• 21st February 2011 - By proteman

    If you’re a sales manager, take this sales coaching self-assessment. Do you:

    1.  Tend to jump in and fix problems for salespeople?

    2. Feel like you don’t have time to coach because you’re too busy fighting fires?

    3.  Spend most of your time with “problem” salespeople?

    4.  Talk more than listen when with your salespeople?

    5.  Sometimes take over sales calls because you miss the thrill of the sale?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone.  And while these activities may make you feel produtive (because you’re “doing” and “fixing”), they actually prevent you from being the best sales coach you can be.

    We’re Making our Numbers…so Why Does it Matter?

    Sure, sales managers can hit their territory numbers without being great sales coaches…if they’re lucky, when the economy is booming or if they’ve got a team of seasoned, reliable salespeople.

    But what’s the opportunity cost of  not coaching effectively or consistently?

    • You’re robbing your salespeople of growth opportunities.

    Adults learn best through experience, making their own mistakes and thinking through issues with coaches or peers.  “Telling” a salesperson how to handle a situation — or simply closing a sale for him — may result in an immediate “win”.  But the salesperson hasn’t really learned anything (except that next time he encounters a roadblock, he should go to his manager again).

    • You’re only one person.

    A sales manager isn’t an octopus (you’ve only got two arms).  As one person (no matter how good you are), you can’t possibly be in every salesperson’s territory, tapping all opportunities and solving all problems.  Sure, a sales manager working 24/7 to both manage a region and do the salespeople’s jobs might make her numbers, but at what cost?  Eventually, the manager will suffer from burn-out and it’ll show in results, turnover in salesforce or other ways.

    • Speaking of turnover…

    Sales managers who are “super coaches” tend to have low turnover and increased employee loyalty.  Why?  When you’re coaching, you’re asking questions and listening.  You’re paying attention to the salesperson and his/her needs.  This shows that you care and that you’re willing to invest time in developing your team…which breeds loyalty.

    ©  2011. Phyllis Roteman, The Loyalty Group.

  • Leave a Reply