Coaching a sales professional can help improve their confidence and performance. By identifying areas for development and any gaps between where someone is and where they need to be, in terms of sales behavior it can be bridged.
Some of the areas covered include: -
The need to coach:
- Developing sales people or Sales Managers
- Teaching Sales Managers to be great coaches
- Improving the performance of under-achievers
- Improving or remodeling the sales process
- A general support function
Benefits of coaching:
- Development/Improving selling skills
- Changing a person's behavior
We constantly talk about the importance of coaching, and tips or strategies to do it better, but why should we incorporate coaching into our organization? Why does just pure training and motivation not work? Why is it that when a sales person attends a motivational seminar or training course do they only apply the things learnt for a short period of time, and then revert back to what is known and comfortable?
These are our top reasons why you should coach
- Employee Retention: Research proves coaching increases employee retention, which therefore decreases hiring costs.
- In Touch: Managers who get close to employees work can solve real world challenges. A manager's knowledge is one of the best resources an organization can have, coaching allows managers to have insight into their employees work allowing them to apply their knowledge specifically to real world issues.
- Programs build coaches within all leadership circles: The more coaches an organization has, the more “performance-improving” employees it will have.
- Growth: Business requires employees to constantly grow and develop new skill sets. Organizations with managers who are coaching create a competitive edge because they become more adaptable to needed change and growth.
- Dynamic: Employees who experience a continuous increase in skills and work performance actually become open to change and challenges. This, in itself, is enough to start an organization wide coaching initiative.
- Renew Habits: Coaching changes bad habbits learnt over the years both for the individual and for the organisation as a whole. The temptation to fall back into old ways without a coach motivating and monitoring that changes are being done is very high. People as a whole tend to follow the path of least resistance and the known is far easier than the unknown. Thus learning new things is great but implementing them in a high pressure environment we tend to revert back to the known in order to meet expectations. We tend to fear doing new things, and adopting the attitude of "what worked before will work now". Without a coach showing pitfalls and driving the changes, changes will not become part of the organisations new processes.
FACTS ON COACHING
- Coaching is a process NOT a destination. Progress is as slow or fast as the person being coached
- Only target 1 or 2 performance areas at a time. Coaching is a habit forming tactic, if you focus on changing too many habits at a time the results will take longer and will not be successful
- Coaching is about being proactive, while management is about being reactive. Fixing problems before they become an issue is always better than trying to overcome inbedded habits.
- A good coach encourages their team to develop and grow, a manager lets them maintain the status quo. Always strive to help your team improve, even when they are meeting requirements. There is always room for improvement.
- Resist the “Let me show you” or “this is what I would do” urge. Let the employee own the task or change needed. You should help facilitate dialog that lets them come to the solution on their own.
- Ask questions as to what they know (knowledge), what they feel they can do (skills), and their level of confidence (behavioural). These questions will guide a sales manager as to what they need to coach to. A person who knows how to handle price objections but has a fear of negotiating is very different to a person who has no idea of the steps to handling price objections, but we tend to send the same two people to the same class.
- Smile, walk fast, and carry yourself every second with a purpose as if "you know success is right around the corner." The more your people see you carry that energy they will follow. Often, the way we act provides them with reasons (excuses) for not trying!