When you coach your sales reps in the field, how often should you step in and save a sale? You need the revenue, so why not? As a sales coach, your goal is to develop your sales reps to drive and close sales on their own – not to save them every time they need you to finalize a deal.
Here are four steps to take when coaching sales reps to develop their skills and help them achieve their sales goals:
1. The Role Model
In this scenario, the sales manager conducts the sales call and the sales rep simply observes. The purpose is to role model the right behaviors for the sales rep. It provides them with the proper execution of the sales process so they can mimic what they observed when they go out and sell. This works well for new sales reps as well as existing ones who are in a slump or need help selling new products. After the sales call, you can explain to your rep what you did and why you did it that way. Your rep can ask questions and learn from your example.
2. The Partner
In this scenario, both the sales manager and the sales rep play equal roles in the sales call. The purpose is to provide the sales rep with real world experience without having to carry the entire sale process themselves. Roles and responsibilities are divided up prior to the sales call. For example, the sales manager may lead off the call and then turn over a step to the sales rep, such as qualifying or needs analysis. The sales manager might then conduct the sales presentation and the sales rep handles the paperwork for closing the sale.
3. The Rescuer
In this scenario, the sales rep leads the appointment with the buyer. The purpose is to provide the sales rep the opportunity to carry as much of the sales call as possible. The sales manager can jump in to help out or rescue the deal if necessary. However, this should only be done in specific circumstances. Overuse of this scenario leads to permanent dependency on the sales manager to close sales and fill in the gaps for the sales rep. Used too often and the sales rep fails to develop the skills necessary to facilitate the sales process on their own. You create a parent/child relationship resulting in a dependent sales rep.
4. The Observer
In this scenario, the sales rep handles the entire sales call themselves. The sales manager is only there to observe. This is the most desirable in order to place the full responsibility on the sales rep. Of course, there will be occasions where the sales manager will help on large or complex deals. However, those will be decided prior to the sales meeting.
Ultimately, your goal as a sales leader (sales coach) is to develop the skills of your sales reps to be independent profit centers to the company and make a lot of money for themselves. Otherwise, you become a salesperson with a team of glorified secretaries. And while you’re working nights and weekends, your dependent sales reps are at home or playing golf.