Sales Coaching: The Necessary Evil?
“But, is it really necessary?” That’s likely the first question that pops into the heads of salespeople when they’re assigned to get sales coaching.
For sales managers and sales reps alike, sales coaching seems like a whole lot of time and hassle for something that doesn’t really seem to make much of a difference.
So why isn’t it effective for these companies? Because a lot of the sales coaching strategies being used out there aren’t proactive.
Great coaching plans are a useful way to determine an employees’ long-term and short-term goals while encouraging them to enhance the skills that could use improvement. As a sales leader, it would be wise to develop a proactive coaching plan for each one of your employees– including managers, and regularly monitor their progress.
This generates positive employee morale and a supportive environment for your team. In this article, we’ll go over specifically what sales management coaching is, why it’s important and how to create an excellent coaching plan.
When you follow our words of advice, your team and your business will surely be a force to be reckoned with.
What is Sales Management Coaching?
Without a capable sales manager, you won’t have a successful sales team.
That’s why it is so important for sales managers to have the proper sales coaching training required to effectively transfer the necessary skills, knowledge and strategies to their team.
Sales management coaching is about giving sales managers specific, targeted feedback to help them succeed as leaders. This doesn’t come in a one-time meeting– it’s about building an ongoing relationship with your sales managers where each person can get the specific guidance they need to successfully and proactively train and manage their team of sales reps.
Why are Coaching Plans for Sales Managers Important?
Most people associate sales coaching plans to be only necessary for sales reps, but it is even more important that sales managers get the proper sales coaching and training needed to be an excellent model for those who are working under them.
By issuing effective sales management coaching, managers can solve self-deficiencies within their leadership roles. This could be things like refining the sales strategies that they use to train their sales team, keeping updated on new information within the company or industry or fine-tuning their overall management style.
Whatever is necessary for improvement, a professional sales coach’s job is to offer guidance and support so your business can run at its highest potential.
Are you in need of proactive sales coaching? At Selling Revolution, our customized Selling System™ provides you with the sales coaching tools that your leaders own and your employees follow. Book a call with us today!
7 Key Tips in a Focused and Proactive Coaching Process for Managers
Now that you’ve got a better idea of what sales management coaching is and why it plays an integral part in boosting team performance and generating more revenue, let’s talk more about what is needed in creating a proactive coaching process.
Create Your Coaching Plan and Strategy
To develop a stellar coaching plan, it’s a good idea to have a well-thought-out template to work from. This will ensure that your coach and your manager are on the same page and are as productive as possible for every one-on-one meeting.
Keep in mind, you should modify your coaching plan based on the manager you are coaching as each have their individual strengths and weaknesses. But in general, your template for your one-on-one’s should include these components:
- A clear goal for the meeting.
- Go over key sales metrics.
- A review of the manager’s performance and goals.
- Establish action items and sales activities.
- An exchange of feedback.
Including these elements in your coaching plan is a great way for you to keep your coach and your manager on track in meeting the targets and objectives you have set for your sales manager coaching.
Identify Areas of Improvement
Identifying where your sales managers do well will give you a better understanding of what tasks and responsibilities they could also use improvement on.
Be sure to mention your manager’s strengths to show that you’ve noticed their skills and effort before you express what they need to work on. This will make your feedback more positive and will encourage them to continue improving and growing within the company.
A great way to show your expectations of improvement is by making a list of them. Be sure to provide examples so they have a better understanding of the challenges in their performance.
Again, this topic of discussion can be hard for people to hear, so show that you are confident in their ability to meet the goals you’ve set out for them.
Ask for Self-Evaluation
When you’ve finished expressing your own viewpoint on your manager’s performance, have them perform a self-evaluation.
This will help you understand how they see themselves as managers and bring to your attention any strengths or areas that they feel need improvement. This could be within their own performance or on the experience they had in their individual sales coaching program.
Determine Your Manager’s Obstacles or Challenges
The first step to getting the most out of your sales managers is understanding what they’re facing that could be holding them back.
Obstacles common among the modern workforce include:
- A lack of time for certain projects or tasks.
- Limited training on how to use workplace tools or finish assignments.
- Not enough resources are available to educate themselves regarding certain projects or completing tasks.
Once you are able to address these challenges, you will show your manager that you are supporting them and putting in the effort to make your work environment more efficient and convenient for your team.
Once there are no longer any obstacles keeping your managers from achieving success, be sure to establish any milestones and goals for the areas that both parties expressed need improvement.
Develop short-term or long-term plans that help him/her enhance their skills in new environments where they may find themselves unfamiliar or not fulfilling industry standards.
For example, say Bob Wells, CEO at Missed Opportunities Consultants Inc. has a manager who has been struggling because he isn’t up to date with the new jargon that is common within his field. Bob could set him up with a coach that will come up with a plan for him to do weekly reading sessions that are aimed towards gaining familiarity.
Create an Action Plan
Each management goal should have a clear action plan to help them achieve it. Your strategy will include both the steps you take and those that your managers can follow in order to reach their end destination.
Whether it’s presenting with more impact at conferences or improving communication skills with their sales reps, a solid action plan will focus on these specific goals and efficiently provide your managers with the steps it takes to meet them.
For example, your manager could do a presentation at a few meetings each month and collect feedback from the other employees, or they may have a one-on-one training session with their coach once per week. Whatever works best to help your manager succeed.
When your managers have taken actionable steps towards reaching their goal, they must continue to receive encouragement from you.
This can be done through one-on-one sessions or even just phone calls to go over their progress. This will ensure everything is on track and it allows you to check in on how your manager is feeling about their performance.
If things seem discouraging for them, then offer some positive feedback on what went well recently as opposed to jumping right to any critiques.
Set the Stage for Opportunity and Success
If you are not providing avenues and opportunities for your sales managers to perform at their optimum level, you are sequentially setting your business up to be mediocre at best.
Talented, well-trained sales managers create a talented, well-trained sales force which ultimately creates a booming business that is always growing and leading in their industry.
If that sounds appealing to you, you must make sure that it’s not only done right but that it’s done with a proven method that works.
At Selling Revolution, our Selling System™ is uniquely designed to defend a happy, healthy and wealthy work culture through your manager’s superior communication and processes.
Our co-founders, Ryan Chute and Roy H. Williams have collectively over 65 years of experience that will take your company to new heights. Book a call with us today to get started!