Sales coaching – jump start by leveraging trigger events

Sales coaching - leverage trigger events

Sales coaching – leverage trigger events

Sales coaching – sales leadership talks about it all the time.  Sales consultants advocate it and sales managers say they would like to do more of it.  The “it” of course is sales coaching.

Yet if you noise around out there, you will find less coaching is occurring then might be expected given all the voices of advocacy.  Lots of companies start coaching initiatives but a scarce few sustain them over time.  Why might that be?

Well, there are a number of reasons but one tends to stand out – conflicting demands for time.  The problem is sales managers get bogged down doing all sorts of administrative things.  So sales coaching gets put off until Friday and it never happens.  The underlying problem is a lack of sufficient focus, urgency and long-term commitment by the key players to overcome the seduction of shiny objects that take precedent.

There is a need and a great reward for cracking the code.  From our experience the key to the code is not another coaching training program or motivational speech at the national sales meeting.  Reason – the problem is not primarily a deficiency of skill or a lack of motivation. It is about dedicated priority.

Sales Coaching and Trigger Events

One effective answer is to link sales coaching to an event or initiative that has significant organization investment and commitment rather than simply relaying on the inherent merits of sales coaching.  In organizations certain events occur that create an enormous amount of organic energy and focus.  This is due to the strategic importance of these events and the time, effort, and financial resources the organization has committed to making them happen.  Let’s call these occurrences – Trigger Events.

Launching an important new product, initiating a rebranding effort, implementing a merger/acquisition, and instituting a strategic sales shift like moving from selling individual products to selling an integrated solution are all examples of Trigger Events.

When it comes to sales coaching, Trigger Events provide the focus and commitment necessary to make sure the sales coaching happens.  All Trigger Events represent some type of strategic shift so the sales team will indeed need to adjust and adapt their selling skills to the new reality.  So sales coaching is clearly needed and warranted so the link is easy to justify.

The second piece of the puzzle is increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the coaching effort.  Here, the good news is the development in the last three or four years of online sales coaching software that can support the Trigger Event.  Our online sales coaching software allows companies to institute sales coaching that is:

  • Relevant and timely because it is customized to the Trigger Event.
  • Based on proven best sales practices built into the customized software
  • Individualized for each salesperson and sales manager


B2B companies report they spend between $2,501-$5,000/year on training each salesperson according to a recent Accenture study. These companies also reported that simply spending money on sales training is insufficient. “Organizations need to reinforce the training and incorporate it into daily sales activities to yield higher payoffs.”  Clearly the most effective reinforcement is sales coaching – if it happens; it works – the problem is, it doesn’t happen.

By riding the coattails of Trigger Events – and providing online sales coaching software tailored to the Trigger Event, you can increase the probability of sustaining a sales coaching effort.  It is suggested that if sustained coaching occurs its value will be demonstrated.  The added plus is it is likely to become part of the company’s sales culture

In other to explore this topic further you can see how companies can use online sales coaching software to support one type of Trigger Event – new product launches. Click here.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
This entry was posted in Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Coaching, Sales Training and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sales coaching – jump start by leveraging trigger events

  1. Alen Mayer says:

    Great article!
    Many salespeople are not aware of trigger events happening to their prospects, and yet they are there to help them.
    I wrote a book titled: “Trigger Events” in 2007 and I would like to send a free copy for you.

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *