Sales Coaching

For the month of September I thought I would make it “Ten Tips Month.”   I will share with our readers ten tips to enhance team building ideas, customer service skills, leadership development and sales coaching skills.  Some of these tips may be new ideas to you and others may be reminders of the importance of the things you are already doing.  As I say in my workshops “We all know things, what is most important is what we do with what we know.”

Sales Coaching

sales coachingCoaching sales people can be very rewarding for a manager.  It is a model that will tap into the sales person’s inner drive to succeed.  I can also help identify any blind spots that may prevent the sales person from reaching their full potential. 

1)      Develop an internal coaching program – it can prove to be very beneficial to have your sales executivesdevelop an internal coaching model.  Using a coaching program to manage your sales people help set the expectations for performance and hold sales reps accountable for their results.

2)      Allow for creativity – effective coaching allows for the art of creating possibilities and opportunities that didn’t exist before.  This can be truly inspiring.

3)      Coach with no agenda – this concept is sometimes difficult for managers to understand.  After they have their targets and numbers that need to be met, right?  This is not what I mean by agenda.  I mean that during a coaching session the manager does not have any expectations of the outcome of each session.  This allows for more creative ideas to flow and for the salesperson to come up with their own solutions.

4)      Eliminate excuses for non performance – often the sale manager themselves have their own limited beliefs around what can and cannot be done.  It really comes down to choice.  I always say “reasons or results.”  Let the sales person choose and as a manager monitor and explore the validity of your own beliefs.  You might be pleasantly surprised at what is possible.

5)      Build trust – the backbone of all relationships is trust.  With trust comes respect.  When you enter into a coaching arrangement trust is paramount.  Do you trust them?  What have you done to earn their trust?  If you don’t trust them or they don’t trust you, then it is highly unlikely you will be able to effectively coach them. 

6)      Tracking performance – critical to success in every area of our lives, this is very important with coaching.  Tracking actions and results is mandatory for any successful coaching arrangement.  It keeps things documented and accountability where it belongs – with the sales person.

7)      Must be coachable – not everyone is coachable.  There has to be a willingness on the part of the sales person to participate in a coaching relationship.  Are they open, willing and determined to succeed.

8)      Clearly identify the “Gap” – the gap is the difference between where the sales person is and where they need to be.  As a coach you need to identify if they have the skills, beliefs and attitude to succeed.  A manager can co-create the strategy to achieve the desired outcome, then track the milestones. 

9)      Be selective –much like we are not able to sell to everyone and need to identify our niche customers, the same applies to coaching.  Be vigilant about who you spend your time and energy coaching.  Only work with those with the willingness and committed to the process.

10)   It’s an inside job – to be an effective sales coach you may have to change what you do and how you think.  Very successful people think and do things differently and this is large part because they are able to manage their mindsets and beliefs.

by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC