Tony Cole, president of Anthony Cole Training Group, was a keynote instructor at the Sales Coaching Summit this week. His topic was "Coaching With Intentional, Methodical Precision". Below is an exercise that the Summit attendees did. Conduct this with your sales management team and watch them improve!
Part I – Taking Ownership
- Make sure that your sales managers take ownership of their current outcomes.
- Take ownership of your current situation versus make excuses for lack of performance.
- Your sales team is perfectly designed for the results they are getting.
- You have responsibility for those that are underperforming.
- “Those that are underperforming, did you make them that way or hire them that way?”
- Ask participants to complete this statement: My sales people could sell more if only… (This is where it will become evident if they have taken ownership. When they complete the statement, their responses should sound like: My sales people would sell more if only I…)
Part II – Transition to Intentional and Methodical Coaching
- Help your sales managers discover how to gain insight from the data they gather.
- Help them discover how intentional sales coaching is different from performance management.
- Arrive at 4 meaningful discussions with sales people based on the Where’s Waldo Matrix.
- Data gathering is only important for gaining insight.
- You must have a method to use data to coach intentionally.
- When does data from CRM and other sources become meaningful?
- If I were watching you, how would I distinguish between a performance management meeting and a coaching session?
- What is coaching supposed to do (change behavior, improve skill)? How would I know that is happening?
- Have your sales managers place their people in the 4 boxes on Where’s Waldo. Then have them role play in front of the group the discussion with a sales person from each box in the matrix.
Box I – Producer is putting forth 100% of the required effort for success and is hitting or exceeding agreed to outcomes.
Box II – Producer is hitting or exceeding agreed to outcomes but CURRENTLY is NOT putting forth 100% of the required effort / activity to continue success at hitting goals.
Box III – Producer APPEARS to be putting the right effort into succeeding (100% of the agreed to sales activity) and is failing to produce at 100% of the agreed to goals.
Box IV – Producer is failing to put fourth the required effort and is failing to hit goals.
Part III – Make Coaching an ‘A’ Priority
- Sales managers commit each week to scheduled time for long term, skill development coaching.
- Great coaching and management skills are meaningless unless the appropriate time is being allocated and used to execute on those skills.
- Stick to the schedule – THIS IS the MOST IMPORTANT JOB
- When you coach today, do you spend most of your time coaching the deal or improving sales skills?
- If you spent 50% of your time coaching your sales people to do the right behaviors in the right way, what impact would that have?
- Each participant should estimate their time usage between the critical functions of a sales manager. Then lead a discussion about how your sales managers will reallocate time to the ideal.