One day it just clicked for me.
How food plays an influential role in the body. My 6’ 2” brother, a previous offensive lineman for the Nebraska Huskers, once expressed how important it was for him to eat food that would propel him through practices as well as gain muscle and endurance. He explained food in the term of fuel which I think is brilliant. He needed the proper amounts of protein, carbs and fats to ensure he was in optimal shape to perform at the levels expected of him, or else . . .
Now let’s think of it in terms of sales teams and the performance of sales leaders. Sales leaders are the fuel to their team just as quality food is the fuel to an athlete. An athlete cannot perform at his or her top performance level if the diet is heavy in unhealthy fats, low nutritional carbs and processed meats just as a sales team cannot perform with a disinterested, unhelpful or demotivating coach. There needs to be quality in sales departments from the top down.
At EcSell we use the word coach for a sales manager or sales leader because that is the role he or she plays. A coach of an athletics team or a coach of a sales team encompass the same key elements: manage processes and outputs, lead and inspire their team, push their team into a complex, growth-oriented mode and nonetheless, win.
So what might be the first step in being a quality sales coach? Have a strong relationship with the sales producers. This isn’t a suggestion or an opinion. EcSell research shows that strong, quality relationships are a necessary foundation for effectively coaching and investing in sales reps. Without them, sales coaches do not have the level of trust they need to give reps honest feedback, challenge them to improve their skills or guide them in their careers (more on this concept here).
"I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people." - John Wooden
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnwooden621112.html
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_wooden.html
Having a strong relationship with your reps will take time and effort but it’s part of the process of being an effective and high performing coach. Put yourself in a sales person’s shoes. If his or her manager never took the time to properly execute a 1:1 meeting, participate in a joint call without taking over, conducting an effective and meaningful skills development session or giving constructive, helpful feedback, the sales rep would have close to zero motivation to sell more (learn what does motivate sales reps in this white paper).
There’s so much opportunity just sitting there and money is being left on the table! All because the sales coach wasn’t executing the activities in a quality manner. In that case, sales coaches need to invest in their sales reps knowing that if they do results will change for the better. Quality sales manager activities will equal a win and what coach doesn’t want that?!
As for my brother, he himself is now a sales manager leading his team to higher levels of performance by doing what he’s been familiar with his whole life, coaching.