Let's talk about sales coaching. You may have heard that it can lead to a 16.7% increase in annual revenue growth for companies. But, here's the thing—not all sales coaching is created equal. The key is providing optimal coaching that generates results.
That's why we're sharing Tara DiCristo-Schmitt's, VP of NAM Small Business Sales at HubSpot, coaching framework with you. Tara oversees the largest sales segment at HubSpot and had the top-performing segment globally in 2022.
So, let's dive in and learn from her expertise.
A Smarter Framework for Sales Coaching
Effective coaching comes down to communicating the right message in the right way. DiCristo-Schmitt’s framework and the Sales Trigger Report help you do that in every coaching session you have.
Together, they help you:
Identify when a sales rep needs a coaching session
Understand the mindset they have and how to correct it
Collaboratively build an action plan that drives success
1. Identifying When a Rep Needs Coaching
As a sales leader, one of your top priorities should be to identify when your team members need coaching and provide them with the necessary guidance to help them succeed. While missing their monthly quota is the primary indicator that a rep requires coaching, it's important to note that coaching should be an ongoing process.
Sales leaders should constantly monitor and evaluate their team's performance, providing feedback and guidance as needed. By understanding how missing quota affects a rep's mindset, you can deliver the right message, create an appropriate action plan, and help them get back on track.
2. Understanding the Sales Rep's Mindset
Here’s how a rep’s mindset changes each month they miss their quota.
Month 1: Missing one month is typically no big deal. The rep may chalk it up to the normal ebbs and flows of sales.
Month 2: The rep starts to doubt themselves, “Am I right for this role? Am I cut out for sales?”
Month 3: The rep may begin updating their resume and hoping for a recruiter to reach out, as they're starting to doubt the product and the company.
This is the foundation of the message you should be communicating to each rep during each coaching session. When DiCristo-Schmitt began noticing these common themes of mindset shifts happening in reps, she adjusted her approach to sales coaching and eventually created the Sales Trigger Report.
Adopting this framework and using the report has led to some stellar results for her team.
3. Collaboratively Building Action Plans
The power of this approach to sales coaching is that when a rep doesn’t hit 100% of their monthly quota, it triggers a coaching action. DiCristo-Schmitt’s framework provides a helpful structure for coaching sales reps who have missed their targets.
Here's how you can implement this framework in your own coaching sessions, broken down into each month:
Month 1: Building a Rep-Driven Success Plan
After a sales rep misses their quota for a month, it's time for coaching. The first step is to work with the manager to create a rep-driven 30-day success plan. This plan should be tailored to the individual's strengths, areas of opportunity, and the specific challenges they face.
In month one, the focus should be on building the rep's activity level to ensure they have enough opportunities to achieve their goals. Work with the rep to identify their strongest fits and to help them build their territory opportunity.
You can also use the CPC process (Create, Progress, Close) to diagnose where the rep needs to improve their skills and build a skill development plan to level up. The CPC process helps identify whether a rep is struggling to create deals, progress deals, or close deals.
From there, the manager can help the rep build a strong sequence and calendar to ensure they know where they are going, who they are connecting with, and what they should say. By the end of the month, the rep should have a clear understanding of what activities they need to do to achieve their goals, as well as a plan for how to do it.
Month 2: Collaborative Planning with Sales Director and VP
By the second month, it's important for the sales director and VP to join the coaching session to evaluate the progress of the rep and diagnose any gaps in their performance. This is a crucial step to ensure that the coaching is on track and the rep is moving towards achieving their targets.
During this session, the leadership team should revisit the success plan and identify any necessary adjustments to help the rep improve their performance. The sales director and VP can provide additional guidance and support, bringing their expertise to the table to help the rep overcome any challenges they may be facing.
The team should meet weekly to review the rep's progress against their KPIs and activity metrics, coach them, observe customer meetings, and facilitate role-play practice until the necessary improvement and development is achieved.
This collaborative approach not only helps the rep to improve their performance, but it also fosters a culture of learning and growth within the sales team.
Month 3: Considering a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)
While a performance improvement plan (PIP) should be a last resort, it's essential to consider it if a rep is still struggling after two months of coaching. A PIP is a structured plan that outlines specific areas of improvement, targets, and deadlines. It's a formal process that can help to motivate the rep and provide the necessary guidance to get them back on track.
When implementing a PIP, communicate clearly with the rep about the areas where they need to improve and what is expected of them. The plan should be realistic and achievable, with measurable targets that are tracked and reviewed regularly.
While a PIP can be challenging for both the rep and the sales leader, it can also be an opportunity for growth and development. By working together to identify areas of improvement and developing a plan to address them, the rep can develop new skills and become a more effective salesperson.
The Sales Trigger Report
To help you adopt this framework, we’re giving you the Sales Trigger Report template. It’s based on the exact report DiCristo-Schmitt uses to implement this coaching framework within her team at HubSpot.
The template enables you to implement this coaching process in your own team and tailor your sessions to each individual rep's needs.
How to Use the Sales Trigger Report
To effectively use the Sales Trigger Report, follow these steps:
Add your sales reps' names and their monthly quota to the report.
At the end of each month, update the report and highlight in red the reps who missed their quota.
Schedule a coaching session with each rep in red, using the messaging framework outlined previously.
Collaboratively build an action plan with the rep based on the coaching session.
Update the report with the action plan for each rep.
Follow up with each rep at the end of the next month to review their progress and update the report accordingly.
By following this process, you'll be able to track your reps' progress and provide tailored coaching that helps them improve and meet their quotas.
Remember, the key is to focus on coaching the right people and providing the right message at the right time. The Sales Trigger Report can help you do just that.
Optimal Sales Coaching = Increased Revenue
Providing your employees with the necessary tools, resources, and guidance helps them improve their skills, increase their confidence, and ultimately, drive more sales. Coaching should be an ongoing process that includes regular feedback, training, and support to ensure that your team is constantly improving and adapting to changes in the marketplace.
Remember, coaching isn't just about telling your employees what to do.
It's about creating a culture of learning, growth, and accountability. By setting clear goals and expectations, recognizing achievements, and providing constructive feedback, you can motivate your team to reach their full potential and achieve greater success.
Sr Creative Strategist specializing in B2B brand creation, sales enablement, and SaaS demand generation. With 8 years of experience, she excels in driving ROI and revenue-driven KPIs through collaborative innovation.