As a sales professional, you need a game plan—a method for prioritizing your time and focusing your efforts on the deals that are most likely to close. But you also need a coach—someone who wants to see you win, because when you win, they win too.
While you may be thinking of a coach in the traditional sense—as a personal mentor—you also need a different type of coach to build your book of business. This coach should be your champion, someone who can help you make inroads with your sales prospects. This type of coach can help inform your selling strategy, giving you valuable insights that will help you make the sale. At the same time, you can help your coach—and your own cause—by sharing critical information that will help you both identify upcoming challenges and offer competitive advantages, paving the way for your solution.
But how do you go about finding this particular type of coach and, once you have, ensuring that you build a strong relationship? We’ve put together three strategies that can help you achieve that goal.
1. Identify the Right Person
A coach should be both a key decision-maker at your potential buyer and an influencer in the eyes of the other stakeholders involved in the deal.
Whoever the coach is, they’re not going to show up wearing a suit with a sign flashing “coach” above their head. That means you’re going to have to spend some time cultivating relationships before you can identify the right coach for your selling opportunity.
Here’s what to look for in a prospective coach:
- the coach views you as credible
- the other decision-makers on the buying team view the coach as credible
- the coach wants your solution to win to the exclusion of all others and will advocate on your behalf
The third criterion is especially important for sales planning. If your prospective coach shares information with competitors, you need to look elsewhere. An effective coach shares information exclusively with you; otherwise, they’re nothing more than a conduit of information.
2. Cultivate Your Coach with Perspective
You won’t become your coach’s most valuable salesperson overnight. It takes time to develop the trust and credibility that form the foundation of a solid coaching relationship. To nurture this relationship, you have to provide perspective: information that helps your coach better understand the challenges the buyer’s business faces and how your solution can help them resolve those challenges. By sharing value, you can help your coach build credibility among their peers and solve problems—all the while building your own reputation with the coach. And as you grow in stature, you’ll earn the right to engage with your coach on a deeper level, paving the way for a more fruitful, long-term relationship.
Once you build the foundation, your coach will help you identify other decision-makers. This can be essential, since most deals involve at least six buying influencers, according to the CSO Insights Buyer Preferences Study. More importantly, your coach will help you tap into those deal makers’ preferred decision-making styles. And, perhaps best of all, your coach can help you identify the naysayers and come up with suggested responses that will address their concerns.
3. Solidify Your Relationship With Your Coach Using the Win-Result Concept
To maximize the value of your coaching relationship, you need to help your coach fulfill their goals. That means you need to translate your solution into a win for your coach personally and professionally. We call this concept a “Win-Result.”
A win is an intangible, personal gain that satisfies a buying influence’s perceived self-interest, such as recognition. A win is why your buying influence wants to buy, subjective and different for every buyer. A result is the tangible, measurable impact that your solution has on the organization’s business, which buyers—like your coach—use to justify their buying decision.
Together, the Win-Result—a personal benefit plus a business benefit—serves your coach’s self-interest and encourages them to invest further in you and to adopt your solution. Our sales analytics platform Scout helps you validate each buying influence’s Win-Result, so you can support the perspective you share with the key insights that are most important to your buying influences, including your coach.
As you identify business results and personal wins for your coach using sales technology tools, the value you provide grows. And the more value you provide, the more satisfied—and more loyal—your coach will become.
To learn more about how Scout can help you harness the power of a coach, target the right sales opportunities at the right time and make the most of your selling strategy, contact us.