When asked “who’s in sales around here?” most HVAC company team members point to their “comfort advisors.” WRONG answer! Everyone on the team plays an important role in the sales process and they all need coaching to be successful.
Sales coaching is all about developing your people, improving performance, and achieving sales goals. It is best thought of as a behavior rather than a task. The focus must be on helping team members self-assess and self-discover ways to solve problems and grow.
To illustrate: the main objectives of sales coaching are to:
- Strengthen relationships
- Inspire self-motivation
- Assess strengths and areas for improvement
- Develop knowledge and skills
- Change behaviors
- Measure performance and provide ongoing feedback.
Ultimately, the goal of sales coaching is to create an environment where team members feel self-motivated to grow, excel, and take greater responsibility for what they do.
Effective sales coaching is the key to long-term performance improvement and organizational success. In fact, it is one of the most important jobs an owner/sales manager has.
It takes a certain kind of individual to step into a sales manager role — and an even more unique one to be successful at it. While most HVAC businesses are small companies that can’t justify hiring a dedicated sales manager, the need for sales management and coaching still exists.
In the absence of a sales manager, the company owner, general manager, or comfort advisor assumes the role on a “part-time” basis. Unfortunately, coaching their team (and themselves) to high-performance sales results is not something they know very much about, so their efforts are limited and typically fall short.
Out of frustration they focus more on closing sales with the one customer in front of them, not developing everyone on their team to improve the overall sales experience for all customers. This leads to burnout and lackluster long-term sales results.
So here are some thoughts on how to avoid this issue and get the sales results you need and deserve.
Begin with a Team Goal in Mind
Sales managers know they must drive performance through their team if they are to ever meet the company’s long-term growth and sales goal. That is to say, sales success always begins with setting SMART goals.
SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound
Following the SMART goal formula, the entire team understands specifically what must be accomplished; how related activities and results will be measured; that the goals are very achievable and relevant to the company’s success; and the timeframe within which the goal is to be accomplished.
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