Viewing Posts for: James Barnett

April 26th, 2016

Bring structure to your sales coaching calls

sales-call-structure-meetings

In my previous blog post, Do you Intend to Provide Developmental Sales Coaching, but Tend not to, I explored the environment today’s sales leaders encounter when attempting to deliver developmental sales coaching. Despite their best intentions, time pressed sales leaders are pulled in so many directions that talent development gets put on the back burner. Bringing structure to dedicated coaching interactions is a proven way to build positive outcomes in people and results. Without structure and planning, sales leaders often mail it in, missing real opportunities to move their people to the next level of success.  Avoid this common pitfall by structuring sales coaching calls and each interaction around a guiding plan to bring consistency to the conversation, and ultimately results.

My approach is to organize coaching content into “buckets” that are consistent for everyone. When thinking through what I want to accomplish with a salesperson I am coaching, I typically build my planned dialogues in 3 buckets:

Navigating within the sales organization: This encompasses mastery of the sales organization, from products and services to the resources available to support the sales effort. How agile are they inside our organization?   Can they build customer teams on behalf of their client?   Do they build internal relationships?   Do they lead and quarterback sales pursuits with appropriate resources?  How well do they understand our products and the value they bring?  Can they translate that value to the customer’s situation? Customer and selling skills: This involves the » Continue Reading.

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April 20th, 2016

Do you intend to provide developmental sales coaching, but tend not to?

sales-coaching-priority

Frontline sales management can be one of the most difficult jobs within a sales organization. It can also be one of the most rewarding.

The eternal struggle for most sales leaders is being caught in the sales coaching versus managing conundrum. They intend to coach their people, but tend not to because of time constraints and the demands of managing within their organization.

Leaders can have the best intentions of developing the skills and talents of their direct reports through developmental sales coaching. But the information chaos swirling around them can get in the way. Those in management positions are pulled in several directions. Reviewing and commenting on data, running analyses and forecasts, conducting meetings,  and putting out fires are just a few of the demands of today’s sales leaders. The ability to deliver pure coaching is on the back burner far too often. Unfortunately, these time-pressed leaders end up just mailing it in and miss real opportunities to provide developmental sales coaching.

To attempt to compensate for the time-management crunch, frontline leaders will fall into the trap of surface coaching, which are conversations that are purely output- and result-focused. A forecast and pipeline are analyzed, and a typical conversation can center on the current state of those numbers without much dialogue around how change can be accomplished. Sales leaders often don’t dive into the developmental conversation they should be having. It takes real focus to resist the urge » Continue Reading.

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