Practicing Sales to Win

Practicing Sales to Win

“Never practice in front of customers.” – Grant Cardone

Professional sports teams spend 90% of their time practicing for games and 10% playing in them. In contrast, professional sales teams spend 99% of their time selling to customers (playing in games) and 1% practicing for them. Just as professional sports teams consistently practice to win, so should professional sales teams.

Practice is repeatedly doing an activity to improve or maintain a skill. Practice should be designed to improve a specific area through repetition while utilizing feedback. Practice should also be mentally demanding and is usually not enjoyable. The goal of practice is to increase capability.

While training is focused on learning, practice is focused on improving. Combine sales methodology and process training with practice. Turn sales meetings into practice sessions. Share information and recognize top performance, but spend the majority of time on practicing. Practice increases confidence, knowledge and motivation.

Organizations and people do not stay the same, they atrophy. To keep them growing and improving, focus on practice. Stop managing the team and start coaching them with practice. Salespeople should continually ask, would I buy from myself? If not, help them make the necessary adjustments through practice.

All contents copyright © 2017, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

Sales Management: Coaching the Coach

Sales Management: Coaching the Coach, Benefits of Sales Coaching

One-on-one coaching is a highly effective way to increase sales performance. As a result, it is common for first-line managers to do regular coaching sessions with salespeople where they actively evaluate customer engagements and provide feedback on areas of strength, as well as improvement. Second-line managers can further increase sales performance by providing coaching to first-line managers on specific coaching sessions through direct observation or by digital review. Net: Second-line managers coach the coach (first-line manager). 

The five benefits of coaching the coach are: 1) Values. Ensure the right behaviors are reinforced when delivering results. The how is more important than the what. 2) Strengths. Ensure knowledge, skill and talent are developed. Maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses. 3) Priorities. Ensure time is spent on the right people and things. Give priority to the first team similar to professional sports. 4) Process. Ensure the sales process is followed. The best sales process wins. 5) Perspective. Ensure broader perspective on deals. Use past experience to predict the future.

According to international sales expert Jack Daly, the top quartile of salespeople produce 60% of results while the bottom quartile produces 6%. The Harvard Business Review also found that the majority of sales managers spend 50% of their time coaching the bottom where the impact if minimal to none. To maximize performance, sales managers should make their first priority the top (60% of results) and their second priority the middle (34% of results). Effective coaching to the right salespeople can increase revenue performance by 25% (Source: Salesforce).

Coaching helps challenge first-line managers to perform at their best and live up to their own great expectations. It helps them build capability and confidence to think and act on their own. The test of effective coaching is, are first-line managers performing at a higher level because of it? If they answer is yes, effective coaching is taking place. You manage an operation for efficiency, you train employees for learning and you coach people for success. Coaching is often the difference between winning or losing, hitting or not hitting quota. Commit to coaching at all levels.

All contents copyright © 2017, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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