COACHES WANTED…..sales “MANAGERS” need not apply!
What #1 quality do you look for in your sales managers? When looking for a sales leader to head your sales team….are you inquisitive of their “Coaching Skills”?
To be honest with you I’m not positively sure I have the BEST answer for either question; I can say however these 2 questions are probably the reasons why you’re behind sales forecast going into the 2nd half of the year. In all my years in the sales & marketing profession identifying whether or not someone has effective coaching skills is about as inexact science as there is, and yet ALL of us in the sales & marketing business think that we have the skill down pat. There is not a shortage of consultants, vendors, sales companies out there that claim they have the secret to “Effective” coaching skills (including yours truly), but the question is do these secrets apply to EVERYONE? You see, without putting on my Dr. Phil garb and going “Psychoanalytic”, the aspect of “Coaching” really boils down to the ability to connect with the next person. There are well over a million books on “Emotional Intelligence” and just stating that I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes in agreement….or screaming out loud “NO DON’T TALK ABOUT EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE”. Don’t worry or click off this post I’m not headed down that crazy road, however, there is credence to how you relate and get the most out of the people who report to you. I often get feedback from sales managers who complain that they wish they could have more time to “Coach” their sales people, but because of other dire priorities or logistics they don’t have that option. Today’s sales manager quite frankly is a “MANAGER”, they manage admin, internal corporate issues, HR issues, vacancies, recruitment and I can keep going but I think you get the picture. The heading of this post “COACHES WANTED….sales MANAGERS need not apply” is really a reflection of my frustration on the role of a “Sales Manager”. As a sales manager quite some years ago I remember being totally inspired about the possibilities of sincerely helping to make my team better at what they do, it was the reason why I worked my a** off as a salesperson to get to that level of responsibility. After about a year or so into the job (after the honeymoon was over) I begin to understand why so many people not necessarily warned me but give me the ole “You sure you want to be a sales manager” chagrin. Most of my time and I MEAN MOST OF MY TIME was administrative, and certainly I would be dishonest and insincerely unrealistic to imply administrative work shouldn’t be a part of a sales manager’s job…..I’m just saying it should be a PART of the job. The time I did spend with each of my sales people seemed rushed, one-sided instructional because of the lack of time for any dialogue, and yes “INEFFECTIVE”. Look, companies today are streamlining their business and employees, the days of having a person for this and that is coming to an end. Companies are looking for that all “Inclusive Person” one who has many different skills because it’s manageable and cost efficient. The problem with that model is that it really doesn’t have the actual “employee development benefit” in mind, instead it’s nose to the grind stone production line mentality. In the current business climate quite frankly no one has time to stop and really “Coach” someone up and that goes for any business outside sales & marketing.
One of the most alarming things I see occurring in today’s sales leadership universe is this lack of really knowing “What’s Important”, and this is NOT to slight or disrespect any sales managers reading this post because I fell into this trap as a sales manager….it’s a direct result of becoming blind to the understanding that your people are the predictors of YOUR success. My favorite author and “Distant Mentor” Ferdinand F. Fournies explains this more candidly (Coaching for Improved Work Performance http://www.amazon.com/Coaching-Improved-Performance-Revised-Edition/dp/0071352937):
IS IT WORTH YOUR TIME?
“Frequently managers become aggravated over, and get involved in, so-called discipline discussions about isolated incidents that are of little importance to the job or company. Why would a manager discipline an employee who has been late for work once in six months, or who has submitted one sloppy report out of a hundred, or who has made any error for the first time? When I asked managers why they pounce on a single occurrence of unsatisfactory performance (usually administrative) their response is, “I don’t want them to get any bad habits,” or “I want them to know that I know they did it”, or “If you give them an inch, they will take a mile.”
The above is a perfect example of how we’re maturating “Managers” versus “Coaches” who lead, teach, develop, hold accountable….and get the MOST out of their people. I’m sending out the 1st want ads for those of you looking for “COACHES”: COACHES WANTED…..sales “MANAGERS” need not apply!
COACHES WANTED…..sales “MANAGERS” need not apply!
Hey, were in the process of launching our NEW “INSTANT SALES COACH”and are looking for sales managers to test its Functionality & Effectiveness in the field. If you’re interested in being our subject matter expert (a nice REWARD is included), please contact me at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org you can also check out the “INSTANT SALES COACH”by going to our website: http://ah2andbeyond.com/instant-sales-coach/
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