==== ====Learn How To Start Your Own Coaching Business :http://snurl.com/21o9qkj==== ====Coaching sales staff members on consultative selling methodsTo establish a strong administrative system based on a "coaching culture" can help build a moresuccessful practice.Coaching staff members on consultative selling methods, then establishing a strong administrativesystem based on a "coaching culture" can help build a more successful practice.Coaching-from sports to business management-is recognized as one of a managers mostimportant activities along with recruiting, motivating, and assigning accountability. In order to helppeople capitalize on their strengths and overcome personal obstacles to attain their next level ofexpertise, a coach must focus on high return on investment (ROI) skills, implement a strong sellingsystem, understand the hand youve been dealt, and track metrics.This article examines deterrents to coaching and de-mystifies the process by providing ideas andtools that help create a coaching culture for generating a high ROI. In Rethinking the Sales Force,Neil Rackham & John deVincentis note, "Studies of high-performance consultative salesforces consistently show that systematic high-quality coaching is the most important single tool fordeveloping performance."When to Coach Your Sales TeamHigh-performance business managers crave high-performance staff members. But when shouldyou put on your coachs hat? While the vast majority of people need some form of coaching, aperson involved in the dispensing of hearing aids is sending a strong signal when he/she:o Always asks for "special" low pricing;o Lacks motivation and drive;o Lacks confidence and has difficulty recovering from rejection;o Continually accepts stalls and put-offs;o Finds it impossible to recommend top-of-the-line products.Of course, these are only a few examples from an extensive list. But even if you notice only a fewof these signals, keep in mind that increased product "commoditization" makes staff members acritical point of differentiation-your companys competitive edge. If you accept this proposition, thencoaching takes on the utmost importance.Why Not Coach a Sales Team?
Considering the positive results derived from effective coaching, why does coaching often getoverlooked?Lack of experience. Many managers dont know how to coach in a consultative-sellingenvironment. First of all, they may not have been coached in it, or perhaps they experiencedprevious success in a more clinical or transactional environment (e.g., they did the testing anddiagnostics, and the fitting, counseling, and aural rehabilitation process was left to anotherprofessional). Consultative selling is very different from a transactional sale; it requiresmanagements involvement beyond hiring professionals who "know it all." In todays businessworld, change is constant and staff members need to be strategically and tactically "on board."Entrepreneurs need to learn how to coach their personnel on the effective counseling anddispensing related to appropriate products/services.Lack of training. In other businesses, many sales managers are promoted because they werenaturally talented, top sales performers. In a hearing care office that requires consultative sellingskills, however, these complex "people-oriented" skills must be learned. Without appropriatetraining in how to coach, entrepreneurs too often play the role of the "white knight" rescuing thedeal. They simply cant see themselves as a developer of sales people who consistentlyoutperform their manager. Frequently, these same business managers are frustrated by a staffmembers inability to produce the results they are accustomed to generating themselves.Lack of understanding. Business managers who assume their coaching is done when they pointout to their staff areas for improvement have an overly simplistic view of this skill. They dontunderstand that the process for delivering long-term behavior change should include anawareness of the skill gap, knowledge, application, reinforcement, and accountability.At a recent national conference for sales managers, I asked the question, "Why dont you investtime in coaching your sales people?" Their responses demonstrated a general lack ofunderstanding about the coaching process, skills and potential ROI:o I dont like listening to their complaining.o Im busy taking care of my own accounts.o Theyll come to me when they need my help.o That rep is so stuck in his ways, hell never change.o Im too busy going to management meetings.o I dont know where to begin.o Im so busy with day-to-day issues.Creating a Sales Coaching CultureHere are some practical ideas for developing a coaching culture:Focus on high ROI skills and beliefs. How does a business manager know where to focus theircoaching effort to maximize performance? Start with an assessment tool that provides objectiveinformation about the "selling" beliefs of the staff member. This information is a reliable source fordetermining how to best coach him/her to maximize results. Without this type of information, youmay have your eye on the wrong ball.One business manager I worked with felt that his sales people always needed help in the closing
process and spent all of his coaching time on this step. In reality, his sales people were havingdifficulty with the discovery phase, believing it was impolite to ask questions. Without answers tothe right questions, outstanding closing skills, and consultative sales strategies are useless!As a sales manager, Objective Management Groups (OMG) sales evaluation helps identify beliefsthat are sabotaging the dispensing professionals efforts. Then I focus my coaching on those areasthat would address these beliefs.For example, as a sales manager, I had a representative who frequently said, "They dont havethe money in their budget." Through extensive research, OMG has determined that there are anumber of beliefs that are not helpful in the consultative sales process:o I should have the best price.o Its impolite to talk about money.o If there isnt enough money in their budget. I cant get more.Since a discomfort talking about money can negatively impact sales results by up to 24%, Idecided that my coaching and training efforts needed to focus on these belief systems. Until mysalesperson could talk comfortably and confidently about money and budgets, this objection wouldhaunt him forever!There are many management tools