Coaching is Crucial

Posted on 05/22/2014 in Sales Coaching

Effective sales management has an impact on sales results.  Sales managers play a crucial role in the sales effectiveness of each member of the sales team and must excel at coaching. We highly recommend that managers get in the habit of using some of their regularly scheduled sales meeting time by selecting a topic and conduct a skill-building sessions for the entire team, and then in the days and weeks ahead follow up with some one-on-one coaching conversations with each sales person.  

Sales managers are often selected for the position after they’ve become top-earning sales professionals.  This means that they don’t always have the necessary skills to coach effectively. One of the most daunting responsibilities of the sales manager is to help their salespeople improve their skills to ensure that they are capable of meeting and exceeding sales expectations. 

Here are three tips to keep in mind so that your coaching has the maximum impact:
  1. Upgrade the middle tier. One of STAR’s clients is a sales manager who is a very pro-active sales coach. He likes to divide his sales team into three tiers – Top, Middle, and Bottom.  He spends the most coaching time with the middle tier because he has found that it is easier to migrate the middle tier to become top performers than it is to coach the bottom tier upward. He doesn’t ignore the top tier and bottom tier but spends a disproportionate amount of coaching time in the middle.

  2. Vary your coaching style for each individual salesperson. Helping a salesperson to improve his or her sales skills involves a good coach or leader who can see what this person needs. The job of individual coaching is a big one, since each person on the sales team has various strengths and weaknesses to address.

  3. Spend more time coaching. Sales managers are busier than ever and often reduce the time spent coaching in order to do other tasks.  Yet, why eliminate or reduce coaching?  What else has such a positive impact? If you spend more time coaching and less time on other activities, you should see a net positive.  Think of it this way – the quality of your coaching conversations AND the quantity of your coaching time, work together to upgrade the skills of the sales team and will generate better sales results for your region.