Get on the Podium
Once upon a time, all sales managers were sales people. Most sales reps are type “A” personalities; they are driven and competitive. These are good solid traits that will help them succeed in the field. So it’s not surprising that when I sit down with sales managers to discuss their goals for the next year, one of the most common themes is to be the #1 region/area in the country. Sales managers still crave the opportunity to shine and be recognized in front of their peers.
If your goal is to be the #1 area/district then the question is how are you going to make that happen?
Ask yourself, what do the best managers do better than the average sales manager? What sales management activity drives sales performance?
Time and time again the top sales managers are the ones that understand how to drive sales performance through people. Stop and think about that. The key is people. Managers who are great coaches have the ability to improve the performance of their salespeople as they are better at engaging and inspiring their salespeople.
The Sales Executive Council (SEC)- Coaching Effectiveness Survey based on over 3000 sales reps and managers from 40 global Fortune 500 companies shows that effective coaching leads to a sustainable upward shift in sales performance. In fact, moving from below average coaching effectiveness to above average coaching effectiveness can improve your team’s sales results by up to 19%.
As a sales manager, what else can you do that will have such a positive impact on sales? It seems easy enough, but do you have the skills to do it?
Based on SEC research, managers consistently underperform in the area of sales coaching. Sales coaching is the skill that sales reps rate their managers as lowest. LOWEST!
The key skill that will put you on the podium is also the skill that you may most lack. Coaching is a difficult skill to master and requires training and experience.
Maybe you’re lucky as you have a sales coaching training program coming up. Well, I am sorry to tell you, but most coaching training programs fail to create sustainable changes in coaching skills. The lack of reinforcement by the VP/Sales director causes sales managers to fall back into telling as opposed to asking/coaching behavior.
I guess you are doomed not to climb the stairs to the podium.
Unless… The one sure way of becoming a “great” coach is to hire a professional sales management coach that can work with you on a regular basis to fine tune and hone your sales management coaching skills. Think of it as your personal trainer to coaching excellence!