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

What Are Sales Managers to Coach? Behaviors, Skills, Activities, Oh My!

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

Sales CoachingWhen it comes to sales coaching, the mandate from the executive level for front-line sales managers is to coach, coach, and then coach some more. Companies invest a significant amount of money and resources in purchasing training programs to help managers coach, installing coaching applications that work in conjunction with CRM systems, and setting corporate guidelines on how many hours a month each manager should coach. One might think that all these efforts would result in more and better coaching, but is all of this activity really achieving the results executives want? For most companies, the answer is a big fat “NO.”

The results of most of these efforts are often sorely disappointing, both for the organizations investing in the efforts and the sales managers expected to fulfill these obligations.
Why the sad state of sales coaching affairs within the sales force? Why do all of these fantastic (and often expensive) efforts fall flat?

One primary issue is the pervasive idea that if we can observe something, we can improve it through coaching. However, unlike sports coaching, sales coaching does not always include the opportunity for a coach to observe the team in action – all the time, every time. … Read the rest

Case Study: Applying “Cracking the Sales Management Code” in Europe

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 - Post by admin

By Francois Delvaux, Partner at Minds&More

Case StudyOver a three month period, we worked with sales managers of a leading logistics company that wanted to apply the “Cracking The Sales Management Code” methodology as a change driver to help build its sales performance and support the company’s growth. Historically, each sales manager used their own way of managing their teams, with mixed results. There was no internal alignment on the definition of sales management roles, purpose of sales meetings, or agreement on the type of sales coaching to provide. To make things worse, there were no common sales metrics.

To help start the change process, a new sales director was put in place. One of his first moves was to establish buy-in of the sales managers on the idea that all managers attend training in Belgium on “Cracking The Sales Management Code”, with the intention that lessons learned be applied within each sales team, post training.

Here is a synopsis of the steps the company took:
• Put in place structured sales meetings (“Management Rhythm”) for each sales team with each internal meeting having clear objectives and defined frequency (some bi weekly, some one-on- ones, plus a … Read the rest

Are Decision-Making Skills Innate or Learned By Salespeople?

Friday, August 21st, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

decision makingAre your sellers natural-born decision makers? Or is decision making a learned skill? While some people may be naturally adept at making decisions, it is likely that your sellers still need a little help refining their decision-making skills. Some may need a lot of help. After all, anyone can make a decision, but it takes skill to make the right decision at the right time. Sellers need to know how to make critical decisions early in the sales process. Before sellers even begin planning a sales call, they need to determine which prospects in a territory to focus on, where to apply selling effort, and who to contact within those accounts.

As you can see, the way a seller plans and conducts a sales call is but one of many important activities a seller must execute. Each of these important activities involves decision-making. Managers who focus coaching effort on helping sellers make these critical decisions can ensure that sellers are applying the right amount of selling effort in the right accounts for the right reasons with the right people to develop the right opportunities.

But here’s the bad news. Although decision making is an important skill for sellers, it is … Read the rest