Many new trends have emerged in the sales management world that cause unhappiness and discomfort for the employee. We will start our mini-series of sales management trends with one that has grown to near universal prevalence.
Tendency of sales management to ‘inspect’ rather than coach: By ‘inspect’ we mean to review what has happened in the past or to audit what is currently taking place. In this situation, you find the Manager always interrogating the employee and asking numerous questions until he receives the desired answers and makes sure the process is in place. By definition, inspection is monitoring every detail of the sales rep to see that their inputs are of sufficient quantity and quality to achieve their output results. If this is the case, then how is anyone supposed to get better with how they do their jobs?
Now you can consider another perspective and adopt a new methodology, which is the coaching. In fact, installing a coaching culture will help ensure that your sales team embraces risk, innovation and collaboration. Thus, instead of focusing on interrogating the employees and focusing on the past, it would be better to help them improve in the future. In this manner, employees will be encourage to speak up and report when a deal is going off track and they will be more willing to take risks and experiment with new ways of selling, which could help differentiate them from your competition.
Creating a coaching culture has a synergetic effect as winning becomes part of the team’s mentality. Consider the well-known proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for lifetime”. Coaching is about teaching your sales team how to fish. In addition, if it is done properly it will help you both achieve more.
All managers should remember that they were once sales persons too and for sure, they hated being interrogated. With this in mind, every manager would be convinced that he should adopt a different approach, while keeping the inspection task to the minimal. In order to do so, keep in mind the following: remember the outcome, build the salesperson, and learn to use non-directive coaching. Adopt different types of question, where the employee would feel your support and empowerment instead of your inspection tone.