Create A Stronger Team With Successful Sales Coaching
QUESTION: I have three new salespeople, and a handful of more experienced reps. I find myself spending a disproportionate amount of time with the new guys, and therefore, ignoring the others. Is this OK? Or should I spread my coaching time around to be equally available to all of them?
ANSWER: Let me give you a short answer, as well as a long answer. The short answer is this: Yes. It’s OK. You’re doing fine.
Here’s the long answer.
As you work intently with the new salespeople, hopefully you are helping them to understand how to do their jobs well. You are educating them in the principles and practices of successful sales in your field. Not only that, but you are also helping them to create positive habits which will be repeated numerous times over the years.
Since a new salesperson is, as a general rule, much more open to learning than a more experienced employee, your efforts will return better than average results. If you only had one hour of coaching time to allocate, for example, that hour would get more payback if you invested it in a new person, than if you invested it in a more experienced one.
Now let’s look at the other side of the issue — your more experienced salespeople. Let’s start with an observation that I have made over the years.
Just because a salesperson has experience does not mean that he or she knows how to sell well. In fact, they may not even know what it means to sell well. You can count on them having arrived at some place where they are comfortable in what they are doing.
OK, let’s assume that you have worked with your experienced salespeople sufficiently to come to the conclusion that they are competent at what they are doing.
Can you then leave them completely alone and devote all of your attention to the new people? No.
They still need direction and feedback from you. That doesn’t mean that you need to micromanage them. But it does mean that you should create and communicate specific annual expectations for their performance. It also means that you should meet with them individually each month to review their priorities and plans, and to review their previous month’s performance.
So, once you’ve assured yourself that your more experienced people are competent, and you’ve provided them with some leadership in the form of annual goals and monthly reviews, then you are free to invest your coaching time in the new salespeople.
Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written 12 books, presented in 47 states and 10 countries, and has trained tens of thousands of salespeople and sales leaders. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.davekahle.com for more information or sign up for his weekly Ezine.
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