Sales managers typically reach the management level because they performed well as sales reps. They were the stars that led the team in the results that mattered to the organization. It stands to reason that these high performers would be good leaders and able to guide their team to even greater heights, doesn’t it?
Not necessarily. The skills needed for selling are different from the skills needed for managing. And it is good managing and sales coaching that encourages sales team members to improve and excel. Sales managers should no longer be striving to improve only their own numbers; they are responsible for the numbers of the entire team. The best sales coaches understand how to bring their salespeople along the path to improved performance with the attitude that the less they’re needed in the process, the better.
If you are planning to go along on a sales call with one of your new reps in order to further their development, try the following recommendations for more effective coaching:
- Agree on the objective of the customer meeting. Is it to simply get acquainted and earn the right for a second appointment? Or, are you well into the sales cycle and need to confirm that you have a clear understanding of customer needs?
- Settle upon roles. What part will you play, if any, and what will the sales rep handle?
- Practice together and brainstorm the various questions or obstacles to success that may arise and how to deal with them.
- Keep an eye on the customer during the call. Your rep may well have a communication style that is different from yours. This is fine as long as the customer is engaged. But if the customer seems to be losing interest, getting confused or voicing objections, it is time for you to step in as gently as possible to keep the discussion productive.
- After the call, review the results with your rep. Were the objectives met? How did the meeting go…both from the rep’s perspective and yours? Where is there room for improvement?
- Set goals for the next meeting you attend together. It may be as simple as “listening more.”
- Write a brief synopsis of the meeting, your review and future goals. Share this with your rep and gain agreement.
By the way, there may be some constructive criticism of you, too, as a sales coach. Be sure to ask your rep how you could have acted differently…what was encouraging and what was discouraging. This is the way to grow into your new role, keep improving, and raise the performance level of your team.
About the Author: David Jones is a corporate coach a successful business entrepreneur and a guest blogger, who provides business executive coaching services to business owners. He has got specialization in coaching since a long year and he has expertise in business niches like Consultative Selling Training, Change Management Training, Customer Service Strategies, and Employee Retention Training. If you need a reliable guest blogging or content writing service, contact him at [email protected]