Training sales managers is not always the first thing that sales directors think about. Instead the focus seems to be on training the new sales representative. Yet the reality is if a new sales representative is supported and coached they are likely to sell twice as much as a representative who is not.
You only need to look at some of the most powerful sales teams in any organisation and you will notice that they normally have a highly skilled sales manager behind them.
The facts are that to become good at most things in life we all need some help and support. This is especially so in business where core business and selling skills are vital to an individual and companies success. A well trained sales manager will be able to help support teach and guide their individual sales team members to success.
A sales manager has a wide remit to what he or she needs to deliver. Generally they are responsible for delivering on a sales target, managing the marketing plan, reviewing the budget and staying within spending limits. In addition they also need to ensure that each of their sales team members is hitting their individual sales targets and quotas. This is an area that many new sales managers struggle with. It is OK signing expenses and managing the process part of the role, yet a focus on sales coaching will potentially produce even bigger results.
We all I am sure know the saying, ‘teach a man to fish?’ and it is a popular saying because it is true. If individual sales representatives are coached on their selling skills it will improve your bottom line exponentially. Sales coaching is a process by which your sales training managers can enable your sales team to become more effective in front of both existing clients and potential prospects. Sales coaching will work with both new and experienced sales representatives. Depending on their level of experience different styles can be used.
A new sales team member might need more directive sales coaching. As the saying goes you don’t know what you don’t know. Their level of experience in coming across the different customer scenarios will be different and here a sales manager can really help in making suggestions of how best to move forward and get a desired result. Making sales coaching align with your current selling skills model make everything work smoothly for all concerned.
When the sales representative focuses their interaction on achieving the outcome they have set, results happen quickly. In today’s new economy, selling is a definite process. If a prospect is new it is unlikely that they will place a huge order in the first meeting. Yet this initial interaction is vital to set the tone and possibility of the next one happening. Rookie representatives can be helped in the process if your organisation has a focus on training sales managers in the sales coaching skills that will deliver results for everyone involved.
So when you are planning the improvement of your sales force if you want to accelerate your results make sure you factor in training sales managers as well.
Nic Hallett is the MD of Excel Enterprise and an expert in training sales managers [http://www.excelenterprise.co.uk] To Find out more about how Excel Enterprise can help train your sales managers to deliver superior results visit [http://www.excelenterprise.co.uk]
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