available that can assist a manager of a small business in thisendeavor. Quick Coach is one example of a CD full of helpful ideas on how to start coaching. I useit to access coaching suggestions for a representatives identified roadblock. The program offerspositive affirmations, recommends books on coaching, and other training and coaching resources.In short, it provides a mini-course for creating a coaching culture.Introducing more productive ways of thinking can be a coaching challenge. A staff member whohas the desire to be successful, the unconditional commitment to do whatever it takes to besuccessful (i.e., within solid professional and ethical parameters), and the willingness to takepersonal responsibility for their success will be able to adjust their mindsets once they understandthe benefits to their clients, the business/practice, and their own professional development.Implement a Strong System Process for Consultative SellingA strong system provides a framework for assessing needs and measuring progress, including:o Clear steps that can be inspected and monitored;o A common language for planning and debriefing on office visits;o A framework for making joint decisions regarding sales when needed.For example, when I initially started working with a high-end IT consulting company, they wereconvinced that their sales cycle could not be less than 18 months. They agreed that it would bevaluable to have a shorter sales cycle, but that it would be impossible to attain. We documentedtheir selling process and optimized it to ensure every interaction with the prospect was maximized.In creating this process, they created a common language for the entire sales organization thatensured more effective pre-call planning, call execution, post-call debriefing. These processesreduced the average sales cycle to 15 months, resulting in improved margins and cash flow for the
company.Although hearing instrument dispensing is obviously a completely different type of environment,there are many analogous situations relative to client "hand-holding" and consultative selling. Astrong system combined with a skilled business manager who coaches staff members via afocused process builds the confidence of the staff and initiates exploration into new ways to besuccessful. Ultimately, this will reap personal and bottom-line rewards for everyone.Assess Sales Team to Understand the Hand-Youve-Been-DealtOne tool that can help a manager of a small business determine the best approach in coaching forsuccess is the "Hand-Youve-Been-Dealt" quadrant developed by John Condry of CornerstonesManagement, a management consulting firm. Once you determine which quadrant your staffmember is in, you can determine the best coaching strategy: 1) terminate or transfer; 2) train andprovide personal goal development; 3) retain and provide growth opportunities, or 4) maintain andmonitor performance.For example, Jim, an office products company president, had two sales people who werent hittingrevenue targets. Jack had been with the company for about 9 months and had not hit any quick-start targets. He seemed to always make excuses for his non-performance. "The competition isgiving product away; how do you expect me to compete when you dont give me the negotiatingroom I need?" and "I dont get enough technical support. If you want me to sell, I need moresupport." After evaluating Jacks performance, Jim put Jack into the first quadrant with poorattitude and low competence. Jim had three options:1. Talk to Jack about personal responsibility for results to move him to quadrant two where therewould be ROI in training efforts2. Transfer him to another department3. Terminate his employmentJim had to coach Jack differently than Nancy. Nancy was new to the company. She had atremendous amount of enthusiasm and was very trainable. However, she lacked productknowledge and selling skills. She had a good attitude but poor skills, earning her a spot inquadrant #1. The required action to move her to quadrant four was training. In understanding "thehand he was dealt," Jim was able to more clearly identify what action steps were needed.Tracking Your Sales MetricsAnother process that managers find helpful in determining where to begin coaching is to inspectthe staff members metrics and his/her ratios in each step of the consultative selling process. Forexample, whats the value of each sale? Is the staff members dispensing activity in line with youror others activities? Are there greater returns associated with his/her clients? Although the salessteps and metrics will vary based on the field, market, and the types of products and services, byinspecting these metrics on a regular basis, a business manager can diagnosis areas of constraintthen focus coaching on these particular steps of the process.Personal Proof That Sales Coaching Works
A typical assessment by a sales person I encountered attests to the power of effective salescoaching: "Its so helpful to have an objective person to debrief [client visits] with, someone whocan help me identify the roadblocks that seem to block my way repeatedly."Linda Richardson in her book, Sales Coaching, sums up the critical need for effective coaching inbusiness: "Even if an organization has a compelling vision, even it is highly market-oriented, andeven if it has sales systems, without developmental coaching as a way of life and feedback as amainstay of communication, its management and sales people cannot continuously improve andget to the next level fast enough."Hearing instrument dispensing is a complex task that demands a high degree of audio logicalknowledge, fitting experience, and counseling skills, as well as a highly ethical approach to helpingpeople who suffer from hearing loss. However, dispensing offices/practices rely on the many ofsame consultative sales principles that make most small businesses successful. A hearing carebusiness/practice-including the owner and his/her staff members-stands to benefit significantlyfrom basic coaching in consultative sales.Strategy. Execution. Results.Danita E. ByeSales Growth Specialists, Inc. - CEO / FounderDanita@SalesGrowthSpecialists.com - See all my sales articles.C. 612.267.3320 - O. 612.246.4806P.S. Download my complimentary eBook 67 Tips to Accelerate Sales.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Danita_Bye==== ====Learn How To Start Your Own Coaching Business :http://snurl.com/21o9qkj