As a manager of a sales team, it’s part of your job to ensure that your employees are performing to the best of their abilities and meeting their goals. This requires some coaching to make sure each member has the tools they need to succeed. Many managers don’t coach their team properly. Maybe they haven’t been trained to do so, have overlooked its importance, or are simply focused on other aspects of their work. Whatever the reason, sales coaching shouldn’t be ignored. It drives performance. Your sales representatives will be more productive, invested, and engaged with proper coaching. Here are a few of the best coaching tips to boost sales performance:
If you’re present in the office and able to see your sales team in action, you’ll be better able to coach them to success. Don’t just rely on the numbers. Work with your sales reps in person. Show that you’re available for questions and support at any time in the loan process. Being involved is not micromanaging. You aren’t doing their work for them, but you’re keeping a sense of openness in the office. By guiding them as they work in the sales field, you can help them get past any issues that may come up. You’ll spot first hand where things may be going wrong and be able to offer specific support when it’s most useful.
Ask the right questions
Good sales coaching means not over-managing your sales team. When working with an employee, aim to ask thought-provoking questions to get him or her thinking about solutions before handing out an answer. Encourage your sales reps to think for themselves rather than telling them what to do. Not only will this give them confidence, but it will also allow you to delegate more effectively. Asking open questions helps teach employees to be more self-sufficient. It sets up a strong dynamic that you have confidence in your employees to work independently while also being available for support. It’s a good way to avoid toxic micro-managing and to instill more self-reliance.
Allow employees to form a plan of action
Your sales reps should create their own goals and steps to improving their sales skills. You set the framework for this by scheduling meetings, asking questions, having a system for monitoring goals and progress, answering questions, and providing the resources and training that are needed. Let your employees fill in that framework. Create an environment where they can come up with their own plan and have your guidance when needed. This increases their sense of responsibility for their own progress and ownership of their success.
Help them improve their skills
When you meet with employees, find out which skills they feel they most need to improve on. Chances are that those are going to be the best place for them to focus their efforts. By letting them decided, you allow them to take initiative and feel more invested in their efforts to improve. Help employees pinpoint one or two skills so that they don’t get overwhelmed. Through regular meetings, you can work with your employee to monitor how those skills are improving and add new skills as progress is made on others.
Some managers confuse coaching with taking responsibility for their employees success or failure. Good coaching helps employees feel that responsibility themselves. By coaching your employees, you’re staying involved and being present. You’re creating systems that encourage progress and giving feedback; but you’re making it clear that your employees take the reins on their own progress. By allowing them to create their own goals, to identify their own challenges, and to work out their own solutions (with guidance when needed), you encourage accountability.
Managers who micromanage aren’t successful or effective, especially when it comes to the sales performance of their team of loan officers. Knowing how to coach your sales team well is the best way to ensure continued improvement and increased success. All of these tips highlight the employee’s role in the coaching process. A great sales coach knows how to be involved without taking over. Think of sales coaching as a picture; you draw a clear outline, and let your employees fill in the rest.