Sales Coaching is the most important way a manager can improve how their sales team sells. The power of sales coaching is that it can be personalized to the individual needs of each member of the sales team. As an example, a new member of the sales team may need help on prospecting and call planning skills, while a more tenured member of the team may require help with strategic account management.
Senior sales leaders become frustrated when their sales managers, many of whom were promoted from the sales ranks, focus their responsibilities on selling as opposed to managing their sales teams.
Sales managers are responsible for managing, coaching, motivating, and measuring the performance of their teams. Unfortunately, many managers are promoted from sales positions without the skills to effectively take on these new responsibilities.
One key takeaway from the pandemic is the heightened importance of how sales managers communicate with their teams. Since the beginning, managers have dealt with a myriad of employee issues that require empathy and understanding. Unfortunately, many managers who were steeped in simply telling their teams what to do struggled as those messages fell silent. This was especially true with sales professionals who realized that they had many more employment options given the robust labor market (i.e., power had shifted from the company to the individual).
Achieving sales goals is an essential part of sales management. While an annual sales goal may be “imposed” on a sales manager based on a company’s overall budget, this should be viewed as a starting point for planning purposes.