Statistics have shown that only 30% of Sales Managers have been trained on how to coach a salesperson. The secret to developing a top performing salesperson isn’t more training, but better sales coaching.
Top Sales Managers are not the Chief Problem Solvers when the salesperson needs help. Top Sales Managers learn to engage with confidence on how to teach a salesperson how to solve their own problems and own the sales process so they can take ownership and provide a solution to their own problems.
When asked, many managers felt they did a good job of coaching. But when asked if they were trained on coaching, the majority said they never received any coaching training. Most turn out to be good mentors, but sales coaching is a process. So, what is Coaching? The coaching model is based on the belief that the question is the answer. This can be a new concept since so many sales people and managers have never been trained on the art of coaching. The coach is responsible for helping people find the answers and develop their own problem-solving skills.
Coaching is like parenting. It is very easy for a parent to do simple tasks out of convenience or keep giving reminders to their kids to do their homework or turn their school work in on time. But what does that create? It creates a world of dependency. My son would consistently turn his schoolwork in late and would make excuses about it. I had 2 choices, keep reminding him or let him own the process. I finally decided to let him own it. Why were they late? What actions are you going to take to prevent this from happening again? It took a month, but he finally stepped up and owned that his tardiness was on him and started turning his schoolwork in on time.
I suggest to Sales Managers to try moving from Problem-Focused Questions such as “Why do you keep doing that?” to Solution-Oriented Questions such as “What needs to change?”. Great managers respond to their salespeople’s problems and challenges with a question rather than a solution or statement. Good questions raise awareness to rethink something and encourage ownership. This helps salespeople create better discipline on realizing a solution to a problem and creates more of a pressure-free environment for them and their manager.