“I don’t see the skill sets of the team getting better.” These are the words spoken by thousands of sales leaders across the world. They are reacting to declining or flat revenue results. Growing expectations from a CEO whose patience is running out. As a sales leader, you are being asked to solve this on your own. You already know the answer to the question. “I need more time to coach my people in the field.” The challenge is convincing your boss to buy into that idea.
This post is about the value of improving coaching time in the field. Help your boss understand the value by downloading the Sales Management Tempo Guide. First, let us explore the Sales Manager’s Dilemma. Then we will discuss the benefits of coaching time.
A Sales Manager’s Dilemma
Going into 2015 Sales Leaders are more focused than ever on sales strategy. You can find this information in SBI’s Annual Research Report, “How To Make Your Number in 2015.” The report talks about the impact of having the wrong strategy. It affects the leader’s income, job security, and wealth creation. Why should you care as a frontline sales leader? Because anything that disrupts those 3 things is a problem worth solving. This is where your time comes in. In order to execute on the strategy you need more time with your people. Below are two of the biggest disrupters holding you back:
- Admin- Death to a sales person. Reports, expenses, forecasting reports, target list updates, etc. The list goes on. These are the dreaded excel spreadsheets littered with formulas and information. When finally submitted they disappear into the Ivory Tower Abyss. Never to be seen again. Studies by The Sales Management Association show 33% of time goes to admin.
- Internal Meetings- Another 50% of time goes to debriefs, corporate conference calls, training sessions, etc. Why is this a problem? Because many times they are unnecessary. There are too many meetings, they take too long and nothing gets accomplished. Before attending or setting a meeting, ask this question. Can I accomplish my goal through an email, memo, or quick call?
Benefits of Improved Coaching Time
Coaching time is critical when trying to improve performance or executing the sales strategy. It is proven that teams receiving more coaching dramatically outperform those that do not. Below are a few other reasons of how coaching can help:
- Refining Key Competencies- Sales reps are like athletes. They cannot succeed without the proper coach. Someone who can identify core strengths and working to develop them. The proper coach brings an outside perspective to help understand talent and develop it.
- Removing Obstacles for Success- Eventually, everyone hits a plateau in reaching their goals. This is where a great coach can make a difference. A great coach can identify obstacles that a sales person might have overlooked. Then collaborating to remove those obstacles allows a rep to quickly regain star performance.
- Maintaining Accountability- A coach acts as an objective third party, holding reps accountable for their goals. A coach can identify specific strengths and areas for development. Then the coach helps set specific goals and identifies milestones to reach those goals. This is similar to a personal trainer in the gym. You can get in shape a lot faster using a trainer.
When it comes to sales coaching, there is no silver bullet. However, simply reallocating your time can have a big impact on results. You will gain better insights to your people, business, and competition. The result is alignment with the organization’s sales strategy. Give it a try. Download the Sales Management Tempo Guide.