Stop Managing Your Salespeople — Coach them Instead
How do you develop top salespeople in your company? How do you get everyone from new hires, to your so-called veterans, to achieve their sales goals? Too often, neither one of those groups meets their company’s expectations because they’re missing the key element needed to succeed in sales — coaching.
Coaching is the opposite of managing. Managing is monitoring WHAT salespeople do, while coaching is monitoring HOW they do it. Coaching focuses on the processes needed to achieve the goal instead of the goal itself. It analyzes HOW salespeople are doing their job, not just WHAT they are doing in their job. By focusing on the HOW, coaches allow sellers to take charge of their own successes by helping them think through their own problems in order to devise solutions.
It also means, once a sales goal is set and the processes are in place, that sales goal does not need to be looked at again until the sales year is over. The only thing that matters is executing the processes to achieve the goals. So, the next time field sellers have a question, a problem, or can’t get a sale, they search for solutions on their own to keep the processes moving forward instead of running to their managers to find the answers. The result is that coaching creates leaders, whereas managing creates followers.
Coaching is the most neglected strategy available to companies when developing a top performing salesforce. Instead of hiring coaches, companies hire managers to watch over their field sellers and make sure they know WHAT they are doing every minute of the day. Managing salespeople is a total waste of time, energy, and money. Every company needs to stop managing their salespeople and start coaching them.
Are you one of those companies who has a stable of managers, each one with a different title, charged with keeping track of WHAT everyone in sales is doing? Do you get weekly reports from your field sellers telling you how many farm calls they’ve made or how many people they’ve talked to?
The problem is, when the end of the year comes and sales and profit targets aren’t met, those reports can’t tell you why. That’s because the only road to success is writing orders and that requires improving the execution of the processes to get those orders.
Improving execution of sales processes can only be done through coaching — not managing.