Making the Shift from Manager to Coach by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC (Part One)
For the most part managers today spend a great deal of their time managing projects, data, processes, troubleshooting, problems and information. Although the usual job description would state that managers manage people, this is often not the case. When managers move to a coaching model it gives Sales Representatives the opportunity to generate their own insights, solutions and possibilities that will have them drive their results. It is an advise free conversation and process of discovery. Coaching is based on the belief that the question is the answer.
What is Sales Coaching?
Coaching is a process of inquiry that is interactive and collaborative. Coaching builds accountability when it is performed in a safe environment for people to honour their commitments.
Coaching helps tap into a persons unused strengths and talents that advances their personal growth and learning. Coaching helps people discover their personal best.
Effective sales coaching is a co-creation without attachment and wanting more for your sales people than they want for themselves. Coaching is about the sales person not the coach. If you find yourself thinking about or using the word I a lot while you are coaching it has become about you. Sometimes new coaches make it about themselves and wanting to do it right.
Often new coaches are so committed to providing results they give the person the answers prematurely. Give the sales person the space they need to arrive at their own conclusion. Sometimes just listening is a powerful coaching process and may be all that is needed. Providing a safe place during a coaching session where the sales person can talk freely and openly without feeling vulnerable is one of the most powerful coaching strategies.
Coaching Sales Representatives is about what they want for themselves more that what you want for them. People unintentionally lie to themselves and believe the lies to be true.
Sometimes people are afraid to admit they dont have the skills. Good coaches need to constantly gauge the resistance level, if pushed too hard Sales Representatives will either shutdown or push back.
Finding out what the salespersons expectations are from the coaching, the value they expect and how they would like to be coached will greatly impact the results.
Once the sales manager takes full accountability for themselves as well as their team members, they will then be able to empower others to be fully accountable for themselves.
Making your people right, even when they are wrong makes a huge impact on their productivity and attitudes. To see the rightness in Sales Representatives, you must believe that people are doing the best they can at any given moment. If their best doesnt meet your standards, you always have the choice to make changes.
Managers may think they dont always have time to coach their Sales Representatives, but think about the things that are taking you away from coaching and meeting with your Sales Representatives in the first place. Coaching is about having the Sales Representatives grow on their own. Questions broaden their peripheral vision so they can best respond to the events or things that are coming at the. Ask your Sales Representatives how they want to be coached. Three fundamental rules of sales coaching:
1. Let your Sales Representatives do all the work.
2. Let your Sales Representatives do all the work.
3. See rules one and two and let your Sales Representatives do all the work.