When it comes to sales coaching products, there are a huge amount to choose from, from in-person courses to sales training video software.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how sales coaching software can help you to improve your sales skills, as well as how you can choose the right product for your needs.
We’ll also be looking at how this software can help your team measure its KPIs. From building your reps core selling skills to helping managers understand the trends in the market, there are plenty of important insights and abilities to be gained by using coaching software.
What is sales coaching?
Sales coaching is a process where sales managers help guide their reps to become more effective sellers and problem solvers, often by providing feedback on the reps sales activities and metrics, such as the sales calls (video and/or audio) they make.
Coaching is usually an ongoing process, with each rep getting a few hours of one-to-one coaching a month. Skills are reinforced and built upon, providing a stable platform for each reps’ individual growth, plus managers can ensure consistency in brand messaging and the way their sellers are handling calls.
How does software help the sales coaching process?
There are several ways software positively affects the sales coaching process: It can help save time, automate activities, log progress and enable sales professionals to fit their training in around their busy schedules – even if they’re working remotely.
Although there are tools that specifically market themselves as sales coaching software, many sales technology solutions can actually help sales professionals to upskill or coach as part of a sales enablement toolsuite.
1. Automating admin tasks
Usually, sales coaching software options are designed to support B2C or B2B sales call training and boost sales performance on calls. These usually have the ability to transcribe both audio and video calls, saving your team time.
By having a transcript ready as soon as the call is finished, staff can immediately search through it to find keywords, phrases and key moments that affected the outcome of the call.
2. Use of artificial and conversation intelligence to improve transcripts
Reps and managers can make use of artificial and conversation intelligence to repurpose VoIP features as sales coaching software, enabling managers to see where reps are succeeding or going wrong.
AI can monitor conversations and reveal when reps are talking about key topics or struggling to get through with details about a solution, using this data to prompt other talking points.
Using AI, reps can find ways to upsell to engaged contacts and deal with tricky situations. These tools also collecting valuable sales data about their speaking/listening ratio, what their conversation focuses on, the length of the call and even score the reps on how well their call matches up with successful templates.
3. Save time (especially if you’re a manager)
One of the difficulties for sales managers is finding the time to coach. As well as sitting down with reps, they need to listen to their reps’ calls to understand how to help them.
While software can’t cut down on the one-to-one time, it can considerably speed up the fact-finding process. Automatically generated transcripts can highlight areas where reps could perform better, enabling managers to know exactly what the reps need to focus on without having to sit through all their calls making notes.
4. Coaching in a remote working environment
Now many of us are working from home, one of the challenges of sales coaching without software is that it’s very difficult for sales managers to sit in on a call without being a distraction and affecting the customer experience.
Software solves this problem by making recordings of the video and audio. Managers can re-watch meetings from around the world and still give effective one-to-one advice as if they had attended the meeting.
What are the benefits of using specialized sales coaching software?
Great sales coaching brings an uplift in sales performance. Here are eight ways using the right sales coaching solutions can help drive your business forward.
1. Increasing revenue and deal success
It’s important to refresh and repeat sales coaching so that learning is reinforced over time, helping your team to remember important lessons.
Similarly, sales coaching tools provide your reps with the right skills to close more deals by themselves. Rather than coming to managers every time a unique problem raises its head, reps can be coached with the skills to solve these situations.
The result is that your reps get better at closing deals. Up to 19% better in fact, according to an article published in the Harvard Business Review by the Sales Executive Council.
2. Detailed sales data
If you’re using sales coaching software you’re also creating a repository of great sales data.
Effective sales coaching sets up a continuous feedback loop so your reps know what they’re doing well, how they can improve and what techniques are successful in converting deals.
3. Motivate reps with healthy competition
With the data that sales coaching software provides, you can create scorecards to track each rep’s sales performance and customer interactions, and then set up interactive leaderboards for an element of gamification.
It’s important, however, to remember that the priority should be identifying not just the top performers, but also those who need coaching, as this is what really helps boost win rates across the team.
4. Return on Investment
If you can implement effective coaching, then there are huge rewards to reap, far outweighing the cost of coaching software.
