What Stops Sales Managers from Coaching?

Exploring Stops Sales Managers from Coaching

Do You Know What Stops Sales Managers from Coaching?
If you are responsible for the performance of your sales team, you must first identify what stops sales managers from coaching so you can systematically remove the big obstacles to their acting as effective coaches.

Why Sales Coaching Matters
You gotta’ love the picture…a graphic of the ideal sales coaching situation. Sales team members eagerly scrambling up the learning curve encouraged by their supportive sales manager. You can easily extrapolate to the next frame where they achieve their sales quotas.

But is this anywhere near what happens in the real world?

Sales Coaching Is a Top Priority
Most sales organizations are convinced that sales coaching is a powerful key to unlocking the potential of a solution selling team. In fact those surveyed by the Sales Management Association selected sales coaching as the top priority for sales managers. Our research shows that sales reps who receive frequent sales coaching outperform their peers 4-to-1. It’s clear that coaching can have a significant impact on sales performance.

Too Few Sales Managers Are Effective Coaches
But what we have observed is that too few sales managers implement sales coaching in a way that makes sense…that truly contributes to profitable revenue growth and satisfied customers. Why? Because too many sales managers avoid coaching…even those who have received so-called sales coaching training.

What Stops Sales Managers from Coaching?
In our experience, here are the main reasons sales coaching training does not help leaders to better coach their sales team:

1.  Too Generic
Sales managers have to juggle so many responsibilities. In addition to seeing that the team reaches sales goals, they often have their own book of business. Additionally, they most likely have to fill out reports, run meetings, manage individual performance, define territories, create motivational (and fair) compensation packages, etc.  Sales managers have little time to waste. So learning how to coach in general doesn’t give them the real-life focus they need.

Ensure that any sales coaching training is specific to your sales strategy, your sales culture and your sales team. To be effective, sales coaches must target the key sales activities and behaviors tied to sales performance.

2.  Too Complicated
Sales managers with little time and sales team members with little patience need a simple, clear process that requires few steps. Too complex or time consuming a process will not be implemented.  Figure out what works best in your situation. Consider something as straightforward as this 4-step methodology:

  • Observation – the sales coach observes the solution seller in action
  • Reflection – the sales coach and seller review together what went right and what could be improved
  • Teachable Moment – the sales coach gives pointers for improvement
  • Plan – the sales coach and seller agree upon next steps

3.  Too Limited
Sales managers should be able to coach their team in all sales activities. If they are trained to coach only around near-the-close sales negotiations, their sales team members who are unskilled in discovery will never get that far in the sales process.  Make sure your sales coaches are well-equipped to coach through all the sales skills necessary for sales success.

The Bottom Line
For sales coaching to have the desired impact on sales performance:

  • Be sure your sales managers are trained to have real-world, targeted, effective coaching conversations.
  • Create an environment where they have the time and opportunity to coach.
  • Include sales coaching in their performance management process.

To learn more about how to combat what stops sales managers from coaching, download The Truth About the Biggest Sales Coaching Mistakes

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