Coach your sales team from good to great
Great sales coaches believe that their people have what it takes to achieve their goals. They demonstrate this faith by how they communicate when an individual or a team falls behind the pace necessary for goal achievement or misses hitting an objective. They teach sales teams the steps and skills within the sales process that lead to results by focusing on coaching 1-2 skills at a time until they become habits. They talk about specific points of progress. With various words and actions, great coaches help their team get better and reach personal objectives. They may even say, “I believe you can get this done, accomplish this task, or master this skill.’ They go with them on calls, listen to their concerns, watch their behaviors and habits, and remove sales process hindrances within their control. Great coaches sacrifice personal time for the improvement, encouragement, and correction of a person’s performance. Then, they do this for as long as they have confidence in a rep’s ability to achieve minimum performance or higher.
Great sales coaches expect their people to improve and get better. And, those expectancies are specific and communicated. Specific plans, processes and skills, lead to specific habits and objectives. Sales leaders help their reps develop personalized sales plans and development objectives. They help reps find better ways to prospect or to set appointments, how to ask questions and identify a prospect’s needs, or to weave needs and recommended products into a solution that helps a new customer or turns into a profitable sale.
Coaching a team to greatness begins with a belief that greatness is possible. As Paul Bear Bryant or as a sales manager, the values and beliefs remain the same. Never accept mediocre effort. Care about the reps. Let them know you believe they have what it takes. Expect them to get better.
People live into and up to the expectations of the culture around them and leaders define the culture. Make it a challenging, fun, and purposeful experience for those you coach and they will rise to your expectations.
Lance Cooper is a keynote speaker and author of "Selling BEYOND Survival: The Essential System for High-Activity Sales Professionals." Cooper is president of SalesManage Solutions, a company that teaches sales leaders how to recruit sales superstars and coach teams to greatness. For more information, visit http://www.lancecooper.com/ or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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