Why Coaching Salespeople Creates Champions

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Though early on in my career I did not get any sales specific training I was fortunate to intern under several successful sales champions. My mentors had learned their skills through the school of hard knocks and over a long period of time. Mentoring me, though, was far from their minds and all they really cared was if I made enough sales and if my success at sales put money into their coffers.  Amazingly though, and such is life, I picked up a million little lessons from them which over time gave me an uncanny and an unfair advantage over many sales people and endeared me to my clientele and the market I played in. The learning was in-depth and the growth was exhilarating and long lasting. Years into the profession, when side by side with my mentors I had developed an uncanny and subtle set of playing rules which almost always helped me close deals and serve my clients consistently and to the benefit of both sides.

Over time, I realized that the art of selling was not just an art but an extremely refined science. The rules of this science, in the past, were learned through by getting into the pit again and again. Today, the culture of learning through long and strenuous interactions over a  l o n g period of time does not need to be continued. It still has its benefits but keeping in mind the principle of “Anything can be accomplished if the task is broken down into small enough steps,” from the school of Nuero Linguistics Programming, a sales leader can transfer these uncanny and subtle set of playing rules to almost anyone willing to learn and wanting to make a success out of his sales career.

Stretching Limits through Sales Coaching

Stretching Limits through Sales Coaching

 

Across the world trainers and sales consultants like me have now packaged these playing rules into principles and practices which can be mastered in a matter of months if not weeks.  Gone are the days when a successful sales person or a team leader would get on stage and boost the spirits of his teams through stories and admonitions towards sales success. Today, the name of the game is Sales Coaching—and, it is potent and powerful in real time and in measurable terms.

Sales Coaching brings about a multitude of benefits at the individual, the team and the organisational level.

At the individual level, sales coaching starts with the assumption that if you can dream it then you can achieve it. This becomes an extremely powerful a paradigm for the sales person because it starts with the belief in her potentiality, its helps unleash her latent strengths and it helps her leverage on her own past successes no matter what field or discipline she comes from. Sales coaching, at the individual level, instead of imposing the manager’s or the organizations belief systems on the salesperson helps her uncover her own driving values. It help her fine tune her skills in complete alignment with her own beliefs and potential.

At the team level, Sales Coaching, helps distribute work load and challenges based on personal preferences and competencies of each player. It helps teams eliminate links which may be weak and move from strength to strength to strength. Steven Covey highlights this synergy of strengths by creating a metaphor of loading a single wooden plank with a measured downward pressure, followed by laying another layer of a wooden plank on the first one. The downward pressure and weight thus carried by two wooden planks not just doubles in tandem to the number of planks but increases multi-fold. Such is the power of Sales Coaching for a team. It strengthens each player individually and then bonds them together with their strengths thus reducing team weaknesses. At the practical level, a manager-cum-coach can assess individual strengths and assign tasks and territories to build on strengths instead of just logistical and market demands.

At the organizational level, Sales Coaching helps in the following ways:

  • Essential knowledge and organization culture is retained and enhanced in the process.
  • Employee engagement and thus retention peaks up because of increased performance and satisfaction.
  • Alignment of personal, team and organizational goals are constantly aligned thereby boosting rapid and sustainable growth.

In summary, the business of old-fashioned sales training has taken on a new and a vibrant face. Instead of sweeping statements about successes and successful behaviour during sales it now is a fine-tuned, highly refined and custom made one on one learning. It is not just faster, better and cheaper but it is also creative, conscientious and constructive. A well-designed sales coaching program addresses the needs of individuals, teams and organization in the areas of culture, processes, characters, visions, and competencies.  A well designed sales coaching program also provides knowledge, skills and true wisdom for playing well in the pits, where the true action is.