To: Sales Managers Subject: Coaching, who has the time? Really!?


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TO: Sales Managers

I’m outta time! It’s easier to “tell” then to “Coach!”

(Please all (sales training professional (like me) withhold from comments.)
Let’s hear from any/all sales managers.

It’s true, isn’t it? It is easier to tell then to “Coach.” As a sales manager for over 17 years, I can really see both sides of the equation. I can even see times where you KNOW you want to coach, and you have done good coaching, but in this sales call, everything went pretty good and you both have another appointment in 15 minutes, that is 20 minutes runningaway, and you still need to spend time getting briefed again of the next call.

Does any of this sound familiar yet? I had a rep once that I didn’t dare trying to coach while she was driving.607733bfe4a9a29734960a443a30a207 A) I almost got killed, and B) She didn’t know how to get to the account. Can you imagine that?! Well, I guess I better stop using tha6t story because 25 years later I was carrying a bag again, and I did all the right things, except knowing where to park in a big city with no parking. We were not late for the call, but we were late based on my planning and that added frustration, but let’s all forget that mistake on my part.

Back to Coaching and how much time it takes. I certainly agree with that point of view, and unless you have made the environment ready for that type of work, it does take a lot of time. But, be patient! Even Tiger Woods did not come back to his top ranking in Golf after his “little” break. It took some time.

111117_08You will not become an excellent coach overnight. No matter where you are on the “Coaching Skills” scale, from 1 to 10, you have to recognize there may be some ground work first.

Like other professional’s, there is work that needs to be done before you can pick up a golf club and be the number one player in the world.

To make your coaching easier, to take less time in the real world of sales calls, working issues, prospecting, reporting, etc…… you have to have gained agreement on some basics first.

For example: Have you had a conversation with the rep about all of the skills and knowledge areas in which they will be evaluated? Have you asked them for a simple self-assessment on all of those areas? (My website has a sample template for this) This shortens the “Coaching call.”

Have you, and your team, agreed upon “Standards” for all of those areas? Simple things like “what is the office standard for time in the office?” It could also be as simple as “What are the three things that MUST be done when opening a sales call?”

If these standards are defined a head of time, you shorten the “Coaching Call.”

One last example is have you designed and requires a Sales Call sheet, which in a simple one page document can prepare you for the call. I.e. Who we are meeting with at this time? Their roles? Their “Power Base” role? Objective of the sales call? Where are we in the sales cycle? What would be the next step in a successful call?

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This helps a sales rep be better prepared, it shortens the discussion time before the call, and it gives you more time for coaching!!!!!

OK, that is a few examples which could make it easier, time wise, to coach.

One final note. Have you told your team what you are trying to do, how you plan on doing it, asking for their support when you make mistakes, and how it’s working, both the good and the ugly! LOL!

OK, Sales Managers! Could you envision an environment where many things outside of the “Coaching Call” could influence your coaching skills and success? If yes, do you think it might give you more time to coach and not tell?

If no, what else is there that gets in the way? Please feel free to add it here, and after a few comments, take the page to your boss and show him that many people have this issue. Let’s solve it so I can do more coaching.

I can’t wait to hear from sales managers!!!!!!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

James Hughes
A 30 year veteran of running sales teams from 7 to 110 people. Have led efforts of training sales reps on skills, Account Planning, certified "Power Base Sales " trainer and led the Worldwide Sales Management Education program for a Fortune 50. Today, I use my experience and learning's to help sales managers become better coaches of their sales people and increase the yield of their team.


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