It’s confession time for sales managers everywhere.
When your reps are struggling or, better yet, when the team is short of your goal for the month, do you step into the closest phone booth, strip off your suit, and fly in to rescue the damsel or dude in distress?
Every time you step in and take over a call, you run the risk of becoming (or continuing the trend) the Super Sales Manager.
Your reps need you. That’s without question. It will vary in terms of need and involvement from deal to deal, rep to rep, but ultimately they need you. What they don’t need is for you to swoop in and save the day. When you do that, what are they learning? How skillful are they becoming? Are you nurturing the seeds of sales greatness in your reps?
The key to ultimate, long-term and lasting sales success is to coach your reps to greatness. Rather than “save the day” on each call, wait until the call is complete and you’re back in the rep’s car. Revisit the call and ask:
- How did the call go?
- What went well?
- Where are you areas improvement?
Use the time, either right then or back at the office, to discuss best practices and coach the rep on their gaps in performance. Just as you can teach someone to fish and they’ll “eat for a lifetime,” you can also teach a rep to sell more effectively and they will then sell for a lifetime!
By the way, if you coach BEFORE the call, the call actually might go better. For example, do you ask, “What is the purpose of this call?” and “What do you want the customer to agree to at the conclusion of this call?” Two great questions to see if the rep is properly prepared and see what pre-call coaching needs to take place.
Coach your reps — don’t save the day! And ultimately you’ll save their career.