Free quota-boosting sales coaching template for managers
The coach of a baseball team knows the strengths and weaknesses of their players. They know which players to put in which positions, and how to motivate the whole team to play hard and win bigger.
But the best coach knows how to work with each individual player, building their skills and helping them knock more balls out of the park.
Sales managers—if you want to be that stellar coach for your team, you need to build a sales coaching action plan that gets your team from foul balls to consistent home runs.
Whether it’s live call coaching with software like Close, weekly 1:1 sessions, or group coaching, how much of a difference can a structured coaching action plan make for sales managers?
First, it has a direct impact on your most valuable sales metrics: A study by Brainshark and CSO Insights found that companies with a formal sales coaching framework increased win rates by 28%.
Second, it helps you retain your top players: Another study found that 60% of sales reps are more likely to quit if their manager is a bad coach.
Ready to build a sales coaching plan that will help build your team’s skills and keep them playing for your team (not your competitors’)?
Keep reading to see:
- The best sales coaching template for 1:1 sessions with your reps
- 10 steps to develop a sales coaching plan for your reps
- How to measure the impact of coaching on sales performance
- 5 other templates to model your training after
The best sales coaching template for 1:1 sessions with your reps
Want to get a head start on building sales coaching sessions that are actually productive? Download our free sales coaching template to see what you should include in your agenda, plus specific questions you can ask to help your rep build awareness of the improvements they need to make.
In this template, you’ll find:
- Steps both reps and managers should take before the call
- A specific structure for your sessions, plus questions you can ask in each key segment
- Optional activities you can include in your sessions
Here’s how this sales coaching template works:
Preparing for your sales coaching sessions
The first thing you need to do is create a shared document where both you and your rep can add action items, talking points, and feedback.
This document will be the basis for your coaching discussions and is a place to keep track of goals, celebrate milestones, and organize your thoughts before your sessions.
Before the session, you’ll also want to ask your rep to send you a recorded sales call to review, either good or bad. This may be a bad sales call they want feedback on or a great call they’d like to celebrate.
Lastly, you’ll need to check up on the rep’s activity data and pipeline, so you have an idea where they’re at before you start talking.
This preparation helps your sessions run more smoothly, letting reps spend more time on selling and less time on haphazard meetings.
Key segments of a sales coaching template
During your coaching sessions, there are 7 main segments you’ll want to include. These are:
- Mental health check-in
- Performance and goal review
- Recorded call review
- Celebration of the week’s wins
- Pipeline review
- Roadblock removal
- Goal setting for next week
Inside the template, you’ll find specific questions to ask to draw out your rep. Using questions turns your session into an interactive discussion, rather than a monologue. It also allows reps to build self-awareness and ownership over these sessions, helping reps view them as an asset for improvement rather than an extra meeting they have to attend.
At the end of the template, you’ll also see some ideas on different activities you can use to keep your coaching sessions fresh.
But, while this template is a good place to start, you’ll still need to develop a coaching plan for each of your reps.
10 steps to develop a sales coaching plan for your reps
While training is essential for your whole team, coaching is something that’s done on a personal, individual level.
So, how can you develop a coaching plan for your reps that plays to their individual strengths while supporting their weaknesses?
Step 1. Determine a clear focus
Coaching sessions with your reps are more than just simple check-ins. These should be packed with valuable insights and discussions that help your reps improve their sales skills and close more deals.
But you can only make them actionable if you have a clear focus.
So, take some time to understand your reps better. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of things you’d like to see them improve on.
Then, for each session, pick something you want to help them work on. With clear long-term and short-term goals, your sessions will be more practical.
Step 2. Let real-time data take the spotlight
In many ways, real-time data is your greatest asset as a sales manager. So, make sure you’re using it to guide and advance your sessions.
Activity data is one of the most important things to look at when coaching your reps. Take some time to dig into their activities and understand where they’re falling behind the pack.
In Close, for example, you can see an Activity Comparison Report that gives you a clear view of the activities of each rep for a customizable time period:
You can also customize the fields to include the activity metrics that are most important to you, including calls made, average call duration, emails sent, SMS sent, opportunities created, opportunities won, meetings completed, and more.
