Sales Coaching Software 2020: Ultimate Guide

What is Sales Coaching

Simply put, sales coaching is a process that helps sales reps achieve a higher degree of performance. Sales Coaching is -

Personalized

It involves having one to one sessions helping rep discover himself, what his strengths are, the gaps in his thinking, his weaknesses, his motivations and enable him to build and grow his relationships, etc.

Ongoing, Long term

It is not a one-time activity but when sustained over a period of time, it can truly transform the rep's performance.

Behavior focussed

Coaching focuses on replicable customer winning behavior, versus only closing single deals.

As a Manager, telling the sales rep what to do and how to do is NOT coaching. This only ensures you have solved their problem once. Because in this model, the sales reps keep coming back for hiccups, doubts, and glitches faced. Now the manager becomes a blocker for the Sales rep to grow. Sales coaching, on the other hand, aims to help sales reps achieve their goals by helping them figure out ways to move past the hiccups, doubts, and glitches by themselves, and not by trying to solve their every problem; in essence teaching the man how to fish independently.

What is Sales Coaching software

Sales Coaching tools help managers to dive deeper into sales conversations and activities to identify coaching moments and improve sales performance.

Sales coaching tools broadly fit into 3 buckets

Coaching based on Call recordings

Sales coaching software records your sales calls and transcribes them. They also analyze the calls and score it on the desired parameters like tone, speed of talking, etc. Peers/managers can listen to the call recordings and give feedback on what worked and what needs improvement. They can also identify pivotal moments and upsell/cross-sell opportunities.

Coaching based on Video Recordings

Sales coaching software analyzes your video recordings, role plays and scores them with respect to predefined parameters. They also allow your peers/managers to give feedback on these recordings. They can be used to create libraries of best practices of recordings from top reps that help ramp up sales reps faster. Added benefits include consistent messaging and sales processes across the team.

Coaching based on sales activity

Some coaching tools track sales team activities across the pipeline. They are helpful to identify which deals to prioritize, what's working or not working, what engagement activities to increase etc.

Who uses Sales Coaching software

Sales Coaching software is mainly used by sales teams. The following stakeholders use this software for different applications.

Sales leaders/managers

Sales leaders are mainly concerned with their sales team performance and win rates. Coaching software gives them good visibility into deals related activities and sales conversations. This helps them identify winning behavior and practices and they can make them repeatable across the sales team. Having a consistent messaging, how the product is spoken about or positioned is critical to leaders. These software help review the sales calls and can help establish standardized sales processes and messaging across teams.

Sales reps

Depending on the software, sales reps can focus on conversations and the software transcribes meetings for them and prompts them on the next steps. These tools also allow managers to review and give feedback to peer calls and videos which help them improve their performance.

Channels used by Sales Coaching software

Sales coaching tools are internal-facing tools (except the ones which record customer conversations). Hence they can be used across sales channels (phone, video, email, SMS, etc) reps use to reach the customer.

Phone Calls

Some coaching software is primarily designed to record the customer conversations, take notes and transcribe them. Some even give live coaching tips during the calls.

Video

Some coaching software allows for recording videos of sales employees to practice sales situations and role-plays (This software is not customer-facing). Both software allows for sales reps and managers to give feedback to sales reps on calls and videos.

Email and text are also used.

Benefits of using Sales Coaching Software

Improve Sales Performance / Quota attainment

Research suggests that quality coaching can improve long term sales performance by over 19%. Furthermore, companies that have implemented a formalized coaching program saw an increase in win rate by 12% in just 6 months.

Benefits of using Sales Coaching Software

Sales coaching software arms sales managers with recordings of sales conversations with customers or role-play - practice videos that they can use to coach reps. The software can analyze these calls/videos and score them on desired parameters. Based on these scores, managers can directly look at the ones in which reps need the most help. They can evaluate reps on multiple parameters beyond what software does and identify their improvement areas and train them to get better. Thus training can be personalized and helps improve the performance of each sales rep which ultimately translates to high quota attainment. Some sales software understand your sales conversation with your customers and suggest the next steps to be taken to improve the closing rate for the deal.

Increase Revenue

Study shows that sales reps who get at least 3 hours of good sales coaching per month exceed goals by 7%, increase revenue by 7% and increase close rates by 70%.

