The main goal of a modern sales leader is to have a great sales team. This means that sales leaders are not just the best sales reps, but that they work to make their sales team members better.
For a sales leader, this means making sure the reps are successful, rather than trying to close business themselves. Having great sales leaders is easier said than done. There are a few things that your organization can do to help foster the right environment for sales leader coaching.
1. Make Sure Leaders Have Time
There is a challenge for sales leaders to reach sales targets in the short-term while developing the team. Whether it is a quarter-end or year-end, there is often pressure to hit revenue targets. This is not necessarily bad, but an eye must be affixed on medium and long term goals. This means coaching and developing the sales team so that they can be more successful in the future. An organization must allow time for sales manager training to ensure that the sales team is better is continuously getting better.
2. Provide Tools for Sales Leader Coaching
There was a time not that long ago, where sales leaders were only able to coach based on first-hand interaction. Technology and tools now provide organizations the ability to support the sales leader with coaching their team. A sales enablement solution is an essential tool for the sales leader. This means that the system is able to provide coaching to the rep at the point of need or provide a set of things that they can work on with-out the sales leader involved with every step. This helps to provide more coaching for the rep and gives a virtual voice to go along with the sales leaders.
3. Analytics to Support Coaching
Analytics are everywhere and they have slowly been creeping into the sales training and coaching realm. Managers don’t have to rely on the gut for where a rep needs help. The good sales enablement tools can provide feedback on where reps need the most help. This makes it much easier for the sales leader to work on a plan with their sales enablement and learning tools to support the unique needs of that rep.
4. Develop Their Skills
The sales management job has changed incredibly over the last several years. Your organization needs to have sales coaching techniques in place not only to develop your sales teams but your leaders as well. The same types of systems, tools, and resources should be available to them.
5. Reward and Recognize Their Success
Sales organizations are typically great at celebrating the sales wins with an award, company email, achievers club, and of course the commission. But, how do you reward and recognize sales leaders? Many companies only recognize the sales leader with the best sales results. This is a good metric, but others should be considered such as managers that produce sales reps that get promoted, which team has the lowest turnover, and improvement in rep quota attainment. Make sure you are recognizing these leaders with recognition and rewards.
If you’re planning on getting your sales leaders up to snuff and grooming your sales leaders for future growth, then you need to make sure that you’re supporting your sales leaders’ coaching efforts. To do that, make sure you’re:
- Giving them time to up-skill themselves
- Give them the tools to do their job
- Measure coaching and training obsessively so you know what works and what doesn’t
- Invest time and energy into developing their skills
- Reward and recognize their success
Image credit: Petr Macháček via Unsplash