer all the training questions in class and stand out in role plays. However, they do not improve before customers.

Sales training is often assumed to be failing. However, we find that our sales professionals have learned the principles when they are tested.

We want results, not well-trained salespeople.

Preseason “training camp”: Why it works.

The NFL is currently preparing for the regular season. This is done each year to develop new plays and techniques, train new players, and strengthen the skills of veteran players.

Each camp has a lot of classroom training for the players. They spend their time reading, studying films, and analyzing strategies. Then they go out onto the field to slam into one another for a few hours. Where does the learning take place? Learning is most effective when the coach corrects mistakes and watches drills.

If Bruiser is making a mistake with his footwork, the coach may stop play, correct Bruiser, and then repeat the exact same situation until Bruiser does it right.

The classroom theory is over when the pads are on, and the real work begins at camp. The team is ready for the regular season. The coaching doesn’t stop after every game. Getting better never ends.

What can we learn from NFL’s training methods, and how can we improve our own?

Training starts in the classroom.

Before players can carry out the game plan, they must first understand it. Motivational training is not appropriate in the classroom unless the player has learned the skills. If a player doesn’t possess the skills needed to perform, even the most dedicated, motivated, hard-working, and “pumped up” player will be destroyed mentally and physically. Turnover begins when people are told to “hang on there” and then give up.

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Classroom training must be based on principles, skill-centered, specific, and realistic. Successful training must be based on set principles that support the corporate strategy. Salespeople need to know the direction they are heading. Do we want to be a long-term consultant, or do we sell on price in order to capture volume? (i.e. (i.e.

Salespeople must then be able to communicate basic sales skills. How can a salesperson establish a positive selling relationship? How can they openly ask questions to discover the customer’s needs? How can they get customers to recognize the value of a solution before asking for orders? How can a sales representative deal with price questions that are too early? How will he/she ask for a commitment to work with?

Training in your industry must be precise. Foodservice sales professionals must understand how the product will fit into the customer’s cooking environment. Special training is required to teach how product knowledge can be used in sales situations. This will ensure that salespeople are answering customers’ needs and not pushing boxes.

Realistic training focuses on the actual selling situations that are likely to occur every day in the field. It is not about generalities. Salespeople need to be able to relate to and learn from real-world situations and role-plays—these techniques aid in understanding how sales principles can be applied to real-world problems.

Good habits and improvement begin on the field.

Our players will learn the most from the NFL players by being on the field and looking at the customer. You should be paying attention to what happens on the sidelines of football games this season. Position coaches will be busy animating coaching sessions with their players. You will see coaches frantically illustrating plays to players or showing them how to tackle blocking situations.

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You can provide the same coaching to your players on the field. You can offer that coaching right before the players practice the new skill or idea. This is what we call “curbside” coaching, and it can prove to be one of the most valuable learning experiences a sales professional will ever have.

They can be sold for improvement.

Sales coaches who are the best recognize that the best place to learn selling skills is inside the car of a sales representative. Our job here is to get the student to identify what went well and what didn’t in their last sales call. It is better to ask them than to tell them. It’s like selling: it works better when we ask customers what they want, rather than trying to say to them.

Managers can coach by asking the sales rep, “Tell us what went well?” This allows the sales rep to talk about the highlights of the call. If the sales rep can’t recall anything positive, you should. To continue doing the same things, people need to be able to identify what they’re doing well. Managers have an obligation to recognize the achievements of sales reps and encourage them.

The coach will then ask the sales rep to identify what isn’t working. This allows the sales rep to share what didn’t work on their sales call. Here is where coaching skills are the most important. It is hands-on but not constructive criticism. A coach who focuses on the faults of his players is only frustrating them.

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Instead of telling them everything, ask: “What are you going to do differently next year?” This gives the sales rep an opportunity to consider other ways to improve. This allows them to develop their own cures.

Sometimes, he or she may come up with an answer that is not acceptable to the coach. Managers are more likely to rush to give the “right” answer when this happens. You are telling the buyer to stop using a specific technique for his job. This is counterproductive. Instead, say to the rep that this is only one option. What other options might you consider? Instead of trying to defend your first idea, give the agent an opportunity to rethink it.

The coaching experience should not be something that salespeople and coaches avoid. Coaching should be conversational and not intimidating. Coaching is a conversation about improving and growing. It is a chance to apply classroom education in the field.

Training can be three times as effective.

According to the American Society for Training and Development, 70% of job-related skills are learned on the job. According to them, only 30% of learning happens in-classroom training. Experiential coaches in the NFL agree that it is essential to do both sides of the movement for maximum effectiveness.