In this article, we focus on Sales Coaching for Sales Coaches. Often, in sales, the sales manager is not held to the same standards as those on the sales force. While sales people are monitored on their calls, emails, CRM activity, and follow-up methodologies, the same cannot always be said for sales management.
To fix the problem, organizations must take action by understanding the exact qualifications and skills they are looking for in sales management, using the Objective Management Sales Manager assessment tool, and having the systems and processes in place to execute a Sales Managed Environment.
When you Google "Sales Coaching", what you would most likely find is the following:
- Sales Rep Coaching
- Top 20 Sales Coaching Company
- 30 Minute Free Consultation / Increase Sales by 56% of More
- Sales Coaching Sales Coaching / Move the Needle with LevelJump
But this post is not about those things. If you want information on how to effectively coach sales people go here:
Why is Selling So Damned Hard.
Instead, this is about coaching the coaches. Why would we focus on that you might ask? Let me lean on my good friends at Objective Management Group and John Pattison for some BIG DATA information. This is what they know, and by extension, what we know about successful sales management and successful sales organizations.
- When you have an effective sales coach, sales grow annually at an average of 26%.
- Only 18% of the 100,000+ sales managers assessed, have over 60% of the required skills to be effective at coaching.
- A much smaller percentage spends at least 50% of their time coaching.
Let’s do the math – if you have 10 sales managers, about 2 of them will be effective at coaching. If you are looking for a sales manager and interview 10 of them, only 2 of them will be effective at coaching.
THAT is why I am focusing on Sales Coaching for Sales Coaches.
So, how and why do sales managers end up in the role, and why do companies continue to fail massively in an effort to effectively build and execute a sales managed environment? Here are the answers to those questions, and yes they are in order of likely answers:
- Career path – Most organizations promote sales people because that seems to be the logical career path for a successful sales person.
- Great sales skills – The ‘career path’ sales candidates have great skills! Those include persuasion, interviewing well, presenting well and negotiation.
- Candidates that have a ‘sales management’ resume impress Presidents, HR recruiters and hiring managers with great talk and expertise about performance management, sales metrics, the number of sales people they have hitting sales goals, using CRM and pipeline management technology.
- Companies don’t invest time money or effort to train and develop people to be effective sales managers. They assume that they come wired for success. This is kind of buying Salesforce out of the box – it won’t do the things you need it to do without hiring a Salesforce consultant to customize and build out the tool.
- There is failure to hold sales managers to the same rigor of performance management and coaching that is expected of sales people. Sales people are required to report sales activities and enter opportunities into the CRM. With our clients, sales people are taken through a discussion about achieving extraordinary results and building a success formula to achieve that goal. Sales managers do not typically report on the number of:
- Joint calls conducted
- Pre and post-call debriefing sessions
- 1-on-1 sales skills and behavior improvement coaching sessions
- 1-on-1 sessions to review the business plan and update the success formula
- Prospect / recruiting meetings they had or networking events they attended to find new sales people
- Sales management classes enrolled in or books they’ve read to improve skills
- Data analysis reports they’ve run to determine how well the bottom 2/3 of the sales team is doing as compared to the top 2/3
To ‘Fix” the problem, organizations and current sales executives must do the following:
- Understand the exact qualifications and skills you are looking for in the role and hire / develop the talent that can execute the skills necessary to get those outcomes
- Make sure that you use the Objective Management Sales Manager assessment tool to determine if the candidate has the Will to Succeed in the role, the right Sales Management DNA, and enough of the Sales Management Competencies so that you don’t have a extend yourself and your team to develop what you should have hired
- Have a system and process in place that clearly outlines the necessary tools, systems and processes to execute a Sales Managed Environment:
- Performance management and developing an no excuse sales environment
- Coaching for Success
- Motivation that Works
- Upgrading the Sales Force
- Recruiting talented sales people