How to Guarantee a Permanent Improvement in Sales Results – Part 6
Hello again. In the last 5 parts to this collection we have looked at issues Sales Leaders are experiencing today and how to address the issues, beginning with the importance of Planning and Direction, Lack of Essential Skills, Sales People’s Activities and Limited Beliefs.
In this blog we cover a key issue: Failing to Develop Sales Leadership Capability
In recent years many managers have taken off their management hats and headed out into the field to close deals themselves – and understandably so in difficult times. But now its time to put those management hats back on. Your team values you much more for your strategic thinking and coaching abilities. How do we know this? Here are some of the key findings taken from the Sales Activator Research Report:
- Good sales people don’t necessarily make good managers. The single most common mistake organisations make is promoting their top sales people into a sales manager role – depriving themselves of their best producer. The skills for managing, mentoring and developing a sales team are totally different from those required for selling.
- Insufficient time for sales team development. Most sales leaders, new or experienced, say that they do not have enough time to train or develop their teams. By focusing on the end sales results only, they wrongly overlook their greatest potential source of power – to increase sales results achieved through team development.
- Lack of skills and resources. Even though they recognise the importance of developing their teams, many Sales Leaders find they lack the skills and resources to do it effectively and so instead they avoid it.
- An overwhelmed manager. Every sales team consists of individuals each with a different level of skills and capability. So the whole issue of team development becomes vast and too overwhelming to contemplate.
Most organisations profess to wanting a ‘coaching culture’ but not all can actually achieve it. Just like students are lucky to get 1 or 2 great teachers, sales people are lucky to get 1 real coach. The sales manager and leaders role is to transform their team, they must be an educator and a developer.
I believe passionately that with the right tools all sales leaders and managers can be incredible coaches. Organisations should have role models for coaching, ensure there is training available for sales leaders and managers ensuring they are accountable for not only their own learning, but their teams learning and success stories too.
Here are a few solutions:
Support sales managers
- Successful sales leaders ensure that there is some sort of training and development programme in place to help managers
- Continually improve managers ability to develop and coach their teams
- Provide resources for effective performance and development, such evaluation tools to identify strengths and areas for development within their team
- An easy to use coaching framework and process to allow implementation of new skills focusing on areas identified
- Coaching sessions, tools and resources ready to easily implement with little disruption
Motivate through development sessions
- Sales meetings provide a wonderful opportunity to offer appropriate team development, yet sales managers often lack the resources and tools to ensure they make the most of these opportunities
- The more resources sales leaders provides to sales managers, the more likely managers are to run effective, fruitful meetings, because they won’t need to spend time preparing to conduct these development sessions
- The most successful sales leaders make sure the development resources they give their managers are easy to use, designed to appeal to and engage sales people regardless of experience level, and can be used in manageable bite-sized chunks so sales teams can absorb and actually implement new ideas.
Develop a coaching culture
- Every interaction a sales manager has with their sales people provides an opportunity for coaching
- The organisations that have committed to build a strong coaching culture are the ones most likely to succeed in today’s competitive selling environment
- Coaching – gets measurable results
Opportunity to make a difference
- Every sales manager has a powerful role to play in developing and supporting their team members’ potential
- Increasing emphasis placed on performance management will enable the sales person to achieve more of their potential
So that is the end of my Blog series. I’ve really loved sharing some of the research with you all. We have developed a coaching and development toolkit containing a number of resources that address each of these issues identified in the research.
I would like to leave you with this quote from Albert Einstein – his definition of insanity: “to continue to do the same thing in the hope that those things will miraculously achieve a different result.”
If this is the case and you are not happy with the results you are achieving then you must make changes. You are the ‘difference that makes the difference’. You can rest assured in the knowledge that there is support there for you. This is my passion and my life and I would love to talk to you about how you can make this difference.
Thank you for reading!
To download a summary of the research click here.
Thank you for your time, if you wish to get in touch, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org