Sales Coaching Blog

Why sales leadership lose their way?

Posted by Kathy Collins

September 22, 2014



Talented coaches who are highly successful in their positions and are at the very peak of their careers often lose their bearings. Why is this? How can sales leaders who are grounded become overwhelmed and lost in the process? Whether the economic times are good or bad, many leaders get stuck in similar traps. Why is this?


The fact of the matter is that sales leadership who have a passion to be excellent coaches for their team not only to drive performance; but to instill leadership and help progress an individual and team to achieve their goals have the biggest impact on whether sales reps stay or leave, are productive and are satisfied in their positions. The performance of the sales team is a reflection on how they are coached.

So what happens when the coach loses their way?  How can they better sustain their inspiration and passion for coaching when they often feel overwhelmed and spread way too thin?

They don’t take time to reflect: There is too much for them to do on a daily basis. They are constantly pushing, striving and leading the sales team to deliver more and more results.  This non-stop action though tends to strengthen the underlying problem, that they forget to align what is important to them and what’s likewise important to their organization.  They forget why they fell in love with sales coaching in the first place. The end result is that sales coaches often feel unfulfilled and overwhelmed.  It’s time to take a step back.  Leaders often become so fixated on the success of their team that they forget to focus on themselves. It’s at the manager level that is absolutely necessary to sustain that high-level of effectiveness that is one of the biggest driving factors to the organization’s success.

They forget the vision: In order to have a vision, the manager needs to be clear about what they want. They envision it, they work toward it, and they review and reflect on their vision often. They know the steps to put in place to reach their individual or team goal. They understand the process, the method on how to get there. They are inspired. It’s important to not only understand the vision of the organization, but to make sure you have a vision for yourself as a coaching leader in the organization as well. This will help to guide you along your career path and inspire you to reach your own goals as a professional.

They lose their focus:  You may have a vision of the organizations goals, and your own personal goals as a leader, but it’s easy to lose focus if you do not put some level of energy prioritizing your choices so that they fit in the greater context of your career/position within your company. Having too many priorities is equal to not having any priorities at all.

They become inefficient:  While many sales leadership is constantly looking out for their team, their goals and coaching moments, they are simultaneously not taking action on the things that matter the most to them within the workplace. By just investing a few minutes each day, or at a designated time each week, to plan, to problem solve, refresh and renew your vision for yourself as a coach you are preserving the vision you have for the future.  It’s not about asking, “How will I be able to do everything today that needs to be done?”  It starts by asking questions such as, “What are the most important actions I can take to move my vision forward and how do I ensure that I take those actions now?”

They do things the hard way: The key to keeping things simple is to identify, maximize and leverage your unique coaching sales leadership strengths so that you can be an effective, high-achieving leader. When you focus your strengths in the right areas, you do things the way you naturally are built to excel.

They become disconnected from their work: Sales leaders today often put their energies into striving. To achieve, in order to get ahead. This does not always equate fulfillment.  Aligning with your work means understanding what you’re striving for.

Get back your coaching edge!  Ultimately, it’s not about spending more time with your sales team--it’s about spending the right kind of time with your team. Management can be a trap if you limit yourself to the way things have always been done. Doing things the way past processes have defined that things have always been done means that you may be missing an opportunity.


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Topics: front line sales managers

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