Time to Coach Your Sales Staff

Coaching is a critical role for sales managers. But consider your own organization: how many managers spend time each week coaching and developing their teams?

If you’re thinking, “Each of our sales managers spends about 30 percent to 40 percent of their time coaching,” then congratulations. You are in a small but decidedly elite group of staffing firms.

For the rest of us, it’s a struggle. Sales managers just don’t put the necessary time into coaching. Sometimes – often – it’s because they don’t have the time available or they really don’t understand how to coach.

But it’s not that sales managers don’t want to. In a recent survey conducted by SalesGlobe, 84 percent of companies perceive coaching as either “very important” or “one of the most important factors of sales success” for their organizations. And the reps are actually really interested in doing the work. Surprisingly, although sales people often take a cynical view of training, most are open-minded when it comes to coaching and development that contributes to their success. In fact, 75 percent of sales leaders see their organizations as receptive to coaching.

Balancing out the role between sales and sales management is crucial to allow bandwidth for coaching time, and setting priorities for sales managers is the first step.

Leadership must make the mandate for coaching clear. If coaching is not a priority in the organization, it will only be conducted by those who are interested. Many of the top performing staffing organizations around the world require that their managers spend target amounts of time weekly on coaching. To ingrain the process in the organization some companies will go as far as requiring managers to post their coaching time on a public calendar, making it visible to the organization. Like most business priorities, coaching has to be viewed as essential by leadership in order for managers to make it a priority in their own jobs.

 

Mark Donnolo
Mark Donnolo is managing partner of SalesGlobe, a sales effectiveness consulting and services firm, and the author of What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation and The Innovative Sale. You can reach him at mdonnolo (at) salesglobe (dot) com.

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