Sales execs recognize that coaching contributes to performance. But by how much? And how are they supposed to find the time?
Most sales leaders are so busy that the only coaching they have time for is asking reps who they plan to call during any given week. But that’s not coaching. That’s checking in. There’s no learning, no tips, and no accountability. Just the idea of carving out coaching time with reps sends many sales execs’ stress levels over the top.
That’s why I asked Tris Brown, chairman and CEO of LSA Global, to outline some of the coaching mistakes we make. Check out what he has to say (and be sure to download his company’s white paper for a guide to strategic coaching best practices):
“Great sales coaching creates great sales results. In fact, our research shows a four-to-one sales revenue and margin-performance improvement between reps who receive effective sales coaching and those who do not.
However, most sales leaders barely have time to manage their sales teams, much less coach people. Even when sales managers do coach their reps, most are making two big mistakes that hinder effective coaching. By avoiding these mistakes, leaders can greatly simplify the sales coaching process and minimize the time it takes to effectively develop successful reps who hit or exceed their quotas.
In LSA Global’s recent Best Practices White Paper, we outline these two mistakes and provide solutions to your sales coaching challenges. Here are a couple highlights:
Mistake #1—Developing the Wrong People
When a rep doesn’t have the desire to do the difficult work required to reach a new level of performance, sales coaching is futile. Desire, not talent or skill, is the only key required to enter a coaching session. The responsibility of the sales coach/manager is to be prepared and available—but if the rep is unwilling to put in the effort to improve, what’s the point?
Mistake #2—Measuring Behaviors and Not Outcomes
Successful managers have a very common sense approach to assessing a rep’s ability to sell. They don’t get overwhelmed or distracted by 50+ sales behaviors, but zero in on the five to eight simple outcomes that ultimately determine how well a rep can execute in the field. In other words, great sales managers have a different definition of competency than most. They measure competencies by CUSTOMER outcomes and NOT by looking at what the rep attempted to do (e.g., questions asked, communicated prescribed benefits, etc.).
Be a Smart, Strategic Coach
Want to learn more about these two sales coaching mistakes, as well as what it takes to be a strategic coach? Download the white paper.
How much time do you dedicate to coaching your sales team? What strategies have you found to be impactful and effective?
Tristam Brown has more than 20 years of management and consulting experience. As chairman and CEO of LSA Global, he is responsible for creating and implementing impactful strategies for clients that align their culture and talent with their most important initiatives. Prior to joining LSA Global, he served as vice president of organizational strategies at Proxicom, an e-business consulting and development company. He has also served as chairman of the National Outward Bound Professional Committee and director of Outward Bound Professional for the West Coast, where he ran the corporate leadership training and consulting division for Fortune 1000 corporations. Visit LSAGlobal.com to learn more.