Coaching Strategies for Sales Managers

Sales managers or sales leaders do joint calls with sales people pretty often (or at least, they should be). What we find however is that sales managers or leaders rarely coach the sales person, but rather they mentor them, or they enter the this-is-what-you-did-wrong mode and let-me-tell-you mode. Here’s what it looks like:

Sales Manager: So what did you think of the call?
Sales Person: It was O.K., there are a few things I could have done differently.
Sales Manager: Agreed. One of the things I spotted, for example,remember when the prospect said “X”, you probably should have replied with “Y”.

Sound familiar anyone?

Sales Managers or leaders must learn the fine art of questioning.

Here are some ways to be more effective at sales coaching and debriefing after the sales call.

Sales Manager: So what did you think of the call?
Sales Person: It was O.K., there are a few things I could have done differently.
Sales Manager: That’s great that you are aware. What exactly do you feel you could have done differently?
Sales Person: Well, that one time when the prospect said “X”, I could have probably probed for a bit more information.
Sales Manager: (do NOT go into – oh yeah, and you should/might/could also have said “Y”)
Sales Manager: That’s a good observation. So, how could you have probed the buyer for more information?

See how it works? This way the sales person will think for themselves and they own the responsibility for the results of the call. Sales people (just like prospects) like to be asked, not told. As sales mangers, we must be tactful in our approach. Long gone are the days of bossing people around (if they ever did exist). We need to lead people – inspire them – coach them – for maximum performance and bring the best out of them.

Sales Managers – stop talking … and start coaching!

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional services firm and Salesforce.com training firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales leaders achieve truly lasting behavior change amongst their sales teams.

Discover why traditional sales training doesn’t work.

by   Mark Christie