Coaching_Top_Sales_PerformersTime allocation is the most difficult decision a Sales Manager faces every day.  Trying to decide how to balance between the team and corporate.  The Sales Manager has become one of the most difficult jobs in corporate America.

 

Furthermore, how should a Sales Manager split their time inside the team?  Ask most Sales Manager’s and they will give you one of two answers.  Focus on the middle 60% or focus on the bottom 20% to improve performance.  This leaves your top performers on their own.  Is this correct?  No.  This will push your top people out the door.

 

Many Sales Managers are too tactical with their time.  Focused on reactive activities vs. proactive guidance.  This leads to an inability to consistently hit quarterly revenue goals.  SBI’s Annual Research describes this as “Sales Tactics masquerading as Sales Strategy.”  In this post, we will discuss why you should spend time coaching top performers.  Let us first discuss the pitfalls then we will move on to the benefits.

 

Pitfalls

Most Sales Managers think of coaching as strictly fixing something.  The perception then becomes why would Sales Managers need to coach top sales performers. Why would top sales performers want to be coached? In fact, sales coaching can be about leveraging strengths as well as improving deficiencies. In the case of top performer’s, sales coaching is often more about the former.  Download SBI’s Annual Research Report here.  Review the Execution Section of the report for some good ideas.  Below are more pitfalls to avoid. 

 

  • They Do Not Want to be Coached- Every top performer can attribute their success to a specific coach. Everyone needs help and everyone needs someone to raise the bar.  Not improving means, you are sure to let the competition catch up.
  • My Top Performers Are Doing Well- Most top performer’s leave because of a lack of personal development. When the opportunity arises for a promotion, they fall short. Disillusioned by the fact that performance alone was not the criteria.
  • I Have Nothing to Offer a Top Performer- Coaching is not a role for anyone. It takes specialist skills.  You have to invest in your development so you have something to offer.  Your top performer could also be tired of the same old content or training.

 

Benefits

Sales Managers tend to focus on improving their weakest performers. It is just as important for Managers to bolster their top performers.  These are the leaders of tomorrow that need to be groomed.  This takes time, however there are big upsides. 

 

  • Raise The Team’s Expectations- Every top performer reaches a plateau in their career. This is where coaching comes into play.  The coach is the one to provide the extra push.  This can come in the form of prospecting techniques or helping penetrate new markets.
  • Improve Morale and Job Satisfaction- What message do you send top performers when you spend time with others?  Is the C player’s time more valuable?  Top performers feel that C players have not earned the right for your time.  They have goals, ambitions, drive to succeed.  They need a leader that will help them breakthrough to the next level.
  • Reduce Turnover- Getting in the trenches and working with your team gives you an advantage. You can quickly understand challenges your people face and work towards removing those obstacles. 

     

Changing your focus and spending time coaching top performers can impact resultsIn addition, there is a fierce competition to acquire top talent.  This is the reason to ensure you are focused on coaching top performers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Urteaga

Helps motivate clients to design and implement new sales and marketing strategies so that they stay on track to make their number.
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Clients describe Andrew as an industry thought leader. He has deep experience as an executive, having served in multiple positions as a sales leader, with a track record of outstanding performance in F500 companies.

 

Prior to joining SBI, Andrew held the position of VP of Sales at Avis Budget Group where he was responsible for sales and marketing leadership. He also held a variety of positions with Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-national company, including key quota carrying positions in the sales force from sales rep through to executive leadership.

 

Andrew’s work has included everything from lead generation, campaign planning and sales process to designing complete sales management coaching programs and new compensation plans.

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