An excellent salesperson is priceless to a company. However, a costly mistake for companies to make is promoting a high-performing seller into a management role, without any proper training.
Many times, a member of the sales force is promoted through the ranks so fast that they are not able to acquire the management skills necessary for their role. In some cases, the organization loses a great salesperson and gains a mediocre manager.
The sales process is a crucial part of business, but for some reason, the department is ignored when it comes to training and development programs. Organizations keep a close eye on sales, but often overlook the possibility of improving their sales team by including them in the company’s organizational development initiatives.
No matter whether it’s marketing, finance, or sales, new managers need the appropriate tools to help soften the transition from peer to manager, as well as a way to understand their new role. The path to organizational development can start with upper management developing ways for the newly crowned sales manager to act as a coach with other members of the sales team. Coaching skills are necessary for managing and leading in a changing business environment. Managers have the best opportunity to help team members succeed by providing mentoring and training.
If you don’t take the time to work with a new manager through this transition, you may be perceived as a leader who withholds information and expertise, and lets group members “sink or swim” based on their own ingenuity and savvy.
Now, if you work to help the new manager, you probably empower others to excel by providing the right resources, coaching, and training. Your direct reports may see you as an advocate or mentor in their career pursuits, and they probably have learned a great deal from working with you.
Here’s some advice to fine-tune coaching skills – both for yourself and your new managers:
Sharpen your skills in coaching by working with someone who will give you feedback on your coaching skills.
Attend meetings of coaching groups to gain expertise in coaching skills.
Hire your own coach for a period of time. Notice what this person does to help you succeed in achieving your goals, and practice using similar methods with your team members when appropriate.
Find out about the training and development opportunities available in your organization, and pass this information along to your team members. Encourage team members to participate in these activities, and allow work time for this whenever possible.
Identify the weakest performer on your team. Together develop a plan to improve his/her performance, jointly setting the goals. Include regular assessments and rewards for success.
Here at TBC, we take sales management training seriously. To learn more about our new Sales Management Survey, click here.