To be effective, a sales manager must be both a leader and an manager – doing the right things, and doing things right. But what happens when your staff are struggling to do things right. This is where sales managers become coaches.
Many may argue that not all sales people require coaching but as roles and circumstances change, what is needed to ‘do things right’ also changes and often even the best salespeople can falter. This is where the manager needs to adopt the role of coach. Think of the best athletes. I know of none who have achieved greatness without the support and guidance of a great coach. Even pro-golfers and tennis players at the peak of their careers will often look for specialist coaching to help with small flaws that have crept into their game and are negatively impacting their performance.
When your sales staff have the basic and essential skills but struggle to apply them in a changing environment, this is when your role as coach is needed. You help them develop and apply their skills both for their own benefit and that of the team – this is your skill.
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be”
Tom Landry Dallas Cowboys coach 1960 – 1988
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