Coaching software can identify high-risk deals looking at sales calls or videos of the sales rep. Getting early signals into this information really gives leverage to the sales manager to take corrective action. Coaching software mainly targets the middle 60% of the sales guys and helps them improve their performance. The software helps to identify best practices of A sales guys and help replicate them to other members of the sales team (middle 60%). Once these middle 60% gets trained and regularly coached, the performance of the entire sales team goes and it directly translates to increased revenue.

Shorten Onboarding Time

Xactly Insights data shows that rep performance peaks between 2-3 years in a role.

This software help creates a library of best practices that your best sales reps use to close their deals. These practices then can be used to train and onboard new reps (effectively cloning your A players) thus reducing their ramp-up times. Thus coaching software can help your sales reps to peak earlier.

We also love the Library feature where we can store calls in the library to improve and speed up ramp time for team members.

D C

Devin C

Sales Ops and Enablement Manager

Consistent sales process and messaging

Managers have direct visibility in sales conversations and activities. They can understand how the product is being spoken about and positioned to the customer. This helps them set standard sales processes and deliver consistent messages to their customers, across the sales teams and geographies.

Business problems solved by Sales Coaching

Business problems solved by Sales Coaching

Coach Sales Reps

According to HubSpot, one of the top reasons sales reps leaves their job is a lack of career development and education opportunities. In fact, OMG's data consistently shows that sales managers aren't spending enough time coaching their salespeople and when they do, the coaching is weak.

Sales coaching is the process by which the sales managers give actionable feedback to sales reps to meet quota. Coaching helps in continuous improvement in the performance of the workforce. This software enables recording customer calls, video role plays, tests and assessments or pipeline performance. The software auto scores these calls/videos on various dimensions and prioritizes them. Listening to these calls/videos enable sales managers to give coaching inputs to sales reps on dimensions they need to improve.

Sales managers believe they are not the best coaches and do not have the necessary data to coach the sales employees. This software overcomes the data barrier and gives managers will all data and tools to help coach sales reps.

I use Zoom so it's important that the person I'm meeting with sees that I'm engaged and not busy looking away taking notes and half-heartedly paying attention to what they're saying. As a newer rep, I'm also able to send links to my manager so if he's not available to join my meetings, I can still get coaching AND I can also self-coach

K H

Kaley H

Account Executive

Improve Sales Reviews/Feedback

Having recordings of customer call conversations is extremely insightful as it provides direct insights into what happened in the sales call. This can be used to identify winning behaviors, learn about why deals are won/lost, etc. All these set the basis for having reviews based on data that were previously done based on outcomes without any details of conversations. Identifying coaching and improvement areas becomes incredibly easy with these tools. Sales reviews can now be more structured, data-backed and actionable. All conversations can be reviewed by managers and peers. Each salesperson has a unique style, and these software help managers to give personalized feedback to each one of them.

I also like that I can leave feedback on different areas of the call because that has helped my skills improve and improved the quality of my call reviews with my manager

J R

Julia R

Digital Sales Representative

Improve Sales Training and Onboarding

Sales coaching tools help managers create a library of best practices calls and videos that are used by the best sales reps to close deals faster. These past conversations/videos can be used for learning about the product, client, customer, and sales situations. This helps new reps ramp up faster and hit the ground as soon as possible. They can also have the best responses for objection handling and exception cases which can be used to train reps for such cases.

Sales Manager coaching resistance

Sales Managers usually complain that they don't have the necessary skills or the data to coach the sales reps. This software gives them all the data they need about the sales rep, his activities, his call, his clients and their preferences, etc. The software scores call and videos and identify improvement areas. Thus it removes major hurdles that prevent managers from being good coaches.

KPIs / Metrics sales coaching software should improve

  • Revenue
  • Win rate
  • Average sales cycle
  • Deal size

How AI is used in Sales Coaching software

Conversation Intelligence

Conversation Intelligence software uses machine learning capabilities to analyze sales calls and give insights that help close deals faster. This software has capabilities such as call recording, call transcription, keyword searching in calls, call analytics, etc. Some of them use AI for live coaching i.e. to give live tips to reps based on what is being spoken about in the calls. AI can identify who is talking (rep or customer) when competitors are being mentioned, and cross-sell up-sell opportunities. These capabilities allow the sales guy to focus on the customer and they handle the chores of taking meeting notes, sending follow up emails, etc.

You can also train the tool to listen for certain words or phrases and then surface them (i.e. competitors)

J B

Jon B

Account Executive

Video practice and Role-play

This software has unique capabilities that allow sales managers to give role-play assignments and tasks to sales reps, sales reps to record their videos and share it with their manager, and peers to review/give feedback to videos. Some of them also have conversation intelligence capabilities on top of audio of these videos. AI can score these videos based on predefined parameters which have the sales manager to give personalized feedback to each rep.

