The pandemic has forced the hospitality industry to learn a few lessons the hard way. Now it’s time for our teams to roll up their sleeves and take action in order to rebound.
B2B sales coaching, rather than traditional training, is the key to your sales team bouncing back. Training provides essential knowledge transfer, informing your team and establishing a basic understanding of your processes and systems. On the other hand, coaching enhances existing knowledge and can show your team how to think strategically.
The hotel business fallout from COVID-19 means there’s no time to waste finding the right kind of educational programming for your sales team. Plus, it needs to be the right kind of content structured in the right way and delivered in the right rhythm. In a time of constant distraction, research from Learning Solutions Magazine revealed that corporate training program participants can lose 50% of what they learn after just an hour. That number jumps to 70% within 24 hours and 90% in a week.
Picking the right kind of education for your team matters. Knowing how to distinguish between training and coaching, understanding the immense benefits of coaching and finding the right program to level up your sales team are paramount.
The difference between training and coaching
When evaluating programs that can help your team improve their sales skills, you need to understand how training and coaching differ.
Training can build your knowledge base. It’s the kind of education you need as a foundational layer, often imparted via new hire onboarding, process rollouts and times when new skills are needed to succeed. Typical sales training programs are process driven, following a repeatable structure. It tends to be a short-term engagement like a three-day class or online program for a set number of weeks. This can be a valuable solution for certain teams looking to get the organization on the same page.
Successful coaching programs and coaches take a more transformational approach. With less structured classroom or traditional learning environments, coaches will get “in the trenches” alongside the coaching client. They will look for ways to play to the strengths of the team member, adapt concepts and strategies to work for the individual and measure results in real-time. They hold the team member accountable. They hold space for the team member while allowing them to make mistakes and celebrate successes in a safe and supportive environment.
On top of that, coaching creates a symbiotic relationship with two-way communication. A coach is accountable to his or her team’s results because it’s a reflection of their coaching ability. Coaches don’t just hand down information and tell their team what to do with it. How many coaches just hand their team a game plan without explaining why it will be successful and how it can be deployed for maximum effect? Good coaches give their teams nuanced direction and strategies for maximizing their talent.
They also co-create goals and milestones for growth, inspire action along the way, illuminate possibilities, and lead by example—all for maximum results.
When to deploy a sales coaching program
If your team knows what it’s pursuing but doesn’t know how to get there, coaching is the answer. It can address soft skills—like confidence, commitment, enthusiasm and focus—and empower your team to overcome the obstacles it’s facing. Coaching opens up a dialogue between the coach and individual/team to become aware of their sales pain points—where and why issues occur and the consequences it has on individual and business performance. That conversation leads to identifying solutions and strategies for personal and professional improvement.
Consider how coaching also opens up an honest evaluation of the talent on your team. While coaching stands to benefit every member of your team, start with your most receptive learners—those who are most likely to apply themselves to the process and apply their learning.
Why coaching should be your top priority
The pandemic has taught us that if we don’t adapt or, worse, don’t react to the world around us, we fail. The benefits of investing in coaching outweighs the upfront costs of paying for your team to pursue it. Sales professionals with the right skill set and critical thinking ability will reinforce their knowledge and find the capacity to work smarter, harder and deliver positive results—through good times and bad. A coach can be a lifeline for leadership as more employees are dealing with mindset issues, personal challenges and stress. Employing a coach allows the company to address the whole person while remaining steadfastly focused on business objectives and results.
What good training and good coaching have in common is content that resonates with the current state of the industry. It should address new trends and emerging issues [nothing ever misses the mark quite like dated, predictable, seen-it-before content]. Any coaching program you enroll in should address industry lessons learned from COVID-19 and discuss strategies for standing out in the new hospitality landscape. The current environment has afforded only a limited number of sales opportunities, so the right coaching program will show you how to be successful in a highly competitive and dynamic atmosphere.
How GitGo can help
Created by our visionary B2B sales leader and CEO Amy Infante, we’ve just launched our first GitGo coaching program, GitGo Spark™️. We’ve poured the insights gleaned from recent months on what is working to book millions in revenue even in the middle of a pandemic and marry that with tried-and-true tactics of cutting-edge new business development strategies from the last 12 years of business, working with hotels in all 50 states and eight different counties. Talking to customers on behalf of our hotel partners, we’ve conducted an average of 500,000 calls per year. We’ve put ALL of that knowledge into the GitGo Spark™ Coaching Program [turning what would take decades to learn on the frontlines of selling into mere days].
Currently available as an individual subscription for just $45/month, the program focuses on the framework for success—GitGo’s proprietary On Fire™ Sales Methodology, which:
- Opens the door to new business authentically and in the way the customer prefers.
- Nurtures new business leads to keep them in your sales pipeline and build relationships.
- Factors the fit so sellers spend time on the right business.
- Iterates value to the clients in a way that resonates with compelling fact-based selling.
- Resolves objections easily.
- Executes the close to ensure sales, operations and the client build a long-lasting partnership.
Our program incorporates:
- Battle-tested templates, guides, scripts and cheat sheets that all members can access and apply to their business needs.
- A community page for support, group coaching and inspiring content.
- Monthly Q&A sessions to help participants with specific roadblocks.
- Quarterly virtual intensives—set up in a unique way to allow sellers to work through their particular business needs—that provide live coaching and learning from others.
Even the best-intentioned leaders need help developing their team. It’s a responsibility for them to foster and facilitate growth within their team while also achieving organizational sales goals. Going outside of the walls of your business to bring in a focused expert with a clear-eyed view of the industry is a resource worth adding to your team.
As a leader in hospitality sales, we have the unique position to leverage our industry expertise—15 years and counting—with our own company ethos to bring coaching services to hospitality sales professionals everywhere. We’ve packaged impactful, actionable lessons into a coaching program [available for individuals or teams] that can help you turn around your sales now—even in this unprecedented year.