Sales Coaching Do’s And Dont’s For A New Manager

Sales Coaching Dos and Don'tsA new sales manager has to be able to adapt to the position quickly, as the amount of time that they take to get used to the position can effect their overall performance.

A sales management team needs to have effective leadership throughout, and new managers have to be able to provide their employees with the same level of effective training that other leaders in the company give to their representatives.

According to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., managers need to step into the role with the mindset that they are a coach and not a parental figure. These individuals have to ask questions instead of give orders to be effective.

“Your objective is to create independence among salespeople and not to develop a sense of dependence in the sales representatives,” said the executive. “They have to be able to function independently of the management team in order for the company to be effective.”

Managers want to come in and establish a coach-player relationship and not a parent-child relationship. The representatives have to do their own thinking, and managers can help them achieve this by not thinking for these individuals.

This can help to foster an environment where executives don’t have to teach their salespeople what to say in every scenario. Some independent thought is necessary if representatives are going to be effective with clients, as adaptation is a key component of locking down new business.

“You establish this with a good structure in training,” said Kivett. “Here is the process, this is the construct and framework from which they approach the marketplace, and this is how they will be able to work through problems on their own.”

They need to have a solid foundation off which to work, and this is accomplished through effective training. There has to be a common language and platform by which they are going to approach the marketplace, make the sales and maximize their opportunities to secure new business and reach their quota.

“A company has to have a sales management training system set up to effectively achieve the level of understanding that managers have with their role,” said Kivett. “The objective here is the transfer of knowledge and getting leaders to help representatives think through problems.”

Managers will not be able to be on every sales call or present for every sales meeting, and this makes teaching the reps the right methods all the more important to a company. Representatives have to be grounded in principles, able to reference role-plays that have occurred and willing to grow and develop in a specific role, according to the executive.

“You don’t have a head manager on a football team, you have a head coach,” said Kivett. “The players have to do the thinking while the coach is on the sidelines. How they react to situations is indicative of how effective their leader is and how effective their training was.”

Representatives need to think through this on the spot and have a depth of experiences to reference so that they are in a highly-thought provoking state, instead of a reactionary system. The more control that representatives have, the easier making the sale is.

A manager is not supposed to be an overlord or a desk-banger, it is someone who says lets work together and develop prospecting skills. They need to assess where reps have strengths and then coach from there.

Everyone doesn’t have the same development, and a coach needs to know their players. This is accomplished through asking questions and assessing their representatives constantly.