We know that sales coaching is an essential part of sales management. Studies show that highly-successful teams spend more time on coaching. But more often than not, managers don’t know how to coach well. Though these managers have years of experience as a rep, it does not always come in handy in sales management.
Moreover, there is a vast difference of skills required in managing a sales team and pitching to ideal customers and not everyone has the managerial potential nor do they always possess the competencies for succeeding in that role.
As a matter of fact, many sales managers struggle to design a successful sales coaching program that can drive sales performance. This is because there are a lot of hurdles and obstacles that sales managers need to overcome to achieve this goal.
The challenges of sales managers.
Here are some of the prominent obstacles sales managers face :
- Sales managers face a lot of difficulties, including connecting with sales reps on the field, lack of company support, managing deadlines, and figuring out what works best for each sales rep as what works best for one is not necessarily going to work for another.
- More often than not, there is no organized process laid out for sales managers to execute and manage coaching activities.
- One of the reasons talented salespeople leave the company is because they are dissatisfied with the feedback and direction provided by their managers.
- They are also often swamped with reporting, reviewing performance to update the top management, and focusing on their closures. Sales managers might be unclear about their sales team’s priorities and feel overburdened by non-coaching responsibilities.
- Therefore, it is essential to prioritize your sales managers to ensure that they improve sales prospects, close more effective sales deals and the team is motivated.
Different types of sales coaches
Sales managers have their unique styles, approaches, and teaching methods for their teams based on their experiences. Here are a few types of ways sales managers’ coach:
- A caring coach takes an interest in getting to know the sales reps on a personal level. They ask questions outside the office and they don’t act like a typical boss. A caring coach utilizes this connection to influence their team’s behaviour positively.
- The inspirational coach supports and appreciates creativity and is open to doing things differently. This type of coach motivates an employee to take the initiative and grow as a salesperson.
- An unrelenting coach holds sales reps responsible for the set rules. The sales reps are not allowed to diverge from the set of expectations of the coach.
The most effective sales manager uses all these characteristics in relevant circumstances.
How to train a sales manager
Now you know the necessity of helping your sales managers in becoming better coaches, your next action plan should be to design a coaching experience that benefits both the sales manager and the sales team.
- The upper management should acknowledge and support the sales managers in coaching the sales team more effectively.
- It is also important to establish expectations and replicate the ways of other successful managers to ensure better results. Have sales managers experience great sales coaching from seasoned mentors and professional coaches.
- Allocating a time slot to analyse the results of both the sales manager and the team is beneficial. This helps the sales manager in identifying performance gaps and training accordingly.
- To streamline sales operations, save time in analysing sales performance and provide the sales managers with sales readiness software. This will ensure that the sales team undergoes sales assessments, practice sales pitches. It will also help sales managers in identifying their team’s performance gaps and personalize the coaching accordingly.
- Sales managers need to feel appreciated too. Therefore, rewarding them for their hard work will motivate them to perform better. Implementing these small changes can go a long way in improving results.
Organizations must ensure that there is a clear process and structure for how sales coaching happens, including sales tools and software that can support the process. Moreover, they must ensure that there are sales tools and software that support the process.
A good sales manager is the one who can effectively lead, coach, and support the sales team to ensure they are motivated and deliver their best sales performance
A great salesperson does not always translate to a great sales manager. The competencies and skills required for succeeding in either of these roles are entirely different. Therefore, organizations must take effective measures and strategies to ensure that sales managers have all the guidance and mentorship to execute and manage effective sales coaching. As we all know, managers who spend more time coaching have high-performing sales teams.
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