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Planning and Preparation Strategies to be a Better Sales Coach

By Ron Schild

One of the most important roles we play as a manager is being a coach, and I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how we prepare, and the importance of preparation and planning in our ability to coach our folks. So Susan, do you have any thoughts on the most important parts of preparation?

Susan Hall: 00:01  I think one of the things is to be mindful of what it is that you're working on with your person so that you can be observing and also giving very specific feedback. I remember very early on in my sales career, I had a manager who said to me, "You know, you need to communicate better." What does that even mean? Does that mean, you're interrupting or you're not asking good open-ended questions? It can mean any number of things. So being very specific about your feedback.

Tim Deuitch: 00:59  I'll give you an example of being specific. I have a client that I was working with a couple of weeks ago and their sales managers realized that their sales team was tending to jump over the actual presentation of the company's capabilities. They were sort of assuming that people understood this company, so what they did was they told everybody in a planful way, they said, "For the time being, be looking at the way you present the company, the way you present our capabilities and our value proposition." It was very helpful for everybody involved, they were looking forward to getting the feedback.

Rick Van Natta: 01:39  I agree with what you're both saying here. In my coaching practice what I try to do is I focus on critical thinking skills, looking at options for every situation that comes up, and in that process, you have to be very specific. At the same time, you have to be focused on the business challenges that people are facing at the moment. As far as a coach goes, you have to be prepared to have those types of discussions with people to have an effective critical thinking discussion.

Ron Schild: 02:12  In that planning and preparation means that you have to be prepared at all times to be that coach. Whether it's a phone call asking for help or whether it's a planned, specific sales call you're going to make where you plan with the sales rep, based on what they think should be done during that call. I think the most important thing is we are always a coach in our roles and we're always there to help.

Rick Van Natta: 02:12  Absolutely.

Best of luck and let me know how I can help you achieve more effective training!

Published: August 17, 2018

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Ron Schild

Senior Consultant

Ron has spent his entire career in sales, sales management and general management at a major chemical company. His passion for sales and for helping others succeed in sales is clearly apparent in the courses he facilitates for SEG’s clients. He has an instant rapport with the members of his classes because he walked in their shoes. Since 1999 Ron has facilitated and consulted with SEG clients to improve their hiring, selling, and marketing. Ron graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.S. in biology and a minor in chemistry.

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