With real-time data, you know exactly what’s going on with your reps and can quickly spot potential problems before they turn into dealbreakers for your reps.
If Salesforce is ‘Microsoft,’ then Close is ‘Apple.’ As a sales leader, the reporting in Close gives me everything I need.
– Michael Occhipinti, VP of Sales at Naturebox
Step 3. Give your reps ownership of the coaching sessions
One of the hardest parts of planning meaningful sales coaching sessions is getting buy-in from your reps.
So, let them take partial ownership of the process.
You want your reps to view coaching sessions as an essential part of their week and an event that helps them improve themselves.
This is part of the reason why it’s so important to create a shareable document for your coaching agenda. That way, reps can also go into this document and add specific topics they want to discuss.
Also, build ownership with your reps by asking them to share a call recording that they’d like you to review together on your call. This allows them to choose calls they feel they could’ve done better, or calls they feel went well and would like to copy.
Step 4. Create goals based on your reps’ career aspirations
Another way to build ownership and get rep buy-in to the value of your coaching sessions involves the way you set goals for your reps.
Are you working with an SDR? An AE? Where would they like to be in 5 years? What about next year? What career goals are they shooting for? How can you as a manager help them develop the skills to reach those goals?
By involving your reps’ own aspirations in your sessions, they’ll see the value of these sessions, not only for the current deals, but also for the future of their career in sales.
Step 5. Pick a deal to focus on for the week
Your reps are juggling lots of deals every week—spending your coaching sessions discussing every deal would be a waste of everyone’s time.
Your time is better spent by focusing on one deal during your sessions every week.
Either pick the deal yourself or (better) ask your rep to choose one deal in this week’s pipeline that they’d like to discuss and maybe get some help with.
Ask your rep about the history of this deal, where it stands today, and what are the current barriers to moving this deal forward. Then, work together to overcome any challenges they’re facing, and develop a clear plan to close the deal.
Step 6. For remote coaching, work through WFH challenges
Remote sales teams face their own unique challenges. It’s your job as a manager to help them work through those challenges and continue selling successfully.
So, ask them about their workspace or their remote sales schedule. Help them set times to take breaks and maximize their tech to automate repetitive tasks. Give them the flexibility they need to manage their home life alongside their work life.
Step 7. Celebrate the wins (big or small)
Coaching isn’t just about giving critical feedback—it’s also about celebrating the wins and encouraging positive behaviors on your team.
Encouragement and positivity help motivate your reps to keep doing good. It shows you notice the effort they make when they excel, not just when they fail.
So, ask your reps to add a specific win that you both can celebrate. Or, spend a bit of time digging through their activity data and pick something specific to commend them on.
Step 8. Plan a specific time for live call coaching
Live call coaching is something that happens outside your scheduled coaching sessions with reps. But that doesn’t mean you need to hop in and surprise your reps on a live call (in fact, it’s better not to do this).
For more quality live call coaching, schedule a specific time during the week to listen to live calls. Let your reps know that, every week, they can expect to see you jumping into calls that are in-progress.
For example, you could let your team know that during the day on Tuesdays, you’ll be hopping on calls in between other tasks. Letting your team know that you’ll be around makes the process less stressful for them, and allows you to listen in to real calls as they’re happening.
Step 9. Scale your coaching efforts
The bigger your team gets, the harder it is to coach effectively across the whole team.
So, you may need to try new methods to scale your coaching efforts.
For example, why not implement a program for peer-to-peer coaching? This will help your individual reps learn more from each other. You might pair experienced reps with junior reps on live calls to help guide them through, or have junior reps listen to recorded calls or skim through successful emails that more experienced reps have done.
Or, if you have several reps working to improve one particular skill, you can create group coaching sessions and work with several reps to improve specific skills together.
These group efforts will help you scale your coaching without scaling your effort.
Step 10. Keep your coaching consistently inconsistent
Consistency is key—your reps need to have their sessions clearly marked in their schedule with the confidence that they won’t be moved or skipped.
That said, inconsistency is also important to keep reps engaged in these sessions.
In short, keep your schedule consistent, and your methods inconsistent.
