“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
Leaders in winning sales cultures know that employees are the most important resource in the business. They are the face of the enterprise to the customer, building its reputation and growing revenues; employees are the heart and soul of the firm. Given this indisputable fact, the most important function of sales leaders is to ensure that each employee possesses the fundamental capabilities to be successful. The top priority for leadership must be that of acquiring the very best talent, and then to work diligently in helping each and every individual be the best they can be!
From a sales leader standpoint, it is most important to establish a rhythm or an expected routine for coaching sessions. The focus of these meetings is to facilitate employee growth and development. For the purpose of ensuring that leadership can make the best use of time and optimize overall effectiveness, here are a few thoughts on the key elements for a successful coaching session:
- Agenda is developed for the meeting and reviewed up-front, with verbal acknowledgment and confirmed understanding between the coach and employee as to what is to be accomplished in the session (role play, a review of instructional videos or other materials, etc.)
- Active engagement and participation by both employee and coach
- Honest, objective, non-judgmental feedback and counsel from the coach
- Open and candid two-way communication between employee and coach
- Confirmation at the end of the meeting as to what was accomplished; expectations set for improved employee performance; and a plan is outlined for the next session
As with other meaningful endeavors in life, the development of people is more of a journey than a destination; however, both employees and leaders will find it to be a rewarding and productive experience. And, when done effectively, the salesperson’s performance will speak for itself. Winning sales cultures produce outstanding results because leaders dedicate themselves to caring, rigorous and disciplined preparation of their employees.