10 years ago
January 4, 2015

3 Sales Coaching Tips for Your Sales Manager

In this article, we’ll cover three sales coaching tips for you to share with any sales manager you’d like more from.

Rhys Metler

It’s not uncommon for the duties of a sales manager to get hazy over time–too often they find themselves playing secretary to the team they are allegedly in charge of. But that’s not how you want your sales managers to spend their time. No, the primary role of a sales manager should be leading team members to be more effective, more efficient sales people. That means coaching on technique, holding them accountable for their OWN duties, and being someone whose words deserve to be heard. In this article, we’ll cover three sales coaching tips for you to share with any sales manager you’d like more from.

Collect Data and Use It–Intelligently

Perhaps the most important of these sales coaching tips–without records, metrics, and other data points, your sales manager won’t have the precise knowledge and authority he or she really needs. Of course, there are two very important points to keep in mind when you start tracking metrics and applying them to teams and individuals.

  1. Using the wrong metrics is worse than using no metrics at all. You sales manager needs to sit down and research their numbers, consider confounding factors, and control for factors that might skew the results as best they can. Correlation isn’t causation–two numbers moving together aren’t necessarily two numbers that are directly connected.
  2. ‘Soft data’ matters too. A note jotted down about a team member having attitude problems may be more important to their performance than any number. Typically, the hard and soft data will work together to paint a picture far more accurate than either alone.

With data in hand, your sales manager has more authority and will be more trusted by the team–greatly enhancing the efficiency of any sales coaching they may do.

Focus on Individuals

No list of sales coaching tips would be complete without a reminder that sales managers should focus on the individuals. Sales is a very personal sort of skill–two individuals may excel in the same area for wildly different reasons, or excel in two different areas entirely despite seeming quite similar in knowledge and work style.

The data a sales manager collects in following the first of our sales coaching tips goes quite a long way in helping here. If they can see what an individual does well and what they do poorly, or develop a strong understanding of what incentives will best motivate that employee, a sales manager can offer coaching tailored to improving that individual’s performance. This is an idea borne out by several studies–one-on-one coaching trumps team coaching in sales, as it does elsewhere.

Keep Learning

The most important duty of an effective sales manager is sales coaching. It follows, then, that a sales manager must have a better understanding of process, technique, and the industry than the members of their team.

They don’t need to be better at implementing that knowledge than their team members, but they should be able to offer accurate, effective critique and teach valuable lessons, even to their very best sales people. A good sales manager can turn a bad sales person into a decent one by finding his weaknesses. An excellent sales manager will spot a coming change in the industry, and eliminate a new weakness from the entire team before it ever arises.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.