One of the biggest issues the sales community is dealing with is the lack of effective sales coaching.

We can discuss as to why this is but instead let’s just cut to the chase. I want to give you what I see as 7 sales coaching tips you can use right now.  Regardless of your sales position, these are 7 you need to know.

1. Consistently follow-up.

Far too many sales managers do not give their people consistent follow-up. By “consistent follow-up,” a good place to start is with a set time each day or each week where the sales manager and salesperson have a discussion.  It can be by telephone or in person, but definitely not by email.

2. Set clear goals and measure them regularly.

Goals are much more effective when the person who has the goal is being held accountable.  Along with accountability must come support.  The sales manager must work with the salesperson — not to do the salesperson’s work, but rather to help remove the barriers that then allow the salesperson to work more effectively.

3. Don’t lead from a distance.

You can’t manage anyone if you don’t know what they’re doing.  Too many sales managers think as long as the salesperson keeps them informed, then everything is fine.  Sorry, but it’s imperative for the sales manager to go along on sales calls or listen in on sales calls to really know what is going on.

4. Don’t take control, but rather observe.

When working with the salesperson, know that your role is to observe. You are not there to jump in and take control, as tempting as it might be.  Nobody learns anything when that happens.  Use what you observe as points you coach on after the call.

5. Know if a problem is skill-based or attitude-based.

Sales managers can train on skills. They can’t train attitude.  Knowing the difference will go a long way in helping you, the sales manager, know how to spend your time.

6. Model behavior and create a positive environment.

Your people are watching you when you least expect it.  Your behavior and actions will set a good example and help create the team you want.  This will help create the positive environment that is more conducive to salespeoople making the choice to stay motivated and optimistic.  It is impossible to hold any sales organization together for very long if the environment is negative or the sales manager is not modeling good behavior.

7. Lead, don’t manage.

Most of all lead your people, don’t manage them.  Do this first by showing you care about them and you have a strong passion to see them succeed.  Remember one thing — it’s not about you, it’s about your people.  Results are best measured not in what you accomplish, they’re measured in what your people accomplish.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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