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Essential tips to amplify your team’s performance

Health Industry Hub | February 3, 2020 |
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In today’s sales environment, where product and service solutions and customer relationships are growing more complex, there is an increasing need to continually raise the skill level of the sales team to boost performance. Managers play a critical role in making sure those skills are learned and implemented.

According to Wilson Learning, sales manager coaching is the number one action that can amplify organisational sales performance.

Barriers to Coaching Effectiveness

There are certain barriers buffering sales managers’ effectiveness in coaching and supporting their sales team. The primary barriers to sales manager coaching are:

  1. Time
  2. Skills
  3. Motivation

Time: Real or perceived, the number one reason managers give for not coaching more is they simply don’t have the time. What are they doing? Field days supporting customer needs, attending third-party meetings with sales team, tracking team performance, writing forecasts and budgets, delivering on senior management requests and participating in internal cross-functional meetings. The thought of a lengthy coaching session with their salespeople is daunting to busy sales managers.

Skills: Most organisations elevate their superstar salespeople into the management rank and expect the same degree of success as a manager, but often without an ongoing development plan and training to prepare them to coach.

Motivation: Organisational rewards drive sales managers to focus on monthly or quarterly results. Coaching is about building long-term capability. Spending time coaching salespeople is often a thankless activity; salespeople don’t always like their poor performance singled out. In addition, sales managers don’t often understand the amplifying effect coaching has on top-line performance.

Scaling the Barriers to Enable Sales Managers to be Better Coaches

Mindset

Coaching starts with managers; if they aren’t motivated to initiate a coaching activity, nothing happens. If managers view coaching as something they do “in addition to their real job,” it inevitably gets pushed out by more urgent tasks. Shaping a coaching mindset starts with a well-designed process to develop and support sales managers as coaches. If managers are left to learn how to coach on their own, organisations are failing to leverage the amplifying impact of a skilled coach – defined as correcting, maintaining, improving, and stretching individual performance.

Skill Set

While there are many coaching models and approaches you could use with sales managers, the best approaches incorporate these three elements:

  • The most effective sales manager coaching is “curb-side coaching”—the 2- to 4-minute coaching conversations managers can have before and after sales calls.
  • The frequency of coaching is more effective than longer but infrequent coaching sessions. It’s better to have ten 4-minute coaching conversations than a 60-minute coaching session.
  • The simpler the coaching process, the better.

“The ABCs of Sales Coaching” gives managers simple phrases to use and ways to easily slide into a 3- to 4-minute coaching session.

  • Align expectations: “During the call, the xyz selling model suggests . . .”
  • Behaviour observations: “What I saw was . . .” “What I heard was . . .”
  • Coaching conversation: “What do you think you should do differently in the future . . .”

Remember…

  • Manager involvement is the single most important activity to increase use of selling skills.
  • Managers need both sales skills and coaching skills.
  • Frequent, short coaching conversations are better than periodic performance reviews.

Reference: Adapted from https://www.wilsonlearning.com/


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