Sales Coaching Tip – Preposition Your Sales Coaching

Preposition Your Sales Coaching

Not only is the time that you coach important but the time before you coach is also important. What you do before you meet with your team members for coaching can help put them at ease for your coaching sessions.

Team members can misunderstand what coaching is about, why they have been chosen to be coached, and what the process is for their coaching session with you.

Sales coaching can sometimes be seen by your team members as part of their evaluation. As you know, coaching is about improvement not evaluation. Their success is measured by their results not by how they do in your coaching. Your coaching is about helping them improve.

Preposition your coaching with your team members as their secret weapon for them doing better. Clearly let them know their coaching time does not involve any evaluation. Share with them that your coaching is about helping them do better.

Sometimes team members misunderstand why they have been chosen to be coached. Their reasons range considerably from they’re being singled out … to … they’re a poor performer. Help your team members relax by explaining your reasons for choosing them. In most cases, managers select the order of who to coach based on one of two approaches. One is a random selection based on who is available. And two is based on who is asking or needing more frequent coaching. Whatever your approach is, let you team know your reasoning so they don’t read more into than there is.

This brings us to the process you use in coaching. Team members often feel more comfortable when they know what the process will be and what to expect. Let’s say you are doing side-by-side coaching. Your process may include first discussing with your team member the goal they are focusing on and what they want you to watch for. And then you might explain what you will be doing during the call (listening and making notes) and afterward when you are coaching (asking questions, asking what worked and didn’t work and helping them find a more effective approach for next time).

If you know you might need to interrupt your team member’s call to coach, you may want to come up with some hand signals for some possible scenarios so your team member is not stuck in the position trying to listen to you and the client at the same time (not a very sales-condusive activity). These could include a hand signal for “put the client on hold” and another for “keep on going you are doing a great job.”

Preposition your sales coaching sessions with your team so they really understand that coaching is about their sales improvement. The better you preposition your coaching with them the more they will let you know what is really going on so you can be more helpful to them (so their results will be better). A win for both you and them.

By prepositioning your coaching, you ensure your team members are focused on improving not on getting nervous because they are going to be evaluated.

Who on your sales team seems more nervous about coaching than they need to be?

What can you do to preposition your next coaching session with them?

What are your steps going to be to preposition your next coaching sessions?

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