Understand the difference between sales skills coaching and sales assisting. Learn how to coach to behavior, not outcomes, and why this matters to your team. In addition, learn who to coach and how often to coach them.
- As a new sales manager, part of your job is sales coaching. Now, when you were a rep, you probably had some great coaches and some not so great coaches. So, let's break down what a coach is. First off, a sales coach, they're not a sales assistant. The goal of sales coaching is to improve your reps' ability to be successful by themselves without you there. If you're jumping in at every mistake or taking the hard part of all the conversations, that's not the most effective way to coach.
Your rep may pick up a few things from observing you, but the negative effect on their confidence and their ability to manage calls without you far outweighs learning by observing you only. So, coaching your reps means helping them figure out challenging scenarios by themselves and providing constructive feedback rather than just a critique. So, when you're coaching, you want to focus on behaviors, not outcomes. Sales coaching adds a layer of complexity, because each situation is really different because each customer is different.
But good behaviors lead to the same results. Think about it this way. Imagine you were coaching a child on how to hit a baseball. You wouldn't say, I want you to hit a home run and then just let them go do it. Instead, you would teach them how to hold the bat, how to keep their eye on the ball, how to follow through with their swing. If they keep these strategies, these behaviors in mind, no matter how the pitcher throws the ball at them, they'll have a greater chance for success. So, if you want your rep to build more value, teach them how to ask questions and be insightful.
If you want your rep to generate more leads, teach them about networking and how to ask for referrals. These are the behaviors that will drive the outcome you're looking for, which is more sales. So, if you want to take a deep dive into sales coaching, take the sales coaching course where I cover a lot of specific coaching scenarios. For now though, remember, coaching is not a one-and-done task. It is a significant piece of your role and it requires constant and consistent effort.
Now, I know you have a million other things to do, but coaching your team is the best way and the most lasting way for you to improve your results.
- Understanding your role
- Setting the tone as manager
- Recruiting the right people
- Dealing with inherited bad talent
- Making sales meetings count
- Working with marketing, accounting, and product
- Communicating with senior leaders
- Dealing with failure