Team Coaching & Leadership

Leading a sales team to success is not an easy task and requires skill.  A skill is something that can be learned and definitely not something we are born with despite what is often said.

Specific skills for a great leader include communication, prioritization, delegation, coaching and the ability to get people to follow. Lewis Consulting Group provides coaching and training workshops for sales leaders. Here are (6) tips to consider that will improve your sales leadership.

Communication is more than advancing your thoughts, ideas and direction. Communication is a two-way street. Successful communication allows the team to understand the vision and objectives clearly. Your goal as a leader is for the team to adopt and take ownership of the vision. To accomplish this, they must feel as if they contributed.

Don’t be a “know it all”. Most leaders have gained a lot of knowledge and experience over the years, but don’t forget that seeing the world from another’s viewpoint is important too. Be flexible and give your team the chance to express their opinion and share their knowledge. This will make for a stronger team and build trust.

Coaching – A coach is a person that improves the team on a regular basis. No matter how good the team, there is always room for improvement. To achieve improvement a coach must have regularly scheduled practices where the team can learn and perfect their skills.

Even though most companies agree that coaching is one of the most important skills for their managers, most companies do not actually teach their managers how to coach. Instead managers are given sexual harassment training, employee review training, process training, etc. Of course this is important and required but doesn’t make the manager a coach. If an organization expects its managers to train and develop their employees, they must also teach the manager how to be a coach.

The organizations which struggle the most are the ones that hold their training departments accountable for training instead of that direct manager. The training department may create the curriculum, but it is the leader or coaches job to teach and develop the team members.

Coaches must hold everyone accountable to the expectations given. It is their job to identify and apply everyone’s talent on the team. A coach understands how to help individuals achieve their best performance.

A great coach will focus on the team’s strength and continue to push each individual to improve their greatest abilities in order to overcompensate for any weaknesses. Do not completely ignore their weaknesses; they just should not be your primary focus.

What successful coach in any sport doesn’t teach players or hold regular team practice? Why should it be any different in business? The term Manager is simply a title, but coach is the job. Manage the business and coach the team.

Accountability – Create Accountability by establishing realistic targets, metric tracking and one-on-one weekly briefings.

Realistic targets are imperative for each team member. They must recognize and adopt the target or it becomes irrelevant and non-achievable. A suitable target is aligned with overall company goals and internal capabilities.

Metric tracking – Monitor the sales results, pipeline, funnel, and key performance indicators to measure activity and productivity. How can you possibly navigate through a competitive market if you don’t know where you are going and where you are currently located? If you want your team to be accountable they need to know these parameters will be monitored regularly, fairly and reviewed with them.

Regular one-on-one briefs – Hold regular scheduled one-on-one briefings with each team member. These meeting should be brief and to the point reviewing all key metrics and challenges. Weekly is recommended and will create instant accountability for your team members. If you do not hold a regular one-on-one interaction, it may be too late for a meaningful change or adjustment when problems or issues are unveiled.

Deal with performance issues promptly!  One of the worst mistakes any manager can make is not addressing performance issues immediately. Your creditability suffers, morale declines and you have failed to make your team better. When there is a performance issue with a team member it is your job to recognize it, find the cause, and fix it or remove it.

If you would like more information about coaching please contact us at LCG.