For example, the advantages of group coaching include:
- Time management for the sales manager. Providing the ability to coach three sales people at one time is more efficient than setting up individual meetings with each.
- More energy. There will be more energy and the ideas produced can be applied in a group situation. Everyone can share their challenges and successes, and everyone can learn from everyone else in a group situation.
- Competition. One person’s success will spur others on within a competitive environment. It is harder to say that something does not work when another person in the group is making it work.
You can’t extend disciplinary actions in a group. But for the most part, just about everything else can be accomplished more effectively in this type of coaching. And it especially applies to the coaching of sales personnel.
The training of sales personnel provides some special challenges because it is difficult to measure what is actually happening at all times. When we train an originator and he/she goes out on the street, how do we know why they are not producing?
- Are they making calls but not asking for the business?
- Are they calling on the wrong targets?
- Are they saying the wrong things and turning people off?
- Are they too aggressive?
We can train and monitor all we want, but we are not going to know what an originator is saying out on the street in order to help or hurt their cause. Coaching calls where we accompany the originator will not necessarily tell us what is wrong because we will not see their true behavior while we are present. While not 100% effective, they are still important. There are three types of field coaching calls:
- Training calls. We send a rooking out on the street with us or have them listen to us handing inquiry calls. This is a training exercise and the goal is the learning of techniques—or benchmarking.
- Monitoring calls. We are observing a sales person’s behavior. Let them do the talking and, even if we are approached by a person, we should defer to the loan officer. Our goal is to observe true behavior… though this is not exactly as effective as having a hidden video or audio tape.
- Joint calls. Joint calls cover a wide variety of situations including live sales calls or conference calls. Sometimes our sales personnel will rely upon us to help them seal an important deal. Or, perhaps you have a relationship with a particular client or expertise in dealing with builders.
Every sales person has some type of reluctance whether it be call reluctance, marketing reluctance or communication reluctance, such as the fear of public speaking. These reluctances can be crippling to the average sales person. It is important for a manger to not only identify a reluctance, bur format solutions to help the sales person overcome this handicap. There are many tools you can use:
- Make sure they schedule activities which they are likely to overlook if not on their calendar.
- Help them eliminate obstacles they are using as excuses to keep them from doing what they need to do.
- Make it fun with contents, challenges and games.
Most importantly, help them be honest with themselves. If they are going to overcome an obstacle, they must admit that their reluctance–and perhaps their attitude toward a task–is the problem, instead of excuses, such as paperwork and the competition.