Coaching Part One

posted: Friday, October 22, 2010

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No matter how good a salesperson is or how long they’ve been in the field, at one point or another, everyone is going to need help of some kind. A better word for help is coaching. As a sales manager, it is up to you to decide when coaching is necessary and how it should be completed. Each individual salesperson is different; hence the way you go about coaching them is going to be different. In short, some respond well to a "kick in the pants" and others respond better to a "pat on the back." However, some things are universal when it comes to coaching.

Coaching must always take place in a private setting and it must be set up in a way to help each salesperson specifically. It is important that you address the areas where each salesperson needs help, and come up with a plan specifically to assist them in achieving their goals. These sessions should be at a regularly set time, i.e. every Friday, and last between ten and fifteen minutes. These one-on-one sessions also allow the salesperson to give their feedback and ask questions in a private setting. It is often the lack of these types of forums that lead to bickering and rumors that eventually will undermine the staff, as well as management.

Coaching must take place consistently, and with every member of your team. Even the best players in the NFL receive coaching on a daily basis. Coaching consistently allows you to accurately track the progress towards goals, both the individual salesperson’s and the company’s goals as a whole. Every one of your salespeople has unique strengths and weaknesses. Only by coaching can you enhance the strengths and improve the weaknesses. The most effective way for a sales manager to be a great coach is to schedule a weekly one-on-one coaching session with each individual as close to the end of the tracking period as possible. It doesn’t do anyone any good to wait a week to provide feedback. The more immediate the feedback, the more effective it will be.

Coaching is not always about pointing out the areas that are in need for improvement. It is often more effective when used to point out what each individual is doing well. Consistently acknowledge the positive, the easier it is to coach the areas for improvement.

We will continue with coaching next time.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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