Why coach? It's really the same question as 'why lead?' But how best can one sift through all of the information available today for sales leaders in order to find that nugget of information that will enable you to create opportunities for sales growth? It's easy. There are 5 simple coaching activities that can help you drive sales by executing on a regular basis. The motivation for a sales rep to perform all begins with the quality of relationship that he or she has with their manager.
Here are some tips you can easily execute starting today:
Tip #1: Schedule Regular 1-to-1 Meetings with Your Sales Reps
Taking the time to connect on a personal level with each of your sales reps has been proven time and time again by research to effectively and efficiently motivate sales reps to sell more. It also lends itself to create an excellent work culture as sales reps who report that their manager schedules regular 1-to-1 meetings with them also report that their manager cares about them as a person, not only as a sales producer.
Start enhancing these meetings by checking out this article: One-to-One Meetings: Why Do Them and How to Do Them Effectively
Tip #2: Team Meetings
Team meetings can be both fun and productive. It allows the sales manager an opportunity to provide internal leadership opportunities for your team members by asking them each to take turns leading a portion of the meeting in order to share best practices with their peers. It also provides team members with a forum to share ideas, problem solve as well as give and get input on challenges they may be facing. The best way to end a successful team meeting is by also taking a few moments to recognize members of the team for their successes.
The quantity, quality and consistency of meetings will undoubtedly make a difference and increase company culture.
Tip #3: Joint Call Planning
There is nothing better than walking into a client meeting organized, prepared and with a shared goal in mind. By a sales rep providing call plans for your joint calls together, it establishes some very important information including the following:
- What is our shared goal to accomplish before the end of this meeting?
- Was the meeting scheduled with all parties with vested interest in what we do?
- What will my role as manager be for this joint call? Do you need me to observe, participate or perhaps lead the call?
- Was a meeting agenda provided to all attendees?
- Did sales rep share any pertinent company information, industry threats, management changes, competitor knowledge, major issues or concerns, etc. before the meeting?
As a manager, be sure to note areas during your joint calls together on what the sales rep did effectively, or perhaps needs to improve. These observations will come in handy when executing the next quick tip, sales call evaluations.
Check out this joint sales call best practice resource for more great tips.
Tip #4: Sales Call Evaluations
The key to an effective post call evaluation is honing in on two or three areas that you noted during your joint call work together to suggest as areas that the sales rep could improve. Providing an exhaustive evaluation after a trip together can leave the sales rep feeling overwhelmed, confused and entirely ineffective. The goal in the evaluation is to refine and refocus, not leave them feeling rejected. Be sure to ask questions. By asking questions it creates an opportunity for them to self-diagnose their effectiveness during the calls you had together. They are also more likely to own the areas of improvement that they need to then work on in order to create a higher level of performance.
Learn how to deliver effective feedback in this sales call evaluation best practice resource.
Tip #5: Career Development Discussions
This is an area that is especially important to an ever-increasing segment of the sales force, millenials. Millenials expect coaching. They certainly expect career development discussions as well. If an employer fails to provide efforts in both of these areas, a millenial will most likely move on to another job due to disengagement. Career development discussions should happen frequenty. They are an opportunity to discuss career tracks, growth opportunities, personal goals, professonal development, and so on. Always provide sales reps with the discussion questions ahead of the meeting, so that they have an opportunity to review and formulate their thoughts about what they want and need from their career.
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