Consider the following question: Why should you have consistent one on one meeting’s with your sales reps? Now let me provide you the answer, because nothing motivates sales people to sell more than effective coaching. I have been pounding this point home on my last few blogs because it is very important to recognize the importance of what sales reps need from their manager to drive more sales performance.
And part of being an effective coach is holding consistent and meaningful one on one conversations with your sales people. Now, obviously there are other key activities that manager’s must execute against to be an effective sales coach and you can see them here in this past blog, but for today let’s laser in on one on one’s.
I am well aware that pointing out the fact that one on one’s are important is far from earth shattering, but a lot of times we find is that is part of the problem. It is so obvious that they should be done that many times they are only talked about in theory and often times not done with consistency or effectiveness. My colleague, Sarah Wirth, put together a great blog a while back focusing on how to conduct an effective one on one and I have made that blog available at the bottom of this post. Today, I would like to focus on the flip side and discuss three mistakes I see sales mangers make all too often.
- One on one conversations are not well documented by the sales manager. This causes problems for a couple of reasons. First, unless you are superhuman it is really difficult to accurately recall the conversations you had this morning let alone trying to recall the conversation you had with your sales rep from two weeks ago. However, this is often not the case for your rep. They value their time with you and often times will recall your comments/promises with childlike accuracy, so in the times when you don’t follow though this creates a trust gap.
- Sales organizations do not set consistent parameters on how often they expect sales managers to hold one on one’s with their reps. Even when they do, often times they do not track the consistency to which they are getting done, measure the effectiveness to which they are being conducted, and tie those metrics back to performance. Also, they tend to neglect the importance of one on one’s with high performers and tenured reps – they matter!
- Sales Mangers focus too much attention in areas that do not motivate sales reps to sell more. Way too much time is spent on reviewing metrics, analyzing pipeline, and talking vaguely about what is expected to close. Maybe I am wrong here, but isn’t that a significant reason why you purchased your CRM in the first place? Sales Managers should not simply be compliance officers. Obviously there is a time and place for these conversations but do not expect them to get your sales reps to higher levels of performance.
The bottom line is that when sales managers start putting as much effort into building relationships with their sales reps as they expect their sales reps to do with their prospective clients, great things start to happen. A good place to start cutting out all of the noise is by committing to holding these meetings consistently with every individual on your team. I know this is simple, but I promise it will lead to more performance.