Sharing feedback and comments is also super easy and I love that you can comment right at a specific time on a video rather than having to wait til the end of the recording.

B W

Brooke W

Senior Account Executive

Sales Activity

Some coaching software use AI to record auto-capture sales activities and auto-updating them into the CRM. They help visualize sales activities at the deal level and help prioritize deals to improve close rates.

How Sales Coaching software differentiate themselves

  • Most software in this space differentiates themselves on technology. Especially the way they use AI in what tasks it can automate and how well it can do it (accuracy). The use of AI and ML are big differentiators in this space esp for call transcription and analytics. For call transcription, the accuracy of transcription and the number of languages support are key.
  • Also the integrations the software offers can make a big difference depending on the requirements of the company. For example - call coaching software, integrations with all major web conference solutions, CRMs, dialers, Calendars, Email, etc becomes critical.
  • Sometimes some software is designed for a particular vertical. For example, Allego is mainly meant for financial, life sciences and high tech industries; Voiceops for lending, insurance, travel, etc
  • Finally, the latest upcoming differentiator is Live coaching i.e. the ability of the software to coach the sales rep while being on a sales call.
  • Lots of new solutions are coming to the market these days and enabling coaching in novel ways like cien profiles reps based on selling behavior and identifies individual attributes to mentor on. Or Bizmind studies the profile of your client and gives reps individual client attributes so that selling to him becomes easier.

How to select software for Sales Coaching

How big is your sales team? What is your sales team profile?

A larger team size or enterprise-level deployment asks very different capabilities of the software as opposed to SME ones. One key difference is enterprise software needs to have low security and privacy risks, clear data ownership and transfer and high uptime.

Also, any sales team which has very few top performers and large middle (average skill, average motivation) is ideally suited for sales coaching software. Sales Coaching software is particularly useful when the company is mid-market/enterprise and has a big sales team (>10 members) where the manager is not able to give individual attention to sales reps.

Which channel do you use to reach your customers?

Your coaching software depends heavily on the way you reach your customers. If your sales process depends heavily on inside sales, call recording solutions will suit you the best whereas if you do a lot of face to face selling, video solutions would be better. Some solutions train you to train on writing emails, texts, etc.

Do you want software specialized for your Industry?

Sales coaching software can be used by any industry and evidence suggests that it is primarily used by the technology industry. It can be used by companies of all sizes (small to enterprise). Some software is specifically designed to meet the specific needs of users in certain industries and that means that the software already understands the industry/role specific jargon of the user. For example - Voiceops is customized for travel, insurance, and lending industries. It can identify specific terminologies and competitors particular to those industries like loans, debt, equity, auto insurance, etc

Which type of software do you want - Horizontal solutions vs Pointed solutions?

Pointed solutions include software that is meant/designed for sales coaching like Chorus, Gong, Allego Balto, etc. However, horizontal solutions offer sales coaching as an additional feature. For example - outbound call dialers like SalesLoft are mainly meant for sales engagement over phone and email, but they can record the phone conversations and these recordings can be used for coaching as well. Or Pipeline analytics solutions like topopps are mainly used for forecasting, pipeline visibility. They can also be used for coaching reps to prioritize deals, refine deal engagement strategy, etc.

What are your business goals?

Although every coaching solution boosts sales performance, and ultimately revenue, only a few of them help improve messaging and sales pitches of your products. For example, coaching tools based on sales activity don’t help, you improve messaging while call recording and video recording ones do.

Other Integrations for maximum utilization of coaching tools?

Integrations with other tools increase the value that you can derive from these coaching tools.

Coaching based on Call recordings

This software has to integrate with your web conferencing solution to record sales conversations and also with your CRM to get their contacts so that it can auto-follow up with customers.

Coaching based on sales activity

For AI to auto-update your CRM with all your sales activity, these solutions will need integration with your email, calendar, phone, SMS etc so that it can scan all your touchpoints and keep your CRM up to date.

What capabilities do you want in your software?

Choosing capabilities like AI can assist you in multiple ways like they can auto score calls, videos and you have to look at only the important ones. Some tools also have Live coaching during the call features.

Top challenges while using Sales coaching software

Privacy and Security

The biggest issues that users face while using some of sales coaching software (the ones which record conversations) are privacy concerns from clients. Clients have reported discomfort over some bot listening to the sales call (especially early in the sales cycle) as sometimes company level-sensitive details are discussed over these calls.

