Coach a Winning Sales Team: The 7 Critical Steps

Resources, Sales Resources

In this post, we will review the 7 steps to coach and lead your Sales Team to lead them to success, and optimize their performance.

Here is what we will cover:

The Difference between Managing and Coaching

Work Culture – Team Environment and Trust

Positive Reinforcement

Team Members are Individuals

Development Plans

Motivation

Communication

Guided Conversations

The Difference between Managing and Coaching

Coaching your Sales Team will lead them to success, optimize performance. There is a big difference between managing a team and coaching a team.

Management includes the day to day tasks and working with the team as a whole.

Coaching moves you into working one on one with each team member to build their skill set and work on their performance and requires a skill set that is very different from overall team management.

These are the 7 critical areas that you will want to master to build that winning sales team. It is critically important for Sales Managers to find the time to work on coaching each team member as an individual if you want to see outstanding results.

1. Work Culture – Team Environment and Trust

I cannot stress enough the importance of a positive work environment to enable your sales team to excel and thrive.

 There must be a clear conversation around expectations, but this must be coupled with an environment in which they feel valued and trusted.

The team must feel that their contributions, their efforts, and their abilities make a difference. They must feel that they have a voice, will be listened to, are trusted, and a valued member of the team.

2. Positive Reinforcement

Too often Sales Manages think that coaching is about correcting mistakes and failures.

 Coaching is about developing and growing on the positive outcomes in addition to working together to analyze and find solutions to obstacles.

 Your coaching sessions should use questions that stimulate thinking around positive outcomes and illuminate solutions and a way forward through challenges to develop your team.

If you are not providing positive feedback, you are missing one of the most important habits of an effective as a Sales Manager.

3. Treat your Team Members as Individuals

The most effective Sales Teams all have a shared common goal, understand the expectations, and a common process but are allowed to bring their own personal style to the table.

Each team member will have their own collection of positive strengths that you can discover together and work on to develop.

This collaborative environment will lead to a strong team of individuals who will learn from each other and will be more engaged as a team.

4. Development Plans

Each team member should have their own individual development plan that you will work on together. Don’t build a one size fits all structure into your coaching and development or you will not get the committed buy-in that an individual development plan brings into the equation.

Your team wants to do well and grow, they will be significantly more engaged if they can do that in a supported environment.

You want to make sure you are helping them to build on their strengths for greater forward momentum, confidence, and effectiveness.

5. Motivation

It is important that you properly understand what motivates each of your team members. It’s not always money!

This will give you important clues on how to inspire each team member and what achievements you should recognize.

6. Communication

This is often a neglected step.

It’s surprising how many salespeople feel that their manager doesn’t communicate with them properly or at all beyond sales numbers. Communication includes: listening, questioning, updating on company news, scheduled one on one time, and an open-door policy.

7. Sales Team Member Guided Conversations

It is important that you allow your Sales team members to guide the conversations. By doing this you are allowing them to take ownership of their role.

They will be more engaged if they are guiding the conversation and asking the majority of the questions.

As a Sales Leader, you should be coaching them into this mind set with your own questions – get into the habit of “Ask don’t tell” conversations.

In Conclusion

These 7 steps will take practice for you to perfect.

If you work to build these habits step-by-step you will find yourself leading a winning sales team who are engaged, dedicated, committed, and loyal.

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