Published by : Paul E. Lafleur
Sales managers have huge responsibilities towards their sales team. One of them is coaching.
Just like your sales rep, your sales managers are in need of coaching. So, who’s responsible for coaching sales managers ? This is an important question.
Either the sales VP or the President will coach the sales managers. However, if in some case the VP is unavailable, or the owner finds themselves incapable of coaching, then the best option is hiring an external resource.
This situation is more frequent than you might think : 50% of Prima Resource’s clients find themselves in this position.
How do you coach a coach ?
The coaching sessions for your sales manager will be conducted with the same approaches as with your sales representatives.
There must be a covenant between the coach and the sales manager, an agreement that they’re allowed to make mistakes.
Role play remains an essential part of a successful coaching session, even between a sales leader and their coach. It puts you in the actual reality of a situation, enabling you to practise exactly how you should deal with the situation.
Why and how often should you coach your coach ?
Sales managers must often deal with delicate situations regarding their sales reps. Recruiting, motivation, coaching, and holding their reps accountable are the 4 pillars of sales management. These tasks can be daunting, even for seasoned managers, and so it’s imperative that they get the opportunity to play out some of these situations beforehand.
Let’s say they must meet with a rep regarding their behavioural issues. This will certainly be a tough discussion, for both parties. The two of them will benefit greatly from the manager having discussed this with his coach, and maybe practised a few possible outcomes for the meeting.
The frequency of the coaching sessions varies based on the sales manager’s need. Ideally, they should occur weekly. If you have a strong, competent sales manager, however, then you can space them out biweekly.
What are the available tools to help with these sessions ?
Sales management evaluations are a great tool for coaches to use when they are coaching managers.
These evaluations make it possible, by using the individual’s own personal answers, to work on their strengths and weaknesses.
Coaching your sales manager is as important for the success of your business as coaching your sales reps.
Whether coming from an internal or external resource, the coaching sessions must allow the managers to express themselves freely, and with confidence in a safe coaching environment.
Tools such as the sales management evaluation provides a snapshot in time of the manager’s competency, DNA and will to manage. You would be remiss not to use them, as their efficiency has been proven time and time again !