Industry Magazine Get JACK'D Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 13
RATHER THAN WEIGHING DOWN THE
SALESPERSON WITH TOO MANY
SUGGESTIONS, PICK ONE OR TWO THAT
HOLD THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY TO
INCREASE HIS OR HER SUCCESS.
3) Coaching call - In these instances, the sales leader plays the
role of an observer and the salesperson conducts the call. The
introduction of the manager usually should be done in a low-key
manner. If he or she is unknown to the prospect, simply introduce
the manager as an associate of the salesperson.
On coaching calls, the sales manager learns the most about how
a salesperson performs on his or her day-to-day calls. As a result,
it is where the sales leader can offer the most help. But that is true
only if the coaching call is conducted properly. Often that is tough
for the sales leader to do. Even if the sales person is “blowing it,”
it is critical that the call be conducted solely by the salesperson.
After the first coaching call, the salesperson will usually want
to know how he or she did. But sales managers must resist doing a
debriefing at this time. Instead, suggest that five or six more calls
be made. Once they are all completed, the sales leader should sit
with the salesperson and debrief. Identify those things that went
well and share them with the salesperson. Also identify what
could have been done better.
Rather than weighing down the salesperson with too many
suggestions, pick one or two that hold the greatest opportunity to
increase his or her success. Discuss these two items thoroughly,
suggesting specific actions for improvement.
Information, Not Control
You can’t be helpful if you don’t know what’s going on in the
field. It’s not a control issue—it’s an information issue. Get in
the practice of taking notes on each salesperson you work with.
Start accumulating information about them and their customers
a nd prospects. Let each salesperson know your purpose: to
help the salesperson grow professionally and to grow his or her
Before You Start
Here are two basic points that are important to make before
going on sales calls with salespeople:
Fundamental One - Give plenty of advance notice. Surprise
visits to the field are not appreciated by your sales team as that
implies a lack of trust. Set up your schedule at least a week in
Fundamental Two - Go with a plan. Don’t say to the salesperson,
“Well, what should we work on this time out?” Instead, review
your prior notes, current production, and call report and then
state where you think it best to focus. Always solicit feedback
and agreement from the salesperson. Remember that if you
demonstrate that you are doing your homework, salespeople will
be more prone to do theirs.
Let’s build on those fundamentals by establishing some
guidelines to help keep your calls focused:
1) Begin by reiterating the objective of the day’s calls.
Be sure to show how your current objectives will fulfill the
salesperson’s overall game plan.
2) Build on the last coaching session. Review with the
salesperson what you each agreed upon and what got
completed. See if anything needs to be changed or discussed
before setting out.
3) Let the salesperson do the scheduling. If you are being
“set up” with calls only to his or her best customers, you will
know soon enough and can correct accordingly.
4) Agree on the type of calls. Will they be training? Joint?
5) Make the first call as positive as possible. Your presence
increases the tension so make this as easy as you can for the
6) Before each call, ask about the purpose. There should be
a specific goal on every call and a specific approach for each
one. Know it beforehand so you can better assess the call
7) Practice being a keen observer. Develop a mental
checklist of what you are looking for so you can avoid taking
notes during calls. If you are on the road, make quick notes
in the car between calls. Focus on the primary changes to be
suggested. The list could include any of the following:
• Questions the salesperson asked
• Questions the prospect asked
• Percent of time talking versus listening
• Use of benefit statements
• Ask for business
Remember your purpose and never take over a call. If you
do that, your relationship with the salesperson is on the way
to ruin. Your primary reason for being there is training, not
seeing how much can be sold.
8) At the appropriate time, describe what you observed.
• Focus on one or two specific items
• Let the salesperson talk
• Agree on what can be done differently
9) At the end of the day, get an overall agreement on what
the salesperson is to do and what you will do to help. Write it
down. When giving feedback to the salesperson, ask yourself:
What do I want to communicate? Where do I want to focus
suggested changes? How can I communicate this information
so that the salesperson will be receptive to it? What specific
solution or goal may I offer, and how may I assist the
salesperson to achieve this goal?