It takes a certain kind of individual to step into a sales manager role — and an even more unique one to be successful at it. Most sales managers know that they have to drive performance through their team if they are ever to have a shot at making their goal. A team goal simply can’t be achieved by one single sales manager. Yet, we often see sales managers making Herculean efforts and resorting to hero tactics to win deals for their team members. Many times, they are putting in the longest hours — more than their direct reports. They put themselves in front of the customer when the stakes are high. They consistently have the monkey on their back.
If you ask a sales manager if coaching is an important aspect of their role, most are sure to agree that it is. It is difficult to find someone who disagrees with the value of coaching. However, in the fast-paced, modern sales environment, where almost everyone has more priorities, more initiatives, more customer issues, and more administrative work, “… it is easy for people to justify not making time for developmental activities.” (Conger, 2013)
There are many reasons why sales coaching is important, here are three core reasons Sales Managers should make a concerted effort to coach their teams.
Regardless of whether you manage new sellers or seasoned veterans, the world is constantly changing. Customers are constantly changing. The competitive environment is constantly changing. Everyone needs ways to overcome challenges and reach success faster.
Achieve Behavior Change
Trying new skills and strategies can feel uncomfortable and risky. It’s easy to slip back into old habits quickly. To achieve permanent behavior change, team members need ongoing, consistent support and feedback.
All businesses face pressure to increase goals and to achieve more with less. By accelerating learning and affecting permanent behavior change, you position your team members to achieve and exceed goals.
Looking at these three reasons, where do you think most managers tend to focus their efforts? Most managers tend to focus on the third point — results. They focus on the numbers. Here’s where there needs to be a shift in mindset. Coaching is not about numbers. Coaching is about learning and behavior change. If you accelerate learning and affect permanent behavior change, the numbers will come. Numbers are indicators; they tell you where there is success or pain. By accelerating learning around success and pain points, and affecting behavior change, you position your team members to achieve and exceed goals.