Sales reps fundamentally want to get coached - but they do not want to be micromanaged. What do sales reps really want to be doing? Selling! Because that’s how they make money! What does Sales Leadership want? Reps to be hired fast, up to speed, and selling as soon as possible. They want their reps using the correct messaging, pricing, proposals, and content and closing deals faster than ever. Why? So we can all make money!
So, what do most managers think about when looking at performance measurements to the above goals?
Activites! Pipeline! The sales funnel:
- Calling and Emails
- Qualified Opportunities
- Demos complete
- Proposals and Validation letters sent
- Contracts issued
- Closed won
Where is coaching? Nowhere to be found! So, the role of a Coach in a high performing sales team should be able to:
- Make things happen
- Maximize resources
(Thank you Tony Robbins)
What’s the first step in “making things happen?”
Assess and measure each rep at what they are GREAT at.
The role of the coach within a sales organization is to organize goals, coach to overcome hurdles and boundaries, and understand what a sales person is great at. Too often coaching is focused where someone is lacking skills and trying to improve them. My philosophy, (which is based on real data) is to understand where a rep is GREAT, and focus on sharpening those skills further. This will produce the biggest improvements and results for each rep.
It is also critical to provide feedback on what IS. Have a vision for what is possible for each rep and their stretch outcomes. Create a strategy to make this vision possible and attainable, resulting in incremental changes to improvement.
How do we help “maximize resources?”
What is the most important sales resource? TIME!
Reps have only 240 total days to sell each year (not including weekends, holidays and vacations). Each sales activity requires very careful time management and must be optimized during the sales selling hours.
These activities include:
- Where and when to prospect.
- Qualifying possible deals early and often.
- Demo’ing only to those that have budget, needs, authority and a timeline to make a decision.
- Thoughtful contracting, pricing and negotiating -- in a “fast as possible” outcome methodology.
Coaching must happen off hours when you’re not helping your reps sell. Embrace video based coaching, off hours, on whatever device they choose with tools to measure content usage, engagement and coaching progress.
What does it mean to "inspire your team?”
A Coach must set the vision and strategy on how each rep can meet their goals based on their strengths, strongest skill sets, and time available. The strategy and vision must be strict, but the tactics on how to accomplish those goals must be flexible. This is why understanding strengths of reps and giving time to accomplish goals sets the Coach’s approach.
One last reminder for all Sales Reps and Leaders:
Attitude and Effort.
The only two real things that a salesperson can control. The Coach must monitor both for maximum success.
- Coaching is about time management on what creates the biggest impact for a rep by focusing on the sharpest skills and making them sharper.
- A Coach’s job is about making the goals happen. Creating them. Monitoring them. Challenging and exceeding them.
- Inspire in the possible- "...this outcome is possible, these goals are possible....we can meet them."
- Have conviction in your strategy. Do not waiver in the outcome and vision. Be flexible in your tactics, from rep to rep.
- Attitude and Effort. The two things we can control and what the Coach must question at all times. If there is lacking in either it’s the Coach’s job to understand why, shift the perspective of the rep and regain focus.
Start building a coaching culture for your sales reps, contact firstname.lastname@example.org today!