Never be afraid to try new methods of coaching and develop engaging, interactive sessions.
But, how do you know if your feedback sessions are really working?
How to measure the impact on sales performance
A baseball coach measures his success by the performance of his players.
As a sales manager, you can do the same—measure the impact of your mentorship sessions by watching the performance of your team.
Let’s talk about specific activity metrics and sales KPIs you can use to determine how productive your sessions are, and where you may need to improve:
1. Quota achievement
A study by CSO insights compared the number of reps reaching quota depending on the coaching set up by the company. In companies with a formal coaching process, 62.3% of reps were reaching or exceeding quota. Without that formal process, only 49% hit their quota.
So, to measure the impact of your sales coaching action plan, the most important metric to track is quota attainment. If you see this number going up gradually, you know you’re doing something right.
2. Goal achievement
While sales quota achievement is important, a good coach knows that setting and achieving goals is an essential part of improvement.
That’s why goal setting and tracking is an essential piece of your coaching agenda. Keep track of each rep’s goals, both short-term and long-term, and work with them to watch how they achieve these goals. The better your coaching strategy, the better your reps will be at hitting their goals.
3. Conversion rates
As you coach your reps to improve their abilities in the different aspects of the sales process, you should see conversion rates improve.
Check overall conversion rates for each rep, but also check the pipeline stage conversion rates. Go into your sales pipeline and see how many leads go through the sales process for each rep, how many get stuck, and how many fall out of the pipeline in different stages. Keeping an eye on these conversion rates will also tell you where in the pipeline a certain rep may need extra coaching.
4. New hire onboarding time
Better coaching equals faster onboarding. When your sales coaching plan is working well, you should see new sales hires start bringing value to your team in a much shorter period of time.
5. Outreach volume
When coaching your reps, you’re helping them build their skills as they actively sell to new leads and prospects.
So, watch the volume of outreach that your team is doing as a whole, as well as individually. By keeping track of these metrics, you should see your team improve their outreach volume (such as outbound calls, call duration, emails sent, etc.) as they learn better methods to scale their outreach.
6. Rep satisfaction and retention
Another way to measure the impact of coaching on sales performance is tracking turnover on your sales team.
As we saw above, managers who don’t make coaching a priority are more likely to lose their best reps to better opportunities. So, as you improve your coaching practices, you should see less turnover on your team. Keep your reps happy, help them better themselves, and they’ll be more likely to stay.
7. Customer satisfaction
When your reps are happier and more skillful, your customers should be happier as well. Measuring NPS and other customer satisfaction metrics is important for your business overall, but it can also give you insights into whether your coaching efforts are benefiting your customers (not just your reps).
5 other sales coaching templates to model your training after
Looking for more ideas? Check out these 6 sales coaching templates that you can incorporate into your process:
This fillable checklist gives you 7 key points to listen for when guiding junior reps on calls. For example, check how well they work with the sales pitch, how comfortable they are, or whether they’re getting their facts right. Use this template to review recorded or live calls with your reps, and add feedback for them to work on.
This Excel template includes the real questions that Ambition VP of Sales Mark McWatters uses during his 1:1 sessions with AEs. Since Ambition is a remote company, this template is specially adapted to mentoring remote sales reps.
Onboarding new reps effectively can be rough. This template shows you how the sales team at Close onboards new reps, and how we get them started on the phones during their first day at work.
If you’re looking for an agenda that works, check out this example from RingDNA. It includes a performance review, problem-solving, and follow-up you can perform after the coaching session.
ROOM’s Director of Sales, Katie Johnson, shared an Excel version of her own weekly agenda. It includes the questions she asks reps and the strategies she uses to base her feedback on real metrics.
An action plan for sales managers to get their teams hitting consistent home runs
A goal without a plan is simply a wish. So, if you wish your team would perform better, it’s time to set a clear plan to help them improve and close more deals.
If you want your team to perform consistently, you’ll need to be consistent. Use our sales coaching template to run smoother sessions, keep tracking the progress of each of your reps, use your sessions to motivate and challenge your team, and ultimately help them perform like the all-stars they are at heart.
Want your own, ready-to-ouse sales coaching action plan? Download our free template!