Most Sales Managers Don’t Coach!

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

I found a great videoon sales management from Wayne Moloney in which he says “people mix up training with coaching”. He also says, “a sales manager is a high-performance coach”. I agree on both counts!

Most sales managers don’t coach. A lot of sales managers are very successful salespeople, so they’re tempted to show their people how and do it but people learn effectively by doing it themselves which includes making mistakes. Team members learn from the in-field experience and the sales manager can then appraise the results with a view to help improve performance.

Why don’t sales managers coach?

  1. No time. This is a common claim, however it’s not lack of time but rather the lack of good use of time. More importantly, do you have time to lose revenue?? 
  2. Too many meetings. Take a look at the meetings you attend and assess which ones are productive and which ones you probably do not need to attend. 
  3. Coaching confusion. Coaching is not managing. Coaching is not training. Coaching is an opportunity to discuss what went well and what could go better next time.  
  4. They don’t know how and didn’t learn what the meaning of a sales coach is. If you are a sales manager with no coaching program in place, take it upon yourself to start creating one. 
  5. Selling is the priority. A sales manager’s main focus should notbe selling, it should be coaching individuals to improve their selling skills. The team are there to sell!No-one said it was easy!

The payoff is huge

The sales management role is multi-faceted and as someone once described it “the hardest job in sales”. However coaching, developing, inspiring and growing the skills of your team need to take centre stage.

Coaching has two big benefits:

As sales manager it grows your own skills. The more you learn about coaching, the more you apply those learnings and the feedback you receive is enormous.Coaching also gives you the insight to identify issues impacting the performance of your team members. 
And, of course, coaching will improve the results of your team and their productivity. While this won’t happen overnight, coaching builds momentum and over time your team performance will improve. A benefit that will reflect in your own performance objectives.

If you’d like to create a coaching culture or learn more read the CSO 2017 Insights Report

Until next week, good coaching!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]