Selling is a challenging endeavor. And if I am a sales manager, responsible for a group of salespeople, it gets even more challenging. I am pulled in a lot of directions. I have multiple priorities. I have to adapt to the personalities of my people. I have to keep the peace. All of that and more. My one main responsibility as a sales managers is to help my people perform. Coaching should be one of my strongest skills. However, research from the EcSELL Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska, shows that almost 90% of Sales Reps want their Sales Manager to have strong coaching skills, but only about 6% of the reps believe their managers possess those strong skills. Why? What;s causing this gap?
First, it’s easy for a sales manager to get bogged down with the administrative minutiae that comes with the job. Sometimes, they hide in it. Second, it’s a question of finding the time that both you and your people can meet 0ne-on-one. Third, and I think most important, some managers are afraid of coaching. They see it as a difficult task they would rather not have to do. They rationalize this by thinking “I hired strong salespoeple. They should be able to make it on their own.” This is faulty thinking. Each of us can benefit from coaching. Learning new approaches, gaining insights, establishing account strategies, etc.
Relax. Take a deep breath. You can do this. It’s just a conversation to help someone else. It’s simpler than you think. And don’t forget, your reps want you to be good at this. The more you coach your people, the less they will need it. You and they will develop your own personal short hand, alloowing you and your people to burn through a productive coaching session in no time.