As a Sales Leader, you wear many hats:
Each is important. Each is different. And each has its own challenges. Here is a reminder of the different hats we wear, and how to wear them beautifully!
Sales Trainer: As a Sales Trainer, you train your team on information they need to know to operate successfully on your team: basic selling skills, what and how to complete the sales activities that lead to results. You train on product knowledge and company processes. The market shifts and you train on new techniques, new processes. You train on what a good job looks like in customer service before, during and after the sale. With new sales people, you will spend more time conducting directive training, and then once they become competent, you move into more of a coaching role.
Sales trainer challenge: Often we try to "fix" a behavior issue with training. When the sales person knows what to do and how to do it, but they clearly choose not to do it, then it's not a training issue, it's a behavior issue and needs to be managed accordingly.
Sales Manager: As a Sales Manager, you manage the performance of your sales team. You DRIVE sales. You connect with them, learn what makes them tick, motivate them, inspire them, set clear expectations and hold them accountable for measurable results. You manage the activities and processes that lead to sales results. You measure what’s working, what’s not working and take action to rectify under-performance. You think and act strategically regarding how you can set your operation up for success and how you can manage your resources to set each sales person up for success. Sales people come in all experience levels..from beginners to intermediate to highly seasoned sales people, and they all need to be managed differently. The key as a sales manager is knowing how to manage each of them individually to bring out the best in each of them, and how to manage the systems to create an environment where the team can maximize their productivity.
Sales management challenge: Too often we micromanage the activities that lead to results. As long as they know what's expected and what to do and how to do it, we will be better off managing to the outcome than micromanaging the activity.
Sales Coach: As a Sales Coach, your role is to develop your sales team members into self-reliant high achievers. You’ll hold one-on-ones for the purpose of lead conversion and skill development. While you may find yourself doing a little training and a little managing during these meetings, as a sales coach, you are focused on coaching them to develop their skills and activities so they grow from good to great to rock star level sales people so they can convert leads even when you're not around. Your role is to identify their strengths and bring out the very best in them and create a rock star sales team.
Sales coaching challenge: The purpose of coaching is to help our team members develop and be the best version of themselves. All too often when they are challenged, we feel the need to just give them the answer. The great coach does more asking than telling and helps guide the sales team member to grow and find their own solutions.
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For more guidance on how to coach your sales team and develop rockstars,
Kathy is a sales and leadership coach specializing in helping builders and real estate companies develop brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high performance sales culture. Kathy's transformational sales leadership program 9 Steps to Leading a Rock Star Sales Team teaches sales leaders the systems and strategies to not just survive the demanding role of the sales manager, but to THRIVE.