There are three essential elements of a successful business development or inside sales operation: people, processes and systems. People, of course, being the men and women that make up the sales team – the hunters, farmers, closers and the managers who oversee them. Processes being the predetermined way they go about doing their business. Systems being the actual tools needed to implement those processes.
Since we have written a lot about processes, territory management in particular, and about systems, this post will focus on the people side of the equation – specifically on how coaching on the part of the management team can lead to increased productivity on the part of the sales team and how good coaching will in the long run produce stronger, more dedicated team members and ultimately drive up the “win” rate.
From manager to coach:
Although no one would like to admit it, unless a conscious effort is made to do otherwise, managers will often slide into the role of task master… divvying up jobs, handing them off and then demanding results – without much in the way of intervention or guidance.
A manager who performs the role of coach, on the other hand, not only leads a team of individuals, he/she also provides guidance in how to achieve goals, assists with strategy and provides tactical direction and feedback with regards to day-to day activities and operations. This serves not only to “direct traffic,” but to teach and to empower the team by building on strengths and whittling away at weaknesses.
Core managerial sales coaching responsibilities include:
- Making sure team members have knowledge and skill level they need to succeed.
- Training on best practices and sales methodologies
- How active discovery translates into effective positioning
- Lead list management
- Developing a territory
- Pipeline management
- Messaging and Script development.
- Participating in client calls.
- Identifying and capitalizing on strengths of team members
- Monitoring / sharing best practices across team.
- Providing one-on-one feedback and encouragement.
Confidence begets success
Why does this coaching serve to produce stronger, more dedicated team members? For one thing, knowledge builds confidence and confidence begets success. With proper coaching reps should have no reason not to feel confident in their abilities. For another, a team that works together and wins together is more inclined to stick together.
As we wrote in Teamwork: Fostering an Environment Where We is More Important than Me, “In business, as in sports, trust starts at the top, and teamwork (which doesn’t function well without trust) is essential for success. Companies that ‘win’ create a culture of success from the top down. They hire with confidence, expect results and make sure that those expectations are clearly communicated. They recruit top performers, employ realistic and measurable performance standards and maintain consistent two‐way feedback. They provide ongoing training, not only on product/company knowledge, sales strategies, relationship building and the systems required for CRM, but on helping each team member understand more about themselves, their strengths and their weaknesses. In short, they foster an environment where “we” is more important than “me.”
As Tom Landry once said, “I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game.”
Arm your reps with a plan, coach to win and set the stage for success.
Using our established sales as a service model, proprietary territory management system and established hiring, team building and coaching techniques, NuGrowth Solutions brings the people, the processes and the systems to bring your organization to new heights in customer acquisition. If you are interested in working with a partner you can trust to grow business, please give us a call at 800-966-3051 or fill out a short contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.