Sales Management – The #1 Driver to Sales Performance Part III
If you’ve been following along with this sales management series,
Sales Management Myth #2: You Can’t Measure Desire.
With the last blog in our sales strategy series, we explored a topic that’s even more important than coaching: igniting the desire to be coached.
Often when I teach a workshop on leadership and coaching, I’m asked this question: How can you even measure desire? It’s usually delivered as a question like this: “Shouldn’t we just skip all this warm and fuzzy stuff that should be saved for a counseling session?”
I get it. As sales management leaders, we need to execute quickly. If we don’t hit a number, we’re in trouble — big trouble. However, regardless of your desire to change a person’s desire, you need to evaluate it. Why? Because the biggest barrier to coaching is time, and the biggest time waster is coaching people who don’t want to change.
So, just like sellers who need to be more strategic in their selling, leaders need to be more strategic in their coaching. But unlike selling, there’s only one criteria needed to determine where to spend your time.
Are you ready to learn how? Hold tight — it’s complicated.
First up: Agree on a development activity.
If the sales rep does it, they demonstrate a desire to change. If they don’t, the lack of desire is revealed, and coaching ends until the activity is done.
The key is to focus on the team member’s behavior and not their words. Actions — not intentions — determine where you spend your time. So, focus on the feet, not the mouth.
If the rep is nice, agreeable, and writes down the wisdom share, but doesn’t “do their homework,” stop coaching.
If they vehemently debate or blindly defend obvious performance gaps but end up doing the assigned development activity, keep coaching.
This truth also debunks another closely held belief about coaching: That you have to coach everyone.
Sales Management Myth #3: Coach Everyone.
Desire is the key that starts every coaching session. Without desire, coaching can’t (and shouldn’t) occur. Which means, ultimately, you won’t end up coaching everyone.
Before you say anything: Yes, you should want to coach everyone.
Yes, you should be willing to coaching to everyone.
However, trying to teach someone to play the piano who doesn’t want to play the piano is a lost cause.
Sales coaching is the same.
Does this mean sales management should ignore the unmotivated rep? Not at all. Instead, you should shift roles and your sales strategy.
If your rep is no longer about getting better, the focus is why should they get better. One requires a ton of time and effort – for both parties, while the other is an honest conversation about goals and desires.
Here’s my promise if you begin to focus on and measure desire: By just having candid conversations about the reality of the situation, team members will feel the ownership, and motivation will spike.
“Wait. You mean I’m completely responsible for my success, and you will let me fail?”
Yep. This reality ensures the unmotivated rep feels the weight of their decision.
“I’m going public with my position that I’m choosing to be complacent, not to practice my craft, and just hope things work out.”
Secondly, your coaching ROI will skyrocket as a result. When you stop giving piano lessons to people who don’t want to play the piano, you will have more time to invest in those who do. In my next blog, I will explore another myth about measuring performance. Stay tuned for the next series installment by signing up for our newsletter today, or if you want to chat with me about this post first, reach out via our contact page.
The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.