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Selling Sales Managers on Coaching
One cannot have a superior sales team without great front-line sales managers who know how to coach.
Sales leaders know developing their sales teams is worthwhile because it can make a difference, so it needs to be a priority. They also know the pivotal job for getting it done belongs to the front-line sales manager. One cannot have a superior sales team without great front-line sales managers who know how to coach.Investing in sales team development is more crucial today than ever because a sales force must not only be able to sell a competitive advantage, it must be a competitive advantage. With rising global competition, advanced manufacturing technologies and just-in-time logistics, it’s hard to sustain a competitive advantage by product alone. Although a superior sales force is extremely difficult to develop, it is one of the few sustainable advantages remaining.Further, sales excellence is difficult to achieve. Not only is superior sales performance more important than ever; it’s harder to attain. The complexity of the buying process and the sophistication of product portfolios require a sales force to know more and possess a higher level of competency. Companies simply cannot succeed with only a great selection process and terrific training. Front-line sales managers must be involved in talent development.Despite the need, front-line sales managers’ coaching efforts often fall through the cracks. Ask sales managers what stops them from coaching, and comments often include: “I’m always putting out fires.” “I spend my time helping reps put deals together.” “I’m inundated with emails, voice mails and reports.” “My territory covers too much geography.” The top reason consistently reported is lack of time. How can the time challenge be addressed? First, successful front-line sales managers can coach smarter. For example, they could look for opportunities to coach one-on-many vs. one-on-one. This works particularly well to develop account strategy skills. Several sales representatives likely will have the same strategic dilemma, and the manager can leverage the insights for the entire team during the learning process.Second, managers are more likely to make time to develop their people if they dismiss the mindset: “I’m the expert. I’ll diagnose what’s wrong. You practice what I recommend.” Instead, learning leaders should encourage them to embrace their role as a facilitator, and emphasize how they can provide direction and hold sales reps more accountable. Over time, this mindset is not only more efficient; it’s more effective.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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