Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions

Great sales managers aren’t great because they close the most deals. Like a sports coach, a great sales manager pushes her team to achieve more every day.

That’s why a great sales manager is by default a great coach. The problem is that both hats require different skill sets. For example, a great coach is probably less concerned about quarterly sales goals than she is about an employee’s personal growth.

Yet a great sales coach can make the difference between whether your sales team is great or just average. And as we all know, a great sales team can make the difference between a successful, growing company and one that bites the dust.

Imagine you’re a sales manager who wants to grow her lead generation and sales efforts, but you’re struggling without a defined approach or game plan.

It’s clear you need advice, so you decide to enlist a consultant, a trainer and a coach.it’s important for you to discover precisely which type of support your salespeople really need 

Clearly, hiring a consultant and a trainer can be helpful, but too many managers underestimate the third step, which is coaching. That’s because after your training, a coach plays an instrumental role in ensuring you and your team understand your training and effectively apply it.

You’ll have to do the coaching on a daily or weekly basis. You’ll see, though, that these weekly coaching sessions will give you the chance to uncover and solve problems you might not have seen before.

So remember, if you’re going to undertake the challenge of both managing and coaching, it’s essential you learn how to switch between routine managerial work and the work of coaching.

The average manager juggles sales goals, tight deadlines and an unending list of problems. As a result, most of them work in constant fear of failing to meet targets.

The problem is that fear causes managers to worry about what might happen, instead of viewing issues through a rosier lens. So if you want to be an effective coach, you’ll first need to banish your fears.

focusing on the present is exactly what it takes to conquer your fears.

Being in the present moment doesn’t mean being shortsighted and ignoring what’s around the corner; it means that now gets priority. If you’re obsessed with meeting future goals, for example, you’ll struggle to remain in the present.

Reducing your focus on results means shifting your attention from the outcome to the process. After all, the result of an event is merely the product of an involved process.

Another strategy for focusing on process is

to let go of expectations. To do so, you’ll need to put your energy into creating possibilities, instead of fixating on what you think results should or will be.

possibility is something that can happen; an expectation is something you anticipate willhappen. For instance, you might expect your team to make a certain number of calls each day, but you could also give them the possibility to ask for assistance with difficult prospective clients.

Perhaps you think you know how to improve someone’s life, but the problem is that your idea of “better” might not exactly fit with the other person’s idea of “better.”

Therefore, it’s essential that you don’t push individuals to do more than they want to do.

Challenging salespeople to achieve more is a key aspect of coaching, as you want your team to be all it can be. However, coaching isn’t about just what’s attainable. In fact, it’s more about the wants and needs of each individual, and how you can help each person meet the challenges of their personal and professional goals.

It’s therefore key to customize your strategy to fit the individual goals and needs of the person you are coaching!

A great manager knows that when an employee asks for advice on a problem, the best approach is to let the salesperson solve it himself by asking the right questions. That’s because this strategy encourages employees to think for themselves and, by generating their own solutions, employees will feel empowered.

First of all it’s essential to avoid problem-focused questions, or questions that center on what’s wrong, as they only reinforce negative opinions. Instead, you should ask solution-oriented questions, as the answers will help you and your employee move forward.

Most of us tend to keep our distance from people we don’t know well or have a hard time trusting. For this reason, in a coaching relationship, it’s essential that you make your employee feel comfortable. It’s easy to earn an employee’s trust through enrolling, the art of deeply connecting with others by communicating in an authentic, honest and open way. It works like this.

Being a manager and a coach are two distinct roles, which means guiding your employees to success requires being able to easily switch from manager to coach, and back again

Once you’ve mastered this skill, you can overcome your fears and foster authentic conversations with your salespeople to set the foundation for a trusting and thus effective coaching relationship.

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