Most sales managers spend the majority of their time doing activities that don’t really positively impact their salespeople’s success. Being pulled in many different directions, many tend to get mired down in the paperwork associated with a sales manager’s job rather than dealing with the “people side” of the job. The results come from the people, so focusing efforts on the sales people will pay off.

Coach:  Just like every baseball player has a coach, all salespeople need to have one. The coach practices with them, runs them through drills, observes their performance, and gives them feedback on how to improve. Coach your people instead of managing them. Demonstrate how to perform in a sales call, role-play with the salespeople, and be prepared to give honest feedback, but don’t rescue your salespeople in a call—allow them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. You don’t see a baseball manager running to the plate to take over for a batter! Don’t do that to your salespeople either; use the failures as coaching opportunities. Coach them informally whenever appropriate, but also have a weekly coaching meeting. Ask them to discuss a call that didn’t go as perfectly as they would have liked and listen for what was effective as well as areas for improvement. The more you coach your salespeople with the goal of helping them improve, the more open they will be with you about how the calls actually go as their skills improve.

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