Is Your Sales Team Receiving Effective Coaching?
From working with many company presidents and business owners over the last seventeen years, I've learned many valuable things. Chief among these is this obvious one: Company presidents and owners are very busy and wear many 'hats' in leading their businesses.
One of these hats is that of being a coach to their sales team. Depending on the size of their sales organization, the amount of coaching a president does can vary widely. With a larger team and a VP of Sales in place, they may only be involved in strategy sessions dealing with larger customer accounts. When the sales team is smaller, a president may be serving as their own sales manager and interacting regularly with their salespeople.
No matter what your level of involvement may be with your sales team, current economic conditions require that you adapt the coaching of your salespeople even more now than when the economy and sales were humming along.
Here are some questions that will help fine tune your coaching sessions:
Has this salesperson experienced these kinds of business conditions before?
How did this salesperson react to those conditions then?
How do they view your industry's selling environment today?
If they haven't experienced this type of business environment in the past, what is their mindset today?
How is their current mindset affecting what you need them to do to find and close business?
What are their sales skills, competencies and selling style? Are they able to execute effectively in this type of selling environment?
Have you (or your VP of Sales) evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team and examined how those findings relate to previous items 1 – 6
Knowing the answers to these questions is important for several reasons. First, the answers will assist you in adapting the coaching your salespeople receive to help achieve their sales goals in a challenging economy. Second, by effectively customizing your sales coaching now, when business conditions begin to improve, your sales organization will be that much better positioned to close more and better sales.