A Sure Way to Higher Profits: why coaching salespeople pays dividends

Many offices struggle and so do their salespeople.

In the nineties, salespeople wrote on average $135,000 in fees. Since 2010 we have seen little evidence that this average has changed much, despite selling fees trebling over that time and markets booming in many regions.

Pittard salespeople are well trained – they are inducted with a solid foundation of training, testing and practical work experience prior to them being appointed permanently to the sales team.

Yet, despite this training, we still see that salespeople need a coach. Left to their own devices, many salespeople will drift toward the easy tasks, those tasks that do not put them at risk of facing rejection, tasks that are usually low on productivity.

All salespeople, but particularly those who have not yet reached winner status, need a coach. And the person best placed to coach salespeople is their leader.

Keith Rosen, author of Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions, released his latest book, Sales Leadership in late 2018. He surveyed business leaders and asked what values they compromised most due to the pressure to perform.

They listed:

  • Making an impact by being a trusted advisor and guiding people down the best path for their career
  • Developing people to help them succeed and observing them advance in a career they love
  • Achieving team goals that are bigger than the individual’s
  • Family, contribution, life balance, integrity, patience, living in the moment
  • Helping people achieve things they didn’t think were possible

Instead of compromising in these areas, would your business be more profitable if you embraced these values and stepped up to the duty of coaching? You know it would!

Myth of micromanaging

People often say, “I don’t want to micromanage my people”. I say, “Why not?” Some people need micromanaging.

When salespeople are new, they need to be micromanaged. And this micromanagement must continue until they reach a minimum performance standard – in Pittard offices, that’s $300,000 in gross fees. After that level, they don’t need to be managed as closely.

Clarity

Coaching sessions must never be about pointing out what the person being coached is doing wrong and what he or she needs to do to remedy the situation. That’s lecturing, not coaching.

Good coaching begins with a clear goal, what is to be achieved from the coaching session, a clear agenda to give structure to the session and clear agreement that the actions uncovered during the coaching session will be followed.

The coach leads by asking the right questions, rather than offering opinions – the coach ‘draws out’ the actions necessary for improvement instead of forcing the coach’s ideas of the right actions onto the person being coached. Good coaching is collaboration, not lecturing.

Leaders who have attended Pittard’s Agency Profit System® have a Training & Coaching manual packed with plenty of tips to turn a leader into a coach.

I recommend that all leaders read Sales Leadership by Keith Rosen. I guarantee that it will help you to become a better coach.

The reward will be a happier and more effective sales team, you will feel more fulfilled as a leader, and your agency will be much more profitable.

That’s a win for everyone!

Gary Pittard
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