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Sales Coaching Tips for Successful Sales Management

Successful sales management can be the difference between failure and success for a business and a sales organization and sales coaching can be one of the keys to success. Here are three tips to help directly with this.

1. Shift from focusing on past behavior to focusing on desired action

Working as a sales professional has tremendous room for error and there are often many different ways to accomplish the tasks. When managing a salesperson, it can be easy to observe behavior that is not exactly in line with what is needed. Either the salesperson is doing something incorrectly, not doing enough of something, or maybe their style is not similar to how the sales manager would do it. This is common and simply part of the job of managing a salesperson.

When a sales manager is in the situation of observing past behavior that is not what is preferred, he or she likely will have the natural instinct to shine the focus and attention on that in an effort to correct the behavior. The challenge with this is that incorrect behavior is a negative activity and shining light on it increases the level of negative energy in the management process.

For successful sales management, the sales manager can focus on sales coaching by resisting the desire to talk about the incorrect behavior and instead focus on the desired behavior and the correct way to perform the task. It is essentially the same message, just shifting from “don’t do this” to “it would be great to do this”.

2. Asking questions instead of stating observations

Picking up where the other successful sales management tip leaves off, a sales manager can often observe something that creates a concern. For example, sales performance or activity might not be on track. In this situation, a sales manager might have the natural instinct to confront the salesperson with the observation about behavior. Again, this can bring negative energy to the management process and that can decrease motivation and productivity.

Another option to address the concern is to ask questions about the area instead of stating the concern. For example, if the salesperson is not scheduling appointments at the right level, a sales manager’s natural instinct might be to tell the salesperson that their appointment scheduling level is too low. Another option would be to shift that to a question to ask the salesperson what their plan for increasing scheduled appointment is.



3. Decrease outcome dependence

Another sales coaching tip to improve successful sales management is to decrease the amount of outcome dependence. Outcome dependence is the premise of doing something and primarily focusing on the outcome. Applying this to sales management, this is managing sales resources and only focusing on closed business.

While closed business is the most important thing at the end of the day, there are many things that take place before the business is closed. A sales manager can be a much better coach and get better results with successful sales management if they shift from focusing primarily on the outcome of closed sales and pay attention to helping the salesperson to improve all of the steps that lead to closed business.


Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales managers to provide successful sales management.

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This article was published on Saturday 21 April, 2012.
Back to main topic: Sales Management
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