Breaking Through Resistance: Coaching Tenured Salespeople
One of the most frequent challenges I hear from sales leaders is coaching tenured salespeople who consistently deliver their sales numbers but are resistant to coaching.
The question becomes what to do with them.
Do you leave them to their own fruitions and spend your time coaching other salespeople or endeavour to find ways to get their tenured people to engage?
Salespeople who have achieved significant success over the years may be hesitant to change their tried-and-true methods. However, coaching remains a critical element for maximizing the potential of every sales team member. It is critical to understand the reasons behind the resistance and provide you with two actionable solutions in how to effectively coach tenured reps.
Understanding the Resistance
Tenured salespeople who consistently deliver impressive sales numbers may resist coaching for the following reasons:
1- Complacency in Success: After years of achieving consistent sales performance, they may feel content with their current approach, believing it is sufficient to maintain their success.
2- Fear of Change: Coaching may be perceived as a disruptor to their well-established routines, leading to apprehension about potential negative effects on their sales performance.
3- Perceived Lack of Relevance: Some tenured salespeople might view coaching as more beneficial for less experienced reps and may not see its relevance to their seasoned skillset.
1: Highlight Personal Growth and Fulfillment Impact:
Emphasizing personal growth and fulfillment through coaching can help tenured salespeople understand the long-term benefits of continuous improvement.
1- Celebrate Past Achievements: Begin by acknowledging and celebrating their exceptional achievements throughout their careers. Recognize the value they have brought to the organization.
2- Present Coaching as a Journey: Frame coaching as an ongoing journey of personal growth rather than a one-time corrective measure. Emphasize that even seasoned professionals can continue to develop their skills and enhance their performance.
3- Link Coaching to Aspirations: Engage in a conversation about their aspirations and career goals. Show genuine interest in helping them achieve their desired outcomes, using coaching as a means to facilitate that progress.
2: Customize Coaching for Individual Needs
Tailoring coaching to meet the individual needs of each tenured salesperson can foster a sense of ownership and willingness to embrace the process.
1- Identify Specific Objectives: Collaborate with each salesperson to identify their specific coaching objectives. Understand their unique challenges and areas where they believe coaching could contribute to their growth.
2- Offer Flexible Coaching Formats: Recognize that tenured salespeople may have preferences for coaching formats. Offer options such as one-on-one sessions, mentorship programs, or peer coaching to accommodate their individual preferences.
3- Focus on Incremental Improvements: Instead of introducing radical changes, focus on gradual and incremental improvements to their existing sales approach. Highlight the potential for even greater success with small adjustments and enhancements.
Breaking through resistance to coaching tenured salespeople requires a tailored approach that highlights personal growth and addresses individual needs. By framing coaching as an ongoing journey of fulfillment and offering flexibility in coaching formats, sales leaders can effectively coach these valuable team members.
The impact of coaching can lead to even greater levels of success and performance, benefiting the individual salespeople. Empowering these tenured reps to embrace coaching will help unlock their full potential and drive ongoing success for the entire sales team.