When Sales Coaching, Best Practices and Books are Ignored


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Understanding the Sales Force by Dave Kurlan

reinventingthewheelAt dinner on Saturday night, our guest, a friend who recently changed careers and now finds himself in the financial services world, mentioned that he isn’t selling the way that the other successful brokers are doing it. (He doesn’t have any business either.) He mentioned that he read my book, Baseline Selling, and said that he didn’t find anything useful in there. You’ve got to be kidding me! Anyway, those 3 data points (not following best practices, no business, nothing useful there) would be quite useful to a sales manager who wanted to coach him up or hold him accountable for change. While reinventing the wheel doesn’t work, in his industry, it’s simply a case of survival of the fittest. Proactive coaching and accountability are rare and often mutually exclusive with first year salespeople. As a matter of fact, one financial services sales management team found nothing of value in an entire two-day sales leadership event last year, while the other 45 attendees (from mixed industries) all provided testimonials saying it was the single best training event that they ever attended. Like I always say, consider the source…

Without a doubt, the highlight of any Sales Management or Sales Leadership program is always the 6 hours we spend on coaching. We look at coaching from 3 perspectives:

  1. Creating an environment where coaching can be successful – A terrific sales coach would fail if brought into an environment where:
    • people are resistant,
    • they don’t trust his intentions,
    • they are disrespectful of her experience and expertise,
    • they haven’t yet developed good relationships
    • and more…
  2. The theory, logic and flow of effective coaching – There is absolutely a right way versus a wrong way; and an effective versus an ineffective approach to coaching salespeople and more importantly, coaching them up, to improve, to change.
  3. Examples, demonstrations, role-plays and discussion of effective coaching – This is the nitty gritty of the coaching time – 3 hours of real, live, recorded coaching with discussion – attendees listen, observe, question, challenge, emulate and master. Then they have an opportunity to put it into practice prior to presenting their experience and settling in for 1 more hour of work on coaching. I assembled a collage of coaching calls to give you a sense of what I’m talking about. Think of this as the movie trailer or the introduction to a sporting event. You don’t get the entire scene or play, just a snippet before moving to another snippet. Click here for a 3-minute preview.
Coaching is crucial to the success of any sales force; however, coaching without the context of an effective sales process, pipeline, metrics to drive revenue, motivation and accountability aren’t enough. So, our events integrate these additional elements to make for a well-rounded, comprehensive two days.
We have 4 seats remaining for our Sales Leadership Intensive in Boston next week (May 14-15, 2013) and if you or your sales leadership/management team want to make arrangements to attend, send me an email and we’ll find a way to make it work on short notice. Event details are here.

(c) Copyright 2013 Dave Kurlan

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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