One phrase that I often hear from sales leaders is: ‘I don’t have time to coach’. The first thing I always wonder is: Does this sales leader understand the value of sales coaching? And I don’t mean the value of coaching on the sales rep. I’m talking about the value of coaching for the sales leader.
Having a coaching style of leadership is incredibly impactful on the sales leader. There are three direct positive impacts we discuss in this blog:
- It saves the sales leader time (by implementing a connector style of leadership)
- It helps the sales leader to make better decisions (by staying connected to the customer)
- It furthers the sales leaders career progression (creating more opportunities for the coach by creating independent thinkers)
Coaches simply just do not have the time to do everything themselves. So, if they can empower their team to work to their full potential through sales performance coaching and leadership training, everyone wins.
Sales leaders that coach, have more time to invest in other areas
When we coach our people, we understand them. We find out about their beliefs, values, and strengths in their personalities and skills. You can use that wisdom to help team members connect with each other in the most productive ways. You can discover who in your team is most suited to aspects of a job, and then delegate accordingly so the team can help each other.
When you can connect others to work and support in areas, they are skilled, it benefits the sales leader by freeing up their time - and therefore, they can be impactful in other ways. To find out more about the connector style of leadership, you can read a report by Gartner: Managers Can’t Be Great Coaches All By Themselves
How to be a great Connector Manager:
- Do coach by having a deep understanding of what your rep needs, and then identifying and using other colleagues with the relevant expertise in those areas
- Do not tell your rep what to do
- Do ask the right questions, provide tailored feedback, and help employees make a connection to a colleague who can help them
- Do not focus on the frequency of your coaching conversations with reps
- Do focus on the depth and quality of your sales coaching conversations, so you really understand your employees’ aspirations and the skills needed to develop
- Do continue to monitor their progress
Sales coaching keeps you connected to the customer, helping the coach to make better decisions
No one knows your ideal clients better than the people who spend all day talking to them. They understand their questions, concerns, and thought processes.
When you make use of sales call tracking or audio transcriptions, you can review your sales rep’s sales meetings to help them develop. But as you are listening and coaching your sales executives, you are also listening to the customer, their needs, and values. The customer changes, and if you're going to positively influence the product, how you market and how you evolve your sales process, you need to keep connected to your customer. Coaching is a great opportunity to do that.
Sales coaching gives the coach more freedom, and enables career progression
The best thing about coaching is the confidence and ownership it develops in our sales team. If you’re not coaching your sales reps through their challenges, then you’re problem solving for them. If you’re solving issues and handing out direction, you’re creating an environment where your team become overly reliant on you and find it hard to remove yourself from the daily sales operation.
Instead, when we lead through coaching, that confidence and ownership that builds in your team creates independent thinkers, a team that can now operate when you’re not in the room. That power in your team is incredibly valuable for you, it gives you freedom to explore different opportunities, opportunities that exist in other areas of your business, or maybe additional roles you can take on for other businesses which can really help your career flourish.
If we’ve got you thinking about your sales coaching efforts, and you want to know more about how you encourage your team to become independent thinkers, then watch our video.