What most salespeople want is a great job. That means they are engaged in meaningful work and they feel like they can grow and develop in their career. How salespeople feel about their job can affect other areas of their life too, such as their health and wellbeing. The problem is that not everybody feels like they have the greatest job in the world.
One of the biggest determinants of how salespeople feel about their job is their sales manager. A sales manager can make a big difference in a salesperson’s professional and personal life. Sales managers who have the ability to make a difference possess competencies that can be broken down into two essentials: the coaching activities they do and the attitudes they have when they do them. Here are seven of the essential coaching activities of successful sales managers.
- Review and plan meetings – They conduct review and plan meetings at regular intervals, either once or twice a year, to establish metrics for both results and the activities that will generate those results.
- Goal setting meetings – They conduct consistent goal setting meetings, every other week, monthly or even quarterly, to review performance results, set goals and create action plans to achieve those goals.
- Skill development training – They know their companies sales process and methodology and have the ability to train and coach those skills efficiently and effectively. They proactively create opportunities to conduct skill development training to reinforce the sales process and methodology with their sales team.
- Check ins – On a day to day basis they check in either formally or informally. Their team knows they will be checking in to see things are going, to determine what’s working and what’s not working, and what progress they are making toward achieving their goals.
- Deliver performance feedback – They consistently spend time in the field or on the phone, observing their sales team in action and providing feedback, or, when they are selling together, they model the sales process and methodology at a high level; providing opportunities for skill development training between calls or meetings based on their observations.
- Sales meetings – They consistently hold inspirational meetings, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, that include opportunities for skill development training, the sharing of success stories and best practices, goal reporting and goal setting, and provide recognition.
- Sales huddles – They hold brief huddles for their sales team that are motivating, informative, and provide opportunities for training, recognition and key focus areas for the day.
So, what is the key to implementing these activities? Planning! Create your own coaching cadence. For example, you could
- Conduct your review and plan meetings in December and June.
- Hold your goal setting meetings at the beginning of the month every month.
- Schedule your sales meetings/huddles on a consistent day and time of the week or month.
- Plan the days of the month where you will be spending time with your sales team for the purpose of giving them performance feedback.
- Informally check in with your sales team throughout the month by walking through the office, sending an email or a text message.
Many of these interactions create the opportunity for you to do skill development training to build new skills and reinforce existing skills with your sales team.