What Sales Managers Aren’t Doing

If sales people don’t hit their targets it is usually for one of two reasons:

  • They don’t know what to do
  • They know what to do but can’t or won’t do it

If sales people don’t know what to do they will benefit from training. Training involves helping them gain awareness of selling techniques, increase sales knowledge and developing specific skills. Most salespeople can increase their effectiveness through training.

But most sales people know what to do (or think they do) so the key to really driving superior sales performance is through coaching. Coaching is all about helping people apply the skills and abilities they have, and helping them recognize and address the roadblocks that might be holding them back.

When I read the Dave Kurlan article below thought, not only about my grandson’s baseball games, but about the many sales managers I’ve run across over the past 35 years. They (and many of their CEO bosses) are great at training – telling people what to do – and not so good at assuring they can and will do it!

Have you ever had a moment when you said to yourself, “I told them what to do and how I did it; why aren’t they doing it?” Or, “I’ve told them the same thing 5 times and they just don’t get it!” Training, without solid coaching to apply and reinforce, usually fails.

One of my favorite lines in the communication training I do is: “It is not the responsibility of your prospect (or direct report, or spouse, or child, or dog!) to understand you; your job is to be understood.”

Are you training or coaching or mentoring (a topic for another time)? Do you recognize the difference? If you are telling you are training; if you are asking questions you are probably coaching.

This article develops this thought well. Enjoy!

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