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A Sales Coach's Handbook

7 Feb, 2006 By: Nicki Weiss imageSource

A Sales Coach's Handbook

For the most part, sales
organizations have access to more or less the same resources. They can draw from
the same pool of salespeople and they can all learn the same sales techniques.

Yet, some office technology organizations perform at a high level and others
remain at the bottom of the heap simply because of a lack of effective

Too many office technology sales managers are bosses or even bullies. They kill
team spirit and suck the energy out of companies. The results are poor morale,
loss of talented people and poor performance.

Effective office technology leaders, by contrast, define themselves as coaches
and teachers. Rather than constantly dealing with problems and telling people
what to do, strong leaders enable others to solve problems on their own, make
decisions, tackle new challenges, and learn from their experiences.

Here are the best practices of office technology sales managers who lead through
coaching and teaching:


Research shows that only about 20 percent of managers write down their goals. If
you don't have any written goals, how do you know if you have accomplished what
you set out to do?

For example, goal setting for a sales manager would include a complete
developmental plan for each salesperson in the division, which would focus on
how each person will meet their sales targets and increase their leadership

The plan should have three reasonable goals, one superhuman goal and an outline
on how to reach them. The sales manager would then meet with each individual by
having a monthly one-hour conversation to help overcome any problems and track


Effective managers ensure that the plan each individual draws up reflects the
needs of the organization, customers and sales team with their own desires. They
work with each salesperson to clarify their goals. Strong sales coaches give
people a chance to develop what they are passionate about.


Given the rapid pace typical in today's organizations, sales managers can get so
bogged down with their own work that they miss the opportunity to correct a
performance problem before it is too late. It's also tempting for sales managers
to ignore borderline cases. Procrastination rarely helps.

Confronting performance problems is generally more humane than letting the
individual and their co-workers suffer. Many problems can be headed off through
regularly scheduled coaching conversations.


Sales managers whose identity and income is too tightly wrapped up in the
successes and struggles of their team may not be able to disassociate themselves
enough to clearly see what each member needs to thrive. Those who act as coaches
and teachers start by building an agreement with their team members on roles and
goals and then guide them to reach their full potential.


Many managers feel that the members of their team have misguided views and they
need to straighten out their thinking. This strong need to be right can sabotage
any attempt at meaningful conversations. A strong leader deeply believes that
other people are naturally creative, resourceful and wise, and their job is to
help uncover the answers not dictate them.


It has been said that there are only two types of people who thrive on being
recognized for their achievements: men and women. We have all experienced the
incredible energy of getting recognition or appreciation from people whose
opinions we respect.

A common complaint of people in low-performing organizations is that they don't
get appreciation from their boss. They feel like a piece of furniture. Strong
office technology sales coaches understand the power of sincere recognition.
This is what develops confidence and builds on strengths.

Now that you have read these best practices, do you view yourself as a boss or a

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