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Coach Your Sales Team to Get Predictable Results

By Barry Pruitt

    Wed, Aug 16, 2017 @ 09:00 AM Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

    Being a great coach is founded on knowing which hat you’re wearing. Everyone wears multiple hats. It Get Predictable Results from Your Coaching Effortscould be a team member, project leader, department head, or entrepreneur hat. The moment you engage with a team member, you should consciously determine which hat you’re wearing. Although your intent is positive, your impact can be negative if you forget to first determine which hat you are wearing. Jack Daly is a super motivator, author, and coach who shared this with me regarding the coaching hat:       

    Teams win championships, not coaches or star players. What are you doing to build each salesperson into a stronger performer and a more valuable contributor to your sales team?

    Our goal is to enhance your effectiveness as a builder of strong sales people. You can coach them to success!

    Our job as sales leaders is not to grow sales - our job is to grow sales people. And then it’s their job to grow sales

    While it is true that our success is ultimately measured on sales levels, we personally aren’t going to make that happen. Our job, then, is to help salespeople be better at what they do. We need to coach them.

    By coaching, I’m talking about field coaching: hands-on and in competitive situations. Like the impact a basketball coach has during the game rather than after the contest.

    While an “after the game” sales meeting is important, It’s working in the field with salespeople that provides the greatest opportunity for coaching. Here are three kinds of field calls a sales leader can make with salespeople:

    • Training call – Here the sales manager takes the lead during the call to show how it should be done. Other than being introduced to the prospect or client, this (in training) salesperson is essentially a silent observer. After demonstrating “how to,” the sales leader debriefs the salesperson after each call. “What went right” and “what went wrong” are thoroughly discussed so that the salesperson can see the dynamics involved.
    • Joint call – A sales manager and salesperson both participate in these calls. Each person contributes appropriately. Often these calls are used in reestablishing a relationship or introducing the sales leader to customers. Joint calls are also effective for gathering information about market activity, the competition, and the customer wants and needs. How well your company is meeting those needs can be ascertained on a joint call.
    • Coaching call – in these instances the sales leader plays a role of observer and the salesperson conducts the call. The introduction of the manager usually should be done in a low-key manner. If he or she is unknown to the prospect, simply introduce the manager as an associate of the salesperson.

    On coaching calls, the sales manager learns the most about how a sales person performs on his or her day-to-day calls. As a result, it is where the sales leader can offer the most help. But that is true only if the coaching call is conducted properly. Often, that is tough for the sales manager to do. Even if the salesperson is “blowing it,” it is critical that the call is conducted solely by the sales person.

    After the first coaching call, the salesperson will usually want to know how he or she did. The sales manager must resist conducting a debriefing at this time. Instead, suggest five or six more calls being made. Once they are all completed, the sales leader should sit with the salesperson and debrief. Identify things that went well and share them with the sales person. Also, identify what could’ve been done better.

    Rather than weighing down the salesperson with too many suggestions, pick one or two that hold the greatest opportunity to increase his or her success. Discuss these two items thoroughly suggesting specific actions for improvement.

    Jack has more suggestions and ideas on this topic which I’ll share in the near future. Meanwhile, remember that becoming a great coach is founded on knowing which hat you’re wearing. When you’re clear that you're wearing a coaching hat, you can now take your positive intent and create a positive impact on your sales team. Be clear on which hat you’re wearing as you try Jack’s suggestion of a training, joint, and coaching call with your sales team. Let me know your results below!

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