2. CONNECTING – The human connection between a manager and a team member gives coaching its power. Without mutual respect and trust, learning won’t take place. Position yourself for a productive, open, and collaborative interaction by first connecting with the team member on a personal and professional level.
3. ASSESSING – Improving performance begins with a clear assessment of the current situation. Identifying performance gaps represents an opportunity to improve. This is why the manager and player must understand the behaviors that need to change.
This is achieved by asking focused, drill-down questions, then listening to the answers to gain a more complete understanding.
4. ANALYZING – Analysis helps all parties identify the root issue (typically a knowledge, skill, or will issue, or a combination of the three) that is preventing the desired behavior. These issues are not always related to poor attitude. Many will-based issues are emotionally rooted in fear. Identifying the underlying fear often reveals a lack of skill or knowledge.
5. ADDRESSING – Improving selling skills requires a clear action plan. The teammate should participate in brainstorming solutions. The coach can step in to guide the team member in evaluating those ideas to figure out which solution is best.
Participation on the part of the teammate results in ownership of the solution. Managers in coaching conversations must be careful to avoid falling into the role of being an expert that tells. Let them talk and share ideas.
6. COMMITMENT – Every coaching conversation should end in a commitment to specific behaviors and actions that will strengthen performance. This is the time to ensure that the team member is truly clear on agreed-to actions and next steps that maintain accountability.
In addition, this is a good time to reinforce the relationship on a human level. Offer encouragement and state your belief in the team member’s ability to succeed.
7. ACTION – Follow-up is the coach’s job. The goal of follow-up is to affect change, create an atmosphere of accountability, and demonstrate a commitment to coaching. Recognizing incremental improvement and providing encouragement will motivate the teammate to continue down the path to behavior change.
Effective sales coaching creates an environment where team members are self-motivated to grow, excel, and take greater responsibility for what they do. Your team’s long-term performance is dependent on your success.
Go get ’em, coach!