Coaching Time

While sales managers agree with the importance of coaching, one of the common complaints of sales managers is that they do not have time or the data to coach their reps. Thes software helps with the data part but does very little to help sales managers freeing up their schedule to coach reps.

It does not take much effort to set it up and start using this software unless there are a lot of customizations and integrations needed. Organizations start seeing time to value as early as one month and for enterprises, it can go up to 2-3 months as well.

Sales Coaching Software

Gong.io Icon

Gong.io

4.73
★★★★★
★★★★★

Gong Conversation Intelligence | Revenue Intelligence Technology for Sales Teams

Jiminny Icon

Jiminny

4.69
★★★★★
★★★★★

Jiminny | The Platform built to help your sales team grow

Lessonly Team Learning Icon

Lessonly Team Learning

4.66
★★★★★
★★★★★

Lessonly Team Learning | powerfully simple way for teams to learn and practice like never before

VoiceOps Icon

VoiceOps

4.61
★★★★★
★★★★★

VoiceOps | AI coaching and training platform

Membrain CRM Icon

Membrain CRM

4.61
★★★★★
★★★★★

Membrain CRM | THE SALES ENABLEMENT CRM

Mindtickle Icon

Mindtickle

4.59
★★★★★
★★★★★

Mindtickle Sales Enablement | Sales Readiness and Sales enablement Platform. Putting Sales readiness to work.

RingDNA Icon

RingDNA

4.53
★★★★★
★★★★★

RingDNA | Everything Your Team Needs to Accelerate Revenue. The #1 Solution for Salesforce Customers

WorkRamp Training Software Icon

WorkRamp Training Software

4.49
★★★★★
★★★★★

WorkRamp Training Software - training software that helps companies increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction

Raven360 Icon

Raven360

4.44
★★★★★
★★★★★

Raven360 | Corporate Training Platform & LMS

Dialpad Sell Icon

Dialpad Sell

4.41
★★★★★
★★★★★

Dialpad Sell | An AI-powered sales communications solution

Leveleleven Sales Management Icon

Leveleleven Sales Management

4.40
★★★★★
★★★★★

Leveleleven Sales Management | A performance management system that reinforces key behaviors for sales and Customer-facing teams

Zoho SalesIQ Icon

Zoho SalesIQ

4.40
★★★★★
★★★★★

Zoho SalesIQ | Hassle-free live chat for customer support & business growth

Frontline Selling Icon

Frontline Selling

4.40
★★★★★
★★★★★

FRONTLINE Selling - Sales prospecting experts laser-focused on making team more effective at generating pipeline and closing more deals

Salesloft Icon

Salesloft

4.39
★★★★★
★★★★★

SalesLoft | Sales Engagement platform, helps the world's top-performing teams transform the way they sell

Qstream Mobile microlearning Icon

Qstream Mobile microlearning

4.39
★★★★★
★★★★★

Qstream Mobile microlearning | Develop employee skills and change behaviors at scale

Ambition Sales Performance Management Icon

Ambition Sales Performance Management

4.39
★★★★★
★★★★★

Ambition Sales Performance Management | Helps improve sales performance through enhanced employee engagement, including sales contests

Balto Icon

Balto

4.38
★★★★★
★★★★★

Balto | advanced artificial intelligence is instant, intelligent, customizable, and easy to use

People.Ai Icon

People.Ai

4.36
★★★★★
★★★★★

People.ai | Transform Your Go-To-Market with Revenue Intelligence

Brainshark Icon

Brainshark

4.36
★★★★★
★★★★★

Brainshark | sales enablement and readiness software equips businesses with the training, coaching

Allego Icon

Allego

4.36
★★★★★
★★★★★

Allego | Sales Training and Readiness Software that combines video training, practice, coaching and collaboration

Outreach Icon

Outreach

4.34
★★★★★
★★★★★

Outreach | Sales Engagement Platform, Sales Automation Software

Execvision conversation intelligence Icon

Execvision conversation intelligence

4.31
★★★★★
★★★★★

Execvision conversation intelligence | Conversation Intelligence Platform for Sales & Success

Cien Icon

Cien

4.24
★★★★★
★★★★★

Cien | AI Powered Sales Assistant For Highly Productive Sales Teams

d!NK Icon

d!NK

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

dink | The toolkit to increase sales productivity