Strategy vs. Skill – A Las Vegas Showdown

Thursday, February 4th, 2016 - Post by admin

As veteran consultants, we have worked with practically every type of sales force, so we are rarely surprised by the clients we encounter. However, we have to admit we suspected someone was joking when we heard that a Las Vegas casino wanted us to help them with a sales force that services high-stakes gamblers. Were we being set up by a devious reality TV show producer? After finally admitting that this was not a joke (and after a fair amount of negotiation over who would get to be on the team), we packed our lucky bags and set off to one of the most surreal locations in America.

Shining Stars in the Desert

The problem facing our client was a familiar one: They wanted to improve their sales force’s performance. In this case, however, the sales force sold a unique product – entertainment. The salespeople were effectively dedicated customer service representatives to gamblers who frequented Las Vegas, and the ‘sale’ was to entice the individuals to visit their hotel and casino rather than the competition’s. Once on the property, the salespeople ensured the guests enjoyed themselves as they spent and lost tens of thousands of dollars. As sales objectives go, … Read the rest

Connecting the Dots: Sales Coaching Leads to Quota

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 - Post by MichelleVazzana

If you want sales coaching to take root in your organization, it has to align with the real-world priorities of sales managers. So what is the top priority for a sales manager? Hitting the sales numbers is king, of course! When coaching is connected to goals and objectives, sales managers will naturally make it a top priority.

So, as a sales manager, how do you ensure that your training on coaching aligns with what matters most to you? Let’s look at three key skills you need to successfully connect the dots between sales coaching and meeting business objectives.

1) Identify key seller activities that drive results.
Before a sales manager can become an effective coach, he or she needs to become an expert at answering the question, “What should my sellers be doing to meet quota?” Targeted sales activities lead to the accomplishment of stated objectives, which ultimately leads to the attainment of desired business results, yet none of these components are addressed in generic sales coaching models. So the first order of business is for sales managers to learn how to set the right direction for seller effort, which means defining which activities have the most impact on achieving … Read the rest

Are Your Sales Managers Coaching for Correction or Coaching for Growth?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

a question mark on a cardDo your sales managers find the topic of sales coaching to be ill defined and confusing? If they have had more than one training course on coaching, the frustration and confusion may be even greater. The lack of a clear understanding often stems from the vast array of models and coaching definitions that exist in the marketplace. Adding to the chaos, sales managers may be exposed to different approaches to sales coaching, not knowing which approach will lead to the desired coaching results. For instance, some sales managers are taught to “coach for correction” when they really need to “coach for growth.”

1) Addressing Short-Term Gaps vs. Developing Long-Term Skills
Sales managers who use sales coaching to help close performance gaps of sellers are often engaging in corrective coaching. Perhaps the seller is behind on quota or has an insufficient pipeline of opportunities to achieve quota based on current close rates. In these instances, corrective coaching would likely target activities the seller needs to engage in to increase the size of the pipeline. These corrective coaching efforts are designed to close a gap or address an identified performance problem.

We can contrast corrective coaching with growth coaching, which sales managers … Read the rest

3 Antidotes for 3 Common Sales Coaching Failures

Monday, November 2nd, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

Sales Coaching FailureSales coaching is not a one-size-fits-all affair. When sales managers gain clarity regarding the specific types of activities that matter most for the sellers they manage, they can align their coaching to address these critical areas, but that is not the end of the story. Sales managers may also run into several other roadblocks on the road to successful sales coaching. Keep reading to gain insight into three common points of sales coaching failure and the antidotes that help sales managers bust through these roadblocks.

Failure Point #1: The Fire Hose

We’ve all been in the fire hose meeting where so much is covered that nothing is really accomplished. Sales managers have many more tasks to do in any given day than they can reasonably accomplish so their default efficiency mode is to try to cover as much as possible in a single coaching session with a seller. In fact, I have seen coaching agendas that have as many as 15 items to discuss during a 30-minute one-on-one session with only six minutes devoting to actual coaching!

If you are falling into the fire hose trap, realize that less is often more when it comes to coaching. Effective sales managers … Read the rest