Use the peer-to-peer technique for coaching sales reps and watch as your team connects, grows, and turns in award-winning sales numbers
As a sales manager, coaching sales reps is an inherent part of your job. Your sales team needs guidance and mentorship so they can learn and grow, thus increasing the revenue they generate. But there might just be an easier, and more effective way, to give each sales rep the training they deserve. How? Adopt a peer-to-peer (P2P) coaching approach.
Instead of shouldering the full burden of coaching sales reps yourself, have your sales reps coach each other. At first, that may sound counterintuitive. But the reality is that P2P coaching is becoming more prevalent across all industries. A recent study found that 73.4% of managers found peer feedback to be a valuable tool for building employee engagement. The same study suggests that P2P coaching improves employee engagement more than any other type of coaching. So, improved engagement, employee development, and less work for you? Sounds pretty good, right?
So what exactly is P2P coaching? And what benefits can you expect for your team and for your business? You might be surprised.
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A better approach to coaching sales reps
1. Feedback from colleagues is easier to digest
Employees may feel a lot of pressure when they’re in a performance review session with a manager. That pressure can negatively impact the effect of the feedback, particularly if the feedback is critical. Receiving feedback from peers is less daunting because there isn’t as much at stake. Sales reps can learn from peers without the worry that their job, or salary, is in jeopardy. The process is much less formal, and in some cases, this makes it much more productive.
2. P2P Coaching can encourage growth in all sales reps
Coaching sales reps with P2P methodology not only improves the performance of the new sales reps, but it also encourages and empowers the peers who do the coaching. Top performers can feel more engaged knowing that they’ve mastered much of what it takes to be a manager and they’re usually happy to take on the additional responsibility. The more they coach, the more they grow as sales reps who will one day be managers. Meanwhile. the new sales rep can learn tips and techniques from someone who’s out in the field with them, rather than a manager who may be slightly removed from the challenges that reps face in the field today.
3. P2P Coaching promotes friendly competition
Most people who become sales reps enjoy competition on some level. After all, sales is a remarkably competitive field, so if someone doesn’t find motivation from the competition, they’re likely to struggle as a sales rep. When peers are coaching sales reps, there’s an extra bit of (friendly) competition in your sales team. Those who are struggling to perform suddenly want to perform as well as their colleague who is coaching them, which makes them push harder and find more ways to close sales. The colleagues doing the coaching may also be even more motivated to stay at the top of their game. This kind of back-and-forth competition will almost certainly be beneficial to your overall sales.
4. Peer feedback is ongoing
A significant benefit to asking veteran employees to start coaching sales reps is that the feedback can be ongoing. While it’s common for peer feedback to be part of a review process, it can, instead, be something that a top performer provides regularly. This helps you accomplish a few things. One is that it establishes some consistency in the training. Another is that it breaks the feedback down into smaller chunks, so the one being coached doesn’t feel like they need to make so many changes at once. Finally, peer coaching as a regular practice critiques a sales rep in real-time so that the rep doesn’t go for weeks or months making the same mistakes or missing valuable information about selling.
5. P2P Coaching saves you time
Sales reps aren’t the only ones who get something out of P2P coaching. As a sales manager, coaching sales reps with P2P means that you have more time to spend doing your job. Not that coaching isn’t part of your job, but by delegating the task to a competent peer, you’re making sure that your sales reps get the training that they need while you’re still able to perform the essential functions of your job. (Namely, driving revenue.)
6. Peer coaching can strengthen bonds
Sales is all about relationships, and not just with customers, but with colleagues as well. By having “A team” players coaching their peers, you set the stage for building trust between them, which is the first necessary component for any relationship. Those receiving the coaching will (hopefully) appreciate the guidance they’re being given, and those doing the coaching will find fulfillment in helping someone else succeed. The result of all of this is more closed deals and more revenue.
7. Peer coaching brings accountability to each sales rep
Finally, coaching sales reps with a P2P approach adds to the accountability of both the rep doing the coaching and the rep being coached. They’ve both been tasked with a responsibility—either to teach or to learn—and doing those things becomes part of their mandate from you, the manager. If the low performer continues to perform unsatisfactorily, it may tell you something about the person you’ve chosen to do the coaching, or it may just suggest that the low performer doesn’t have the potential you may have originally thought. Either way, both reps will want to work hard at coaching in order to drive the results that you’re ultimately looking for, primarily more closed deals, more leads, and of course, more revenue.
Call Logic comes with whisper coaching and much more to help your sales teams be successful. Schedule a free demo right now to learn more!