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Coaching on a Sales Call

June 30, 2017

 

One of the most difficult tasks for new and experienced Sales Managers is to Coach on a Sales call.  Since most Sales Managers were top performers as sales people it is a natural tendency to take over the sales call instead of observing or being in the background on the call.  Your chance to coach and improve your representative is by observation not by taking over.  Even though you may have done things instinctively, it is now time to be methodical and step by step in coaching.

Of utmost importance is having some type of Sales Process that you are helping your Sales Representative follow.  We will have more on that subject later.  Your objective is to make sure that the Representative is following the process as much as possible.  I like to say that a Sales Process is a roadmap not a railroad track.  There are many roads that can lead to the endpoint, but there is a clear direction and certain important steps that cannot be overlooked.

Before going into the Sales Call make sure there is a clear objective and purpose to the call.  Don’t waste your time visiting one of their buddy business friends.  I have found that these calls are meaningless, and unless you are there to help some specific project move forward forget about it.

Now you must start getting into the details.  Something I am sure most sales people abhor.  Whatever the objective is really ask the representative how he/she is planning to get to the desired result.  What is the best scenario and what is the worst?  What does the rep know, and what does the rep need to ask?  What is your role Mr/MS Sales Manager in the discussion?  Even if you have 10 sales calls together everyone of these calls must have some type of planning and purpose before the call.

Critiquing the Sales call right after the call or at worst the next day is very important.  This is important in establishing accountability and improvement.  If you can emphasize the positive first before the negative.  Stretch the sales rep in asking them how they think the presentation could have gone differently.  Make sure you are not trying to teach them to be you.  Utilize their strengths and help them put into their own words what they can change.

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