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Sales Coaching Can Pay Big Dividends for Success

March 06, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor


For every sales employee who succeeds and goes on to become a seasoned sales professional, there are likely a small handful of those who fail in the endeavor. It might be because they didn’t have the personality or the nerve required to sell, but it may also be because they lacked effective leadership. Leading and mentoring sales people to become better at their jobs is the most critical part of a sales manager’s day. While some sales managers seem to find this ability naturally, others need to work harder at it.


Unfortunately, sales coaching often gets the short-shrift. There always seems to be better things to do, and managers frequently shuffle the task to the bottom of the to-do list. This is a mistake, according to a recent article by sales professional Richard Ruff writing for Business2Community.

“People who are knowledgeable and experienced in sales excellence know sales coaching is worthwhile; it can make a difference; and it needs to be a priority,” he wrote. “Sales pros agree sales coaching is a necessity if you want a world-class sales team. While most sales leaders agree about the importance of sales coaching, most also admit ‘the job isn’t getting done.’ Many great companies start sales coaching initiatives with tremendous energy and commitment. Far fewer exit the other end of the tunnel.”

While it may seem prudent to engage in the “sink or swim” approach to letting a sales person work, this tactic will likely come at the expense of the company’s bottom line. Ruff notes that few companies can survive on the quality of their product alone today: they need that extra advantage that a well-crafted sales process can give them.

“Even if you have a winning product, the competition is likely to get a product to market that is just as good, at half the price … in half the time it took several years ago,” he wrote. “Although a superior sales force is extremely difficult to assemble and train, once you have one, it is of the few sustainable advantages left.”

Wishing and hoping that a current team of sales personnel will turn into pros isn’t a great approach. Most sales people could use a bolstering of their technical skills (understanding the product or service they’re selling better), an in-depth review of the content they’re using as sales enablement tools, and a brush-up on their sales skills. For many companies with skilled sales managers, it’s simply a matter of carving out time to engage in coaching, something that can be achieved with better workforce optimization and scheduling.

“When it comes to sales coaching our observation is the problem is not so much about bad coaching but the fact that coaching does not systematically occur,” wrote Ruff. “When it does occur, it works.”





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