The business world is full of pithy quotes around coaching such as, “Everyone needs a coach.” Even Tom Brady has a coach!
The research shows that a well-coached sales team will outperform a non-coached sales team. For example, CSO Insights reports that sales organizations that follow the company’s methodology (sales playbook) and provide consistent coaching, see 73% quota attainment.
So, with all the great rhetoric and research, why do really good sales managers struggle to build a coaching sales culture?
You didn’t hire coachable salespeople.
Sure, your candidate has a proven track record of winning. But the reality is business is always changing. Salespeople will face new customer demands, go up against new competitors and be charged with selling new lines of business to sell. Past success doesn’t automatically transfer to future sales success, especially if the salesperson isn’t coachable.
Salespeople that are open to learning and coaching succeed in a changing business environment. Look for the two “A’s” when interviewing salespeople.
- APPETITE for learning. Coachable salespeople are hungry and have a huge appetite for learning. They look forward to coaching sessions and role plays because they like to learn better approaches to winning and retaining business. These coachable salespeople seek advice and learning from other salespeople, mentors or mastermind groups.
- ADMIT. Coachable salespeople possess the EQ skill of self-regard. This is defined as the ability to admit your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. As a result, the sales manager doesn’t have to point out blind spots or areas of improvement. Confident and coachable salespeople are the first to bring up the areas of improvement.
For example, a veteran, coachable salesperson has the ability to admit, “I’m really good at this, but I need some help with that. Can you give me some advice?”
A new salesperson doesn’t blame the company or the boss for lack of success. He or she is confident enough to admit where they made a mistake, where they didn’t invest enough time in practice or where they took a shortcut in their pre-call planning.
Sales managers, make your life as a sales manager easier and more enjoyable. Hire “A” salespeople, ones that have an appetite for learning and the ability to recognize their strengths and weakness.