B2B Sales Executives: Are you a coach or a manager?

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Becoming a B2B sales manager is the pinnacle of achievement in a sales department. You can be managing a small team or overseeing the entire sales department for your company. The job carries a lot of responsibility including that of motivating and helping your team grow as sales representatives.

It is easy to get swept up into the details of managing a sales department such as daily statistics, attrition rates, and tracking new clients. Often, upper management looks to you for the bottom line. However, while these tasks are important, your primary focus should be on developing your team.

It is not enough to just manage them. You need to coach them to success.

What is the difference between a B2B sales manager and a sales coach?

Managers focus on the numbers instead of the people. They are taskmasters instead of leaders, and while some of their sales reps can do well on their own, others need encouragement and help learning the best practices for interacting with clients.

On the other hand, a sales coach spends time with team members working with them on planning their approach to customers, offering feedback on what they are doing right and going with them on sales appointments to help them improve. They plan time to develop their people with a goal of success in order to drive sales.

A sales coach encourages their people to grow without taking credit for their sales. This is a positive effort that cements a team together. Sales people like being coached because they learn what they are doing right and what the next step is in their growth.

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Coaches are teachers

A good analogy is a baseball coach who works with their players on their skills, and then watches them during the actual game to see where they still need work and to cheer them on when they do well.

When you narrow it down there are three keys for being an effective sales coach:

  • A coach spends time asking questions and listening
  • A coach gets to the root of a problem, rather than trying to make quick fixes to symptoms
  • A coach  teaches responsibility, teamwork, and rewards personal growth

Sales techniques are generally not taught in school; they are learned on the job. Therefore coaching someone to improve their skills is how they learn.

Sales Dialing Automation Software Provides Options for Real-Time Telephone Coaching

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Spending time with sales representatives during sales calls is one of the best training and evaluation tools for a sales executive. For traditional field sales teams, this is common and routine. However, inside sales executives have a more difficult time evaluating sales reps during the sales call.Listening to recorded conversations and role playing are common tools for coaching telephone selling skills, however, both options lack that "real-time" interaction. Some sales dialing software tools provide sales coaches the ability to listen to the call in real time. Sales executives can also speak to their sales reps using a "whisper" mode.
ConnectLeader Director of Sales and Business Development, Mark Lynch authored an article for the ECSell Institute on the benefits of real-time sales coaching.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

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