Training and coaching are two different approaches, yet people often use the words interchangeably—and even worse, they use the tactics interchangeably.
To train means to provide your employees with the tools they need to function. To coach is to help them use those tools to achieve maximum effectiveness. In a sense, both are necessary. However, one can make a significant impact on your bottom line and one can’t.
“Coaching is a High-Yield Performance Investment. The research findings indicate that the quality of sales coaching impacts revenue growth. Businesses that provide the optimal coaching to salespeople realise rates of annual revenue growth 16.7% greater than firms that do not provide any coaching to their salespeople.” – Qstream
When implementing new technology or a new process within the dealership, training is inevitable. Employees need to know how to use the tool and which buttons to push. Training usually lasts a few days and incorporates quick tutorials or guides to understand the system and how to follow the process. When adopting a new tool, I think we can all agree training is necessary.
However, after a month, most training goes out the window. Either, the steps of the system are easily followed and intuitive enough for the sales consultant to pick up, or the system is too clunky and convoluted and sales consultants avoid using it. The latter happens all too often in car dealerships.
This is why coaching is so important – and drastically more effective than training. In fact, studies show that coaching yields 4x the result of training. Coaching is the key to technology adoption and sustainable results.
So, how do you coach rather than train?
Rather than teaching a sales consultant which button to push, teach them why they should push that button. Furthermore, coach your employees to get something out of the system – insights and opportunities – rather than just using it.
Coaching vs. Training
For example, by training sales consultants, you may teach them how to enter Leads or how to mark them as Lost. However, coaching teaches sales consultants what to look for in the Leads they are entering (i.e. do I have enough Leads this month to convert to sales?) and what insights they can find from their marked Lost Leads (i.e. most Lost Leads weren’t really lost, they just weren’t followed up in time.)
Another example of coaching vs. training can be seen in marketing campaigns. Training will involve teaching your employees where to find the dashboard of their social media campaigns. However, coaching teaches them which social media campaign converts best to Sales. Through training, i.e. looking at a dashboard, you may find it seems your Facebook campaign isn’t performing well. However, through coaching, your team will discover that the Facebook campaign actually converts to Sales the best, however the majority of Leads just weren’t followed up.
Here are the key differences:
Attributes of Training:
- Teaches employees how to use a system
- Guides employees through the steps of a new tool or process
- Technically focused
- Conducted in a generalised setting
Attributes of Coaching:
- Teaches employees how to gain insights and look for opportunities within the system
- Teaches employees the why you’re taking those steps
- Critical thinking focused
- Conducted in a one-on-one or small group setting
Especially at the time of implementing new technology or process into your dealership, coaching is the key to sustainable and lasting results. Unfortunately, most technology service providers only provide training, a few days at the time of implementation. Human adoption suffers, and the expensive technology solution goes to waste. That’s why it’s so essential to find a technology provider that offers coaching of your team to enable long term success.
Coaching demands data
However, with all this being said, coaching demands data. Without data, coaching is non-viable. For sales managers to provide effective coaching, they need relevant data insights to systematically understand and improve performance. To get a complete picture of their team’s Sales activity and potential, Sales Managers need real-time access to automotive-specific KPIs, sales funnel status reports as well as the ability to drill down into the individual performance of each sales consultant. Without real-time data, the aforementioned benefits of coaching can’t exist.
The optimal equation for success is a combination of real-time data and coaching based on that data. Here at aureso, when implementing our real-time Sales & CRM solution, we provide three months of expert coaching with your sales team. Coaching consists of external analysis of your KPIs and recommendations for success. Week on week, we ensure that your sales managers & team are not only using the system, but are using the system to gain insights into how to increase the bottom line.