It's not just what you do that matters, it's HOW you do it.
Tips for Sales Managers on COACHING for skill development:
As sales leaders, our role is to create an environment that allows our sales team to excel, even when we're not there. An environment that fosters personal accountability, focuses on sales advancement, and nurtures skill development is an environment that breeds sales superstars.
To that end, I talk a lot about the 1:1's sales managers should be holding with their sales people, and I break it down into 3 different types of 1:1's:
- The 1:1 focused on Results and Personal Accountability
- The 1:1 focused on Strategizing to Advance Prospects to Sales
- The 1:1 for Skill Development.
Each is critical.
Each serves a different purpose.
Each needs to be handled expertly by the sales leader.
HOW the sales leader sets proper expectations for these 1:1's and HOW they conduct the sessions has a tremendous impact on the trajectory of their team.
While we all know how important it is to hold these 1:1's, we also know how hard it is to block off time and make sure they happen.
The good news is that when working with sales leaders, I most often see them strategizing with the sales team to help them advance sales leads to get sales. That's great. But that's only part of it. In fact, I think it's short sighted.
I rarely see them doing the 1:1 for skill development. When I ask why, I hear:
- I'm too busy.
- They're too busy.
- They don't want my help.
- They're already doing a good job.
- I'm not comfortable doing the coaching.
- When I go out there to work with them, it doesn't always end well.
Well I say....HOLD ON! Even the best continue to grow with the right kind of coaching: Michael Jordan, one of the best BB players of all time, continued to request the help of his coaches through his entire career.
Our sales people will certainly sell more homes if we invest the time to enhance their skills.
Tips for the Sales Leader:
As a sales development coach, you need:
The right sales skills: While you don't have to be the best sales person of all time to be a great sales coach, you still need to be skilled enough on how to sell to be an impactful coach.
The right attitude: One where you truly care that your sales person succeeds.
The right focus: With an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses so you can focus on enhancing their strengths and minimizing the weaknesses.
And you need to set the right expectations. If the sales leader sets the right expectations, and then follows thru, then the impact of the meetings are completely different and vastly more impactful.
When you set the expectation that the 1:1 for skills development is for enhancing strengths and not "fixing" weaknesses, it changes their attitude. You'll get more buy-in. Additionally, when the sales person is involved in the topic, understands the benefits and defines their personal level of commitment to the coaching, the session takes on a whole new level of impact.
Here is a guide that can set you and your sales person up for a successful coaching session. Send it to your sales person a week prior to your planned session, ask them to complete it and sent it back to you prior to your session. Then you can both be prepared, and the time can be better focused.
A Pre-Coaching Planning Guide:
- What are your top 3 wins from last month? I.e. Specific accomplishments, sales results, improved mindset, enhanced skill, new process executed. This gets everyone focusing on the positives.
- What are 2 challenges you're facing that are hindering your sales performance? As they reflect upon their challenges, they may realize where the "gaps" are. If they share challenges that are more situational, it's helpful to coach them on how to handle these challenges.
- What are 2 areas you'd like to focus on in our coaching session? Ask them to list specific areas in which they would like help from their coach: a skill or technique to enhance, a strategy to discuss, a process to streamline, a mindset concern that could be redirected and enhanced.
- After the coaching session, what results are you seeking? This question gets them thinking about what the positive outcome could be, which helps to gain buy-in from the sales person.
- On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the greatest level of personal commitment, what is your commitment level to taking the actions necessary to get the results? They need to be committed, otherwise, you have other issues to address first!
The success of the sales team is a direct reflection of the strength of the sales leader. Investing time to not just to demand results, but to also raise their level of expertise so they can more effectively manage the sales process and get more results is time well invested. HOW you set the expectations and then HOW you execute this skill development meeting will make all the difference in the trajectory of your team.
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For more guidance on coaching your sales team and developing the systems to create rockstars,
Kathy Tucker Coaching & Consulting is a boutique sales and leadership training company specializing in helping builders and real estate companies develop top producing sales teams and brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high-performance sales culture.
After over 25 years leading top-producing sales teams with the nation's leading homebuilders, Kathy saw many sales leaders being under-trained or burning out, or wanting to get to the next level of their career but not knowing how to do it. So she started her coaching business to help sales managers learn the systems and skills to take their performance to the next level and THRIVE in the role of the sales leader.
Virtual Sales Training Workshops, 1:1 Coaching for Sales Professionals and Sales Leaders, and her Signature Leadership Program: 9 Steps to Leading a Rock Star Sales Team.