"Effective and consistent coaching sustainably boosts sales" - Interview by John Smibert.
One of the most effective ways to grow sales productivity is to implement sound sales coaching practices. To do this we need to develop a coaching model and develop the coaching skills and behaviour of our sales managers.
I asked sales coaching guru Bill Carson what coaching framework he recommended to help achieve this.
He firstly emphasised that unless the sales manager works with his team and drives it through, then you don't get the traction and the follow-through and it becomes really frustrating. So he suggest 5 simple coaching facets that helps sales managers address 5 key areas of coaching essentials.
Watch or read the interview below to get insight into these 5 facets of effective coaching
Bill Carson is an alchemist in Sales Mastery, Service Excellence and Personal Leadership. He provides Coaching, Training and Consulting.
John: Hello! I'm delighted to have Bill Carson with me again - welcome back, Bill!
Bill: Thanks, John - glad to be here!
John: Hey Bill, I know you do a lot of coaching of sales coaches, of sales managers, and I know you've got a really good framework for how you do that. You've got five facets of coaching that you coach sales managers to use, don't you?
Bill: Yes, yes.
John: Can you tell me what they are?
Bill: Okay. The reason why these evolved is because what I've found in developing salespeople, sales capability for a long time is unless the sales manager works with his team and drives it through, then you don't get the traction and the follow-through and it becomes really frustrating. If you look at any high-level sportspeople, it's exactly the same. The first area is around their 'performance' and it's around their overall capability, attitude, showing up for work, all those things.
John: Okay, so that's number one.
Bill: Yes, that's number one. Number two is then specifically the 'group coaching' that you're going to have with the team, running sales meetings, and it's always really important for sales managers to run effective sales meetings, because if they do a ineffective job of that, they do more damage than good.
John: Just recently I've done some great interviews with John Dougan on that subject - very, very valuable - so I understand the need for sales coaching through group activities like sales meetings.
Bill: Yes, absolutely - particularly important. The third area is we've always got to be managing the overall territory and then the accounts of our salespeople, so putting some proper structure in that. Then from that 'account and territory management' we then dive into specific opportunities, so good quality sales coaching around 'opportunity management' is critical. And then when the sales manager actually goes on the sales call, the sales coaching around 'call execution' is massively important, because, as we know, so many sales managers just fall into the trap of taking over.
John: So that's the fifth.
John: Okay, I understand those five facets of sales coaching, they're great. In summary, I guess what you're saying is a sales manager really has to get their mind around a number of different aspects of what coaching is about, it's not just one of those, and they need to build skills and capability in all of those areas.
Bill: Yes, absolutely. If you look at any high-level performance in any sport, etc., the ability to actually differentiate and identify where we need to place our attention is really important, because if a sales manager doesn't do that, then they just get another activity, or it's just talking about accounts; they need to granulate and get a lot more specific.
John: That makes a lot of sense. So, we've covered those five facets of coaching. Would you mind if we got together in two or three more interviews and talked about some of those in more detail?
Bill: Yes, absolutely - I think that's a great idea, John.
John: Let's do that!
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