To maximize sales results, a sales manager has to ensure that his or her team is operating at their peak level like a sports team. That’s where coaching comes in—it’s one of the most important things you can do as a manager to drive better sales results.
Coaching is the time you spend 1:1 with your team members to improve their ability to sell. The most common obstacle preventing sales managers from coaching their teams is time commitment. Coaching takes time and doesn’t have a “due date.” So often managers postpone or reschedule coaching to complete other time-sensitive management activities.
I have previously discussed how to allocate your coaching time. A good rule of thumb is that you should spend:
- 60% of your coaching time with your salespeople with medium skill levels,
- 15% of your coaching time with your salespeople with low skill levels, and
- 25% of your coaching time with your salespeople with high skill levels.
The idea here is that you should spend most of your time coaching salespeople with medium skills. These salespeople will provide the highest return on your time investment as you develop average performers into high performers. Low skilled reps may require too much of a time commitment to help, while high performers have some room for improvement, but don’t need lots of coaching.
But what do you do if you are extremely limited in your time available for coaching?