As a sales manager in the pharmaceutical industry since 2006, this podcast caught my attention very quickly as the participants hit five key points right up front:
- Sales Coaching is a HARD Skill
- Most organizations don’t train Sales Managers to be GOOD Sales Coaches
- As a results, most sales managers are POOR coaches
- Effective Sales Coaching can boost Rep performance by 19%
- Good Sales Coaching is required for Good Sales Training to be effective
In my experience through the years, which was reinforced in this podcast, a sales rep will create habits based on a combination of 4 “teachers”:
- Training Classes
Of those, the Training Classes have the shortest life span unless reinforced by a good Sales Coach.
The Top Sales Reps in a company or industry can AND DO take time to coach and develop themselves. This is a very small percentage of the total number of reps, because like most sales coaches, the majority of reps live day to day with very little focus or effort on improving their craft! I’m amazed every time I ask my team and others a simple question: “What do you do, outside of what our company provides you, to sharpen your skill set as a salesperson?” I typically get blank stares or a quickly made up or incoherent answer.
Sadly, the same answer would come from most Sales Managers as well. What are WE doing to improve our craft? Do we coach to deals and sales, or do we coach to improvement of selling skills?
The Covid Pandemic of 2020 has really exposed this challenge in my industry. For decades, we stroll into an office, following protocol, get face time with a physician, engage in a conversation, and move on about our day. We’ve been on “home assignment” since March 13 of this year, and we have had to learn an entire new sales approach – this software called “ZOOM.” Instead of walking in, we are scheduling appointments, trying to learn how to best use it, teaching our customers how to use it, and finally figuring out how to engage in a meaningful conversation with our customers across a computer screen. THIS TAKES EFFORT from the SALES REP AND from the SALES MANAGER!