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There's no tougher job in today's organizations than sales, and no other function comes with so many paradoxical challenges.
On one hand, sales teams have quotas to hit, which leads to a clinical, high-pressure, and sometimes transactional way of engaging with prospects. On the other, salespeople are brand ambassadors, often the first impression of a company, which requires that they exhibit consistent professionalism, exemplary customer service, and high integrity.
Navigating this delicate balance means shifting between being a hunter and a farmer, a storyteller, and a value creator. Salespeople must be all of those. But being and doing it all is incredibly difficult. Sales managers and reps have to have a more flexible skillset than ever before.
Despite an obvious need for evolved enablement to meet a new bar of excellence, typical options for sales team performance center squarely on productivity or digital tools. While necessary, these approaches don't address the underlying mindsets and behaviors that science says impact a salesperson's ability to be effective in the new world of work. Nor do they provide insights or data needed to measure whether behavior change is taking hold.
Salespeople are the face of the company, but sales leaders often don't know how they're actually doing as people.
Lacking, and not tracking, this new kind of sales readiness is taking a toll on sales teams. Across the board, salespeople have nearly a 3X rate of turnover compared to their colleagues in other job functions, and the average tenure of a sales rep is down from 3 years to just 1.5 years. Burnout is at an all-time high, with 58% of salespeople saying they are often or very often stressed out, "on edge," and experiencing a great deal of daily tension. The result? Bad news for the top line: 60% of reps expect a decrease in their ability to hit their quotas.
New challenges require a new approach.
What is a future-ready sales team? Teams that can adapt to rapid change, build the resilience needed to navigate uncertainty, and cultivate the agility and interpersonal skills that help sustain performance over time. Based on thousands of data points from BetterUp sales managers and sales rep Members, we’ve identified the 6 key behaviors that create future-ready teams:
Focus: When reps and managers can focus their thoughts and attention on their current sales priorities and make the most of the present opportunity.
Strategic Planning: When reps and managers think pragmatically through ways to achieve their future sales goals and fully envision their desired future states.
Alignment: When employees strategically align others around shared goals and provide constructive feedback to create clarity and achieve a shared vision.
Relationship Building: When employees build and maintain meaningful leadership and social relationships with coworkers and team members, creating a vibrant social network.
Cognitive Agility: When employees can adapt and shift thought processes, balancing the need to make plans while allowing for flexibility.
Emotional Regulation: When employees can regulate their emotions to remain calm and collected to navigate complex or high-stakes deals.
The impact of sales coaching on your teams
When employees cultivate these behaviors with the help of our Sales Mindset Coaches, sales leaders see sustained growth, development, and increased performance in their teams over time. Our unique approach leverages the latest in positive psychology paired with certified Coaches who have years of sales experience and experience coaching salespeople. What’s most noteworthy is that the results hit the top line and employee experience outcomes.
For example, as a result of coaching sales leaders, a leading enterprise technology company was able to achieve:
- 60% increase in team participation
- 20% increase in average deal size
- 11% increase in goal attainment
In addition to the focus on top-line growth, our data and research show that we’ve also helped salespeople also achieve improvements in overall employee experience:
- 14% higher goal achievement
- 18% higher productivity
- 17% higher engagement
- 20% higher resilience
- 20% higher ability to manage stress
We know that investing in these behaviors through sales coaching directly impacts your team's performance, but how do you track program effectiveness and show ROI?
See growth, measure impact, act on insights
BetterUp’s new Partner Analytics Dashboard (PAD) allows you to track the actual growth of your people in critical sales mindsets, behaviors, and outcomes that fuel success. These robust analytics provided by BetterUp are targeted at helping you take action. For the first time, you can now diagnose and understand what is happening, the root causes, and get insights you need to rethink sales readiness for your organization.
Track your sales team's development in real time
You'll find the BetterUp Sales Excellence Index on the Impact tab, which helps you measure and monitor the 6 future-ready behaviors that impact sales performance. Our proprietary Sales Excellence Index was developed by BetterUp's team of behavioral scientists and gives you insights that reflect the preparedness, agility, and interpersonal skills your people need to drive success in today's sales roles.
Understanding and investing in these behaviors help you future-proof your sales team and support a more sustainable performance model.
With the Sales Excellence Index, you can also measure how sales coaching for these behaviors leads to 4 key business outcomes:
- Goal Achievement: Shows if your team is enabled and confident to win
- Engagement: The extent to which sales employees experience dedication and absorption at work
- Productivity: Illustrates how focused and in the zone your sellers or managers are
- Resilience: The extent to which we can recover quickly from stressful experiences such as a deal loss
For each of these outcomes, you can see and track the change over time and compare against benchmarks from an extensive dataset of more than 17,000 working professionals across a wide range of industries, functions, levels, and demographics.
Promote a high-performing sales culture
Within the Behaviors tab, you can dive deeper into those individual behaviors that our research shows to be critical in driving sales performance, and you can measure and compare against benchmarks. In addition, the four team behaviors displayed in this view help you understand how members collectively view the sales culture at your organization.
See what's trending and forecast the future
On the Learning tab, you can see the top 5 coaching topics your team members are talking about each month and the sub-topics within each topic. This provides a real-time pulse on what is most important and relevant to your people.
BetterUp Coaches tag every session with a topic tag at the end of the session to capture what the member wanted to discuss. The data is aggregated and anonymized in this view and ultimately shows what topics are coming up most often for your people.
The ongoing look into session topic trends gives you early insight into what people are working on and helps you plan more proactively to support them further.
Monitor employee satisfaction and engagement
You can now monitor success that you can celebrate in the Satisfaction tab. Here, you can view feedback, testimonials, and gratitudes shared by employees about their breakthroughs, setbacks, and everything in between. See what your employees are saying about their experiences over the past 30 days to get a pulse on the current health of your coaching programs across:
- Session ratings, ranging from life-changing to poor
- Satisfaction metrics like how often members gained valuable insight from their sessions
- Progress toward goals
- Select member testimonials
In addition, you can manage your BetterUp programs in a self-serve way through built-in administrative functions, see member activation, utilization, and engagement on the platform.
Building a sustainable sales team that can navigate change and perform through uncertainty requires organizations to go beyond the traditional methods of training. Prioritizing and helping your sales team build up the mindsets and behaviors that help them navigate their paradoxical world will ensure they can deliver on the bottom line and avoid burnout and attrition.
Learn how Coaching Circles™ can help your people build stronger social connections.
Sr. Content Marketing Manager