Increase Sales With Curbside Coaching
November 25, 2017
To be a successful sales manager and increase sales you must learn how to effectively perform curbside coaching.
Every sales call presents “lessons to be learned”. Salespeople who learn these lessons best develop their capabilities and improve their performance. Those who don’t or can’t learn the lessons find themselves doomed to mediocrity or failure.
Your job as a manager is to make sure your salespeople benefit from each call they make. The best way to do this is during the post-call coaching session, sometimes called “curbside coaching.”
When to Do It?
The best time to give feedback is immediately after the call. At this time, the details of the call are still fresh in your mind and the mind of the salesperson.
However, there are times when you can’t immediately curbside coach. If this is the case, be sure to jot your thoughts down on paper so you can discuss at a later time.
What Should a Coaching Session Accomplish?
The obvious answers are for the salesperson to recognize what they right and understand ways to improve. However, there are several other objectives that the session should achieve.
Have the salesperson:
• Assess the extent the salesperson achieved the call objectives
• Recognize what factors favorably influenced the outcome of the call
• Recognize what factors negatively influenced the outcome of the call
• Identify other actions that could have made the call more effective
• Determine what follow up actions are needed
The coaching session should also enable you to:
• Assess the salesperson’s ability in planning, implementing and analyzing a sales call
• Reinforce the salesperson’s strengths
• Identify areas for you to work with the salesperson
• Improve your relationship with the salesperson
• Gain insight into the types of issues your salesperson is confronting in the field
The Coaching Process
Using the 12-step process described here will help you accomplish the objectives mentioned earlier and help your salesperson to take full responsibility for his/her performance on calls.
After choosing the best time and place for the discussion, take the following steps:
- Establish rapport with the salesperson to insure that he will be receptive to coaching.
- Ask the salesperson to assess the extent the call objectives were achieved.
- Reinforce or clarify the salesperson’s assessment (agree on the outcome).
- Ask the salesperson to identify what went well (identify strengths).
- Reinforce the salesperson’s assessment of strengths by providing specific examples (reinforce strengths).
- Share your assessment of strengths you observed by the salesperson failed to mention. (This reinforces those areas and increases the salesperson’s awareness of factors that positively influence a sales call).
- Ask the salesperson to identify areas which could be improved or done differently. (Identify improvement opportunities).
- Listen and support the salesperson’s assessment (confirm improvement opportunities).
- Share your assessments of improvement opportunities you observed but the salesperson failed to mention.
- Reinforce areas of agreement.
- Use agreed upon improvement opportunities as a starting point for action planning.
- Identify ways in which you can support the salesperson’s plan to improve his/her effectiveness.
How much time you spend on each step will depend on several variables, including:
• The length of the sales call
• The complexity of the sales call
• The number of calls still remaining
• The importance of the call
• The time of day
• Total time available for the session
It’s important that you cover all the steps and allow adequate time to cover each one. An effective coaching session can last a few minutes or more than an hour. Use your judgment to decide the proper time based on the expected value of the discussion.
Salespeople need coaching to be at the top of their game. Invest the time after every call to develop your salespeople and increase sales with curbside coaching.
For additional information on coaching to increase sales, profits and customer loyalty go to: philfaris.com