Coaching is a critical role for sales managers. But consider your own organization: how many managers spend time each week coaching and developing their teams?
For the rest of us, it’s a struggle. Sales managers just don’t put the necessary time into coaching. Sometimes – often – it’s because they don’t have the time available or they really don’t understand how to coach.
If you’re thinking, “Each of our sales managers spends about 30% to 40% of their time coaching,” then congratulations. You are in a small but decidedly elite group.
But it’s not that sales managers don’t want to. In a recent survey conducted by SalesGlobe, 84% of companies perceive coaching as either “very important” or “one of the most important factors of sales success” for their organizations. And the reps are actually really interested in doing the work. Surprisingly, although sales people often take a cynical view of training, most are open-minded when it comes to coaching and development that contributes to their success. In fact, 75% of sales leaders see their organizations as receptive to coaching.
Balancing out the role between sales and sales management is crucial to allow bandwidth for coaching time, and setting priorities for sales managers is the first step.
Leadership must make the mandate for coaching clear. If coaching is not a priority in the organization, it will only be conducted by those who are interested. Many of the top performing sales organizations around the world require that their managers spend target amounts of time weekly on coaching. To ingrain the process in the organization some companies will go as far as requiring managers to post their coaching time on a public calendar, making it visible to the organization. Like most business priorities, coaching has to be viewed as essential by leadership in order for managers to make it a priority in their own jobs.