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Sales Coaching for Sales Managers
By Ryan Bloom

Sales coaching is not only good for sales representatives, it is also good for sales managers so they will know how to motivate their sales team into being more productive and efficient.

Listening well to our clients' needs has often been the subject of so many sales seminars and forums, but have you used this skill to coach your sales representatives? When coaching your sales people, do you listen to their needs or do you discuss your suggestions on how they could have done better with a particular client, how to become more productive, and how to manage their time better?

Sales coaching is a one-on-one activity that is aimed to help someone overcome their limiting thoughts and beliefs to achieve their potential by listening to their own answers to your questions.

Questions are asked to probe and uncover the thought processes of your sales representatives. Their answers will make you understand their individual needs and assist you on how to guide them and address those needs by letting them think and find a solution by themselves.

It is not for you to provide the answers, because being dictated on what to do and what not to do, does not encourage openness, it builds resentment. So, just ask, listen, and guide them to the right path.

Let them think and analyze, give them the freedom to discover for themselves how through your guided questions they can find a solution to most of their sales challenges. When you encourage them to talk, they will be more open, enthusiastic and be more receptive to new ideas thus making your sales coaching session effective.

Ask questions that require answers, not just a, "Yes or No" in agreement or disagreement to your queries. Make them think, rationalize, acknowledge their mistake, find ways or solutions to prevent them from making the same error.

You should be the mirror that will show to them what went wrong and how to go about it in a better way, how to improve themselves by releasing their limiting thoughts, how to dress properly in meeting with clients, how to make their sales presentation more upbeat, and the importance of knowing their product, the market, the competitor, etc.

There are so many "How To's" to be explored and discussed with the aim of uncovering the potential of your sales team. It is a daunting task, but it will soon reap its rewards with a more open understanding and greater teamwork to achieve individual goals for a common group target.

Therefore, it is very important that sales managers should undergo sales coaching too, so that they will know how to conduct a sales coaching session with their sales representatives. Coaching and being a sales manager require different skills that many sales managers unluckily don't have.

To be able to coach their sales team effectively, sales managers should know the right questions to ask, how to listen, how to follow-up vague answers with another question that will eventually lead to the right answer or solution with the sales representatives doing the thinking by themselves.

For more on sales coaching for sales managers see Sales Overdrive

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