5. Consistency in sales behavior across the team
There’s a reason why companies spend so much time and energy understanding their sales data, and having put in the effort, they want to make sure reps are sticking to the process.
By regularly observing reps’ calls and giving informed feedback and coaching, managers can ensure good sales behavior that lead to boosted sales. From there, they can gain more nuanced sales data to hone the sales process further.
6. Consistency in how your product is presented to your clients
Managers want to make sure all their reps are presenting clients with the same brand messaging, which is partly down to sales enablement but also coaching.
By listening to previous calls made by reps, managers can hear how the brand is being presented to clients.
If reps aren’t emphasizing the right messages, then managers can use coaching to guide them back onto the right track and ensure customers are hearing the key messages.
7. Reduced rep onboarding time
Onboarding new outside or inside sales reps is an awkward process and managers usually want to reduce the time it takes to get new staff up to speed.
With sales coaching software, you’ll have a library of successful calls from your best sellers to use as examples for the selling culture at your organization.
New reps can use this as a springboard, instead of coming into their calls cold. Coupled with the one-to-one sessions with their manager, new reps can quickly be steered in the right direction to become valuable members of the team.
8. Rep Retention
Reps want to feel like they’re progressing in their career and getting better at their craft.
If they find their performance stagnating with no guidance about how to improve, they might start looking elsewhere.
By giving your reps guidance and call coaching, you’ll not only be boosting your department’s revenue, but you’ll also be giving them guidance to satisfy their personal need for growth.
The best thing is, you’ll simultaneously be improving their performance and increasing the chance they’ll stay with your department as they improve.
The 8 best sales coaching software options
We’ve rounded up the best coaching software for your consideration.
There’s a lot of sales training software products out there with aspects of sales coaching included, but we’ve limited our selection to programs that offer the full suite of tools necessary for top-tier coaching.
Enterprise Level Solutions
When it comes to sales coaching software for enterprise-sized companies, there are these two great options.
Pricing: $5000 annual base fee and roughly $1200 per seat per year
Best for: Larger organizations with a concentration on phone or web conference selling
Gong is a coaching platform for managers, sales leaders and reps, with added emphasis on revenue intelligence.
Other key features include:
Enterprise-grade security features
A clear view of all interactions and deal statuses across deals in pipeline view
Clear data showing how reps are performing vs. the rest of the team and industry benchmarks
AI-driven tips and recommendations for reps to help close deals
Breaks down your buyers’ key concerns into actionable tips
If your organization has a large sales team, or you’re prepared to spend money to make money, then Gong.io is an excellent sales coaching option. It offers the perfect coaching platform for managers and leaders while helping guide reps with its insights.
Pricing: $1400+ per seat per year (there is a minimum license requirement too)
Best for: Larger organizations wanting an emphasis on conversation intelligence
Whereas Gong puts more of a focus on being a revenue intelligence tool, with access to pipeline views and deal statuses, Chorus instead shifts the focus onto a more developed AI that provides a deeper analysis of sales call data.
Other key features include:
Real-time transcriptions and recordings of meetings with handy features like 2x playback speed and trackers to highlight key moments, as well as clear conversation metrics
An AI system that learns the language and tone of voice that is important to your business, so you’re able to identify the important moments in your sales calls
Smart playlists of calls to help reduce onboarding time, or for training in specific stages of the pipeline
A clear view of all previous interactions with customers
If you find you already have the tools in place to cover the features Gong provides beyond sales coaching, then it might be a good idea consider Chorus
Solutions for mid-sized companies
Mid-sized companies will want a similar feature set to enterprise-level, though won’t need some of the extras like robust security features and 24-hour customer service.
These options provide the sweet spot between cost and performance, giving you everything you need for an effective coaching program.
Pricing: Price upon inquiry
Best for: Organizations looking to carry out coaching in real time
Built around a robust coaching platform, Balto differentiates itself from the crowd with an emphasis on helping your reps sell in real time. It does this by tracking your reps’ calls with a handy sidebar that lists talking points and suggested responses to customer prompts.
