A recent article from the Denver Business Journal shares the importance of proper coaching techniques when managing salespeople. Dave Gallagher, Edgartown, MA resident, is a seasoned sales executive. He says that proper coaching is vital to creating the perfect sales team for your company.
To Dave Gallagher, Edgartown is the perfect place for an entrepreneur looking to apply his expertise in sales. It is a prosperous colonial town located in Martha’s Vineyard. He says his success there, in part, has to do with the leadership techniques he picked up from his experience as a senior sales executive.
Coaching, rather than telling, is the best way to improve an employee’s sales performance. It doesn’t simply entail rectifying problem behavior, delegating or dispensing discipline. Instead, it involves a give-and-take process that improves skills, increases knowledge and enhances confidence.
Dave Gallagher, Edgartown’s resident sales expert, says that proven sales tactics can actually apply toward persuading a sales team to be at their best. The following tips can help any sales team manager improve their team’s selling success:
Change occurs incrementally. You will need to employ both patience and consistency in order to reinforce your expectations. This is the only way to truly effect long-term change. When coaching, use the PIC approach. It stands for Positive, Immediate and Certain: by implementing positive and immediate rewards consistently, you are establishing that good behaviors are certain to elicit a positive response.
Keep in mind that whoever you are coaching should be talking as much as you are, or more. Remember, a prospective client is one who is selling themselves by talking about how much they like your product or solution. In the same way, a coached person is more likely to sell themselves on the need for change through talking rather than listening.
To encourage dialogue, use questions that are short and targeted. They should start with words like “what” and “how”. This makes it easy for the coached person to buy into a plan for their improvement and take ownership of the problem.
It’s important to maintain your employees’ self-esteem and use mistakes as learning opportunities. If you seek only to punish a salesperson for his or her failures, you may instill a fear of trying something new. The last thing you want to do is stifle creativity, so while holding the person accountable, work on improving their skills rather than bemoaning poor results.
Avoid using the word “you” altogether during a coaching conversation. It automatically causes people to take what you’re saying personally. Remember, you’re not correcting the person, you’re coaching a behavior. Avoiding accusatory language is important for maintaining their self- esteem.
Dave Gallagher, Edgartown resident, is an investment professional, entrepreneur, and proven sales leader. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of U.S. Relationship Development at CCL Financial Group.