Sales Training Best Practices Successful Managers Follow
In working with hundreds of successful Sales Managers, we have seen and documented their understanding of sales and sales training being a process, not an event and the most successful sales managers support their team members on that journey by providing on-going sales coaching.
There are the unfortunate times when some sales managers get excited about a sales training event – a talk, a one day workshop or even a three day event, hoping that it will be the magic bullet to help their sales people meet their goals. Those are the sales managers hoping that after the event everything will magically turn black on the balance sheet.
While training is truly essential and valuable to an organization’s growth, the right training can sometimes do wonders and will only be effective if the sales managers support the long-term learning process and if they themselves are trained accordingly.
Recent studies have shown that it is essential to train sales managers to ensure top performance of a sales team. When sales managers don’t embrace disciplines, how would they be able to coach and guide their teams?
Don’t Coach Quota
The biggest misconception about good sales management training/coaching is that managers should coach their team to meet quota. While the end result should be to reach (or in the best-case scenario exceed quota) the only way for that to happen in a sustaining way is not to coach to a number, but to continually develop and expand best practices in sales skills, strategies and sales behaviors.
Honestly, think about it– the sales professionals you want on your team know when they are behind their goals. They don’t need to be reminded all the time.
If sales people are struggling to overcome objections, they won’t be able to learn it by hearing that they missed the quarter.
And speaking of quarter-end frenzy, which seems to be going on in almost every company. If regular sales training and coaching is on-going and successful, there is no need to have sales rallies the last week of the quarter. It disturbs the overall process, makes people frantic and leaves a bad impression with the prospects, because sales people come across as desperate. Desperation is a bad sales agent.
Understand Strengths & Opportunities for Growth
Every sales person has unique strengths and opportunities for growth. The same holds true for managers.
Before we even start working with a client, we assess the skill set of the sales team and their management. It’s hard to know what to focus on when there is no benchmark. It’s also impossible to gauge success without knowing where improvement is taking place.
Our SALES MANAGEMENT & COACHING-IQTM Skills & Knowledge Assessment is composed of wide range of scenario questions from over 20 years of on-going research and extensive competency and sales behavior modeling, having assessed key performance indicators and best practices of hundreds of top performing sales managers across a variety of industries.
Once a benchmark is established, it is easier for you as a manager to pinpoint gaps, understand why some teams and individual team members are under-performing, identify strengths and areas of improvement and get insights into how to guide your team to become top performers.
The overarching goal is to create a collaborative framework where sales people can succeed and sales managers provide the support necessary to achieve that success. This can only happen when sales managers understand the process, coach their team members individually and as a group and back it.
Once transparency is established, it’s much easier to have honest conversations and to coach towards improvement, not solely toward number even if that number is significant.