Let's be honest, tracking sales such as leads does not drive sales performance. Tracking won or lost sales also does not drive sales performance. So why do I bring this up? Recently, I met with a sales organization in the manufacturing sector that was telling me they meet with the people every single week for coaching sessions. When I asked her what was the basis of the sessions in terms of what was conducted, she started to tell me typical answers that are related to the top and the bottom of the sales funnel such as:
- The number of leads
- The number of appointments
- Forecast of sales that will close
I am not against these type of meetings, but they are not coaching sessions. What we do is have tactical conversations around numbers in factual data such as appointments, leads, or sales won or lost. Yet, this has nothing to do with our ability to close sales or ask open-ended questions or handle a competitor objection or to deal with price objections fluently and professionally. This is where a huge opportunity lies for sales organizations and their leaders.
If managers use coaching strategies they can specifically uncover who can successfully deal with competitor objections and who cannot. Managers can find out who consistently asks open-ended questions and who gets pigeonholed by close ended questions. Managers can find out which salespeople lack confidence when closing and who does not lack confidence. And much more. It is paramount that sales managers understand one fundamental thing and that is that they can coach and learn these things even when they're physically not present!
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