When Balto recognizes a moment when a rep could benefit from coaching, it sends a prompt to the sales manager, who can listen in on the rep’s call, read the transcript of the call and message the rep to guide them. Rather than trying to correct bad habits in your salespeople after the fact, good sales behaviors can be reinforced immediately.
Other key features include:
Reporting on sales data gathered on calls, meaning top seller behavior can be actioned by the rest of the team.
Guided responses for reps prompted by their conversation, helping in tough and tricky situations
Automatic scoring for reps’ calls based on weighting set by managers, letting managers know where reps need coaching
Pricing: from $60-$110 per month
Best for: Companies looking for a great feature set at a great price
If you’re looking for a program that covers every aspect of sales coaching with a low monthly cost and plans that make sure you’re only paying for the features you need, then Wingman might be perfect for you.
Wingman offers a collection of features that rival other full-cost products. From automated transcriptions with built-in conversation intelligence, a library of all your calls and a team performance dashboard, you’ll have everything you need in place to start effective sales coaching.
Stepping up to the more advanced plans adds some other features, such as real-time conversation cues and coaching, sales data about your deals and pipeline, advanced security features and more.
You can also integrate Wingman and Pipedrive thanks to our Marketplace.
Pricing: from $25 per seat per month
Best for: Organizations looking for a cheap, simple and effective coaching platform, with the ability to scale as your needs grow.
With all its features unlocked, Demodesk presents itself as a capable coaching platform, if maybe not as powerful as some of the other options on this list it does offer a low cost of entry into coaching.
What this means is that smaller companies can scale with this software. If the thought of having to change your coaching software down the line is unpleasant, then Demodesk may be the best solution.
Everything you need for entry-level coaching, including call recording archiving
Option to scale software with your business, adding other great functions such as playbooks, prompt cards, CRM integration, analytics and more.
Pricing: Price on inquiry
Best for: Sales managers who want to begin a coaching program, but don’t have the time for regular one-to-one sessions
Second Nature proposes a different solution, using an AI sales coach to guide your reps through conversations based on your talk tracks and sales playbooks, making sure they hit all the right notes to attain the highest performance level and giving personalized feedback based on their performance.
Reps can learn the best ways to sell in a safe environment, meaning that when it comes to the actual sales call they’ll have all the good sales habits ingrained.
This also makes it a useful tool for onboarding new salespeople, saving managers time on training. If your sales manager doesn’t have the time to spare for coaching, then this may be perfect for your organization.
Entry Level coaching tools
These entry-level coaching tools are best for small companies or departments with a tight budget.
Pricing: Free option available
Best for: Small companies who want their coaching utility to grow with them
With the free version recording and archiving your web calls, you’re able to share, comment on and react to the playback of meetings, as well as watch them at 1x, 1.5x or 2x speed.
Stepping up to higher-tier plans (which are still very affordable) adds CRM integration, transcriptions of meetings and audio files, analytics and more – handy if you want to trial your sales coaching program and add more complexity as you go.
The free product offers core coaching utility
Unlimited users and meetings per month
Low cost paid plans add fuller coaching platform features for when you want to upgrade and scale
Pricing: Free option available
Best for: Small businesses looking to build a solid coaching foundation and grow from there
Similarly to Fireflies, MeetRecord is a great entry-level option for small organizations looking to get improve their sales coaching.
MeetRecord’s free version can have up to five users and 20 meetings per user per month. However, meeting transcripts are included in the free version.
The free version limits user numbers and meetings per month, but includes transcription functionality
Add great features when you need to, building towards a solid sales coaching platform at a low cost
With the rise of remote working and the range of software available on the market, the idea of sales coaching software being exclusively for enterprise-level businesses is outdated.
Now, regardless of the size and budget of your company, sales managers can use sales coaching software to help reps to reach their full selling potential.
With free trials existing for even the most expensive options, there’s very little to lose experimenting with sales coaching. And with several options having a variety of price plans, you can always start off on a cheaper plan and upgrade if you need the features.
Remember that sales coaching software should only be part of your sales enablement strategy, really coming into its own with other tools to train and motivate reps, such as scorecards and gamification.
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