Throughout my 35 years consulting with sales leaders worldwide, combined with my first hand experience as a sales manager and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, whenever I took three particular actions – or my clients listened to me and did the same – the sales team produced significantly more.
It’s rewarding to see that Sales Benchmark Index reports this from their extensive research:
“The average Sales Manager spends less than half their time coaching. The best-in-class benchmark is 75%. Think of it. Great sales managers spend 12 ½ hours more per week coaching than their average peers – assuming a 50 hour work week. Our research shows an unmistakable link between more coaching and better performance.”
The secret 3 actions that worked for me and works for my clients:
- Field Ride a-longs
- One-on-One Coaching Sessions
- Ongoing Skill Development
Field Ride A-longs
A batting baseball coach doesn’t take a phone call from several zip codes or states away from a player and analyzes their swing. The coach goes out on the field and observes the player in practice and at competitive games.
When you conduct field ride a longs you are modeling the same best practice. You observe and look for the one or two actions to tweak to improve. Next, it’s decision time – from your observations, what are the one or two tweaks or major changes, if that’s what it needs, to improve their sales conversations to advance more sales and close more deals. It’s time to discuss and practice those skills. Then rinse and repeat the next time you do a ride along.
One-on-One Sales Coaching Sessions
These are targeted weekly or bi-weekly scheduled coaching sessions. Rotate time to review and strategize on particular accounts with discussions about their business, life, recreation, family and career goals. Consistently check in on where they are in relation to the above and find out what barriers they think may be in the way. Collaboratively work through removing the barriers. This ongoing open discussion sets the stage for success through empowerment, importance and clear expectations.
On-Going Skill Development
Mini sales training meetings energize and equip sellers to sell more. Keep the training short – 30 to 40 minutes providing one best practice to think about. By exploring what’s working and what isn’t and exposing the team to new sales approaches, your sellers will eliminate any short cuts they may be taking and mistakes they make that are probably costing them sales. It’s the bite sized focused skill building that builds lasting best practices.
It’s not as hard as you think to make sales quotas. It’s rearranging what you do to take the 3 actions that are the proven link between more coaching and better performance.
There are 3 actions sales managers can take to guarantee their sellers will meet sales quotas consistently. (1) Field Ride Alongs (2) One-on-One Coaching and (3) Sales meetings that build skills. Alice is unable to do your field ride alongs or one-on-one coaching (although she really could, yet that’s more important for the manager to do). What Alice can do for you to guarantee you’re meeting sales quotas is provide you with 33 high-impact, results-producing 30 minute sales meetings – complete with leader outlines and worksheets or 21 Instant Sales Accelerator Strategies for 5-15 minute sales huddles.