The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Coaching Your Teams


Front-line sales managers this one’s for you! 

Your job is difficult. Often top sellers, who were promoted to managers, can find it challenging to coach the skills they excelled at. Being a great player of the game doesn’t directly translate into being a great coach of the game. The coaching skill set is completely different. If you find yourself often taking over deals for your reps, or are unsure of how to best support each individual on your team — tune in. John Kaplan shares his advice for front-line sales managers who want to have a bigger impact on their team’s growth and revenue numbers. 

Here are some additional resources on sales planning:

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Observing. Watching somebody else do something is so critical, but it's really, really hard to do and you can't look at it and say, okay, this person is not doing it exactly as I would do it, so I'm going to cut him off and I'm going to take over. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth. Presented by the team at force management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Club Miller. John Kaplan joins me today. Hi John, Hello Rachel. So today we are going to focus this conversation on managers. We always say a frontline manager has one of the hardest jobs in the sales organization. I think that's a really accurate statement. Everything goes through frontline sales managers to get to the reps, to get to customers. It's like that. Not a bottleneck, but it's definitely a ring that you got to go through and the challenge. I think that a lot of companies experiences. They're normally the last ones we think about to train. Yeah, and and that's because they were great sales reps and they typically got promoted to managers. And that also leads me to another topic we often talk about with managers. That it's it's very difficult for you as a manager not to take over for your reps because you know how it should be done. It's hard not to just jump on the call and do the selling for them. You really need to force yourself as a manager to be informed but to also enable, and that's a critical step to being really good at being a frontline manager. Yeah, I think that the way you put...

...that, it's really hard because most of us that become managers we love the art of the deal, so we tend to do more than we coach and that's just not scalable. And so, for the rest of the conversation today, if you're a sales manager, you're coaching and developing people. Just pay attention to that. You know, typically our default setting is to just do, it's not to coach, and you really need to switch it around to make it scalable. Right, would you do you prevent others from doing so today we're going to go through a coaching model that we use. It's very simple. They can help you, as a manager, provide guidance with your reps in order to enable them to do it themselves. So go through that. Go through a real quick give a high over Beau jet. Yeah, so I'll talk about the kind of the origin. From back in the day, I remember wanting to getting being so frustrated with a seller that I wanted to fire them actually, and I called my boss and my boss was like, well, you know, walk me through. Why do you want to fire this person? I said because they don't do this, they don't do that, they don't do this, they don't do that, and my boss was kind of chuckling a little bit and now it's kind of like what's so funny? He said, well, I know somebody who does that really, really well, all those things really really well, and what he was really telling me was, hey, John, you you know how to do those things. You're frustrated that your rep doesn't know how to do those things. And so what he said was introduced this coaching model to me. So the first thing you need to do is you need to tell people what's expected them. Next thing you need to do is to is to show them how to do it, and then you have to observe them doing it and then you should give them feedback. And we kind of walk through that and he went through each one. He's like, Hey, did you tell let's say it was Johnny. Did you tell Johnny what was expected? And I'm like,...

Oh, yeah, absolutely, and then after that it began to fall apart a little bit as we walk through the model, right, because that first step is is where a lot of managers stop. Yeah, I mean they typically do. We're typically good at telling people what we want them to do. But I want you to think about a there was a great book written several years ago. It was called first break all the rules and I think it's still in print today. I think it's been printed in every major language around the world and in that book the major premise is these are all of the top things that the people that work in the greatest companies on the planet and feel like they work for the greatest companies on the planet, they feel like those companies do really, really well. And number one was I know what's expected of me in my role, and so it's not any small task. You, you. That's why we start with that as because that's the minimum expectation that people have, is that I understand what's expected of me. So you can't take that for granted. Yeah, it's amazing how many companies just don't have that clarity or how many sales people don't have that clarity from from the people above them. So that first step is to tell right, which can't just stop there. As you said, you need to show them. So when we say show John, what do we mean by showing? Can you give an example? Well, so, if you first you have to you have to determine what it is that you want them to do and then you have to show them how to do it. And so, let's say it's just a simple example. It's like, Hey, you need to get to the economic buyer. Okay, so that's being and it's not specific enough. It's like, okay, which economic fire? How specifically do I get to the economic fire? What is stopping me from getting to the economic... Once I get past that part of telling them what's expected, then you got to make sure they know how to do it. And so when you're going through this coaching model, you can't just tell somebody to do something. Happens a lot when you're going through account reviews. You're like, Hey, you need to do this, you need to negotiate that, you need to have this conversation with your champion and if you haven't validated that they know how to do that, you have to show them how to do it. A couple of comments here is sometimes you might not be the best person to show them how to do that side. A lot of listeners out there will struggle with that. You might not be the best qualified person, but you've heard US talk about like level fours and your organization, those people that have high skill and high will. Sometimes those are great potential coaches to be able to demonstrate the skills that you are specifically asking them to do or talking to your people about. So couple points. It has to be you have to make sure that people know how to do it. So you had to give them a great vision on how to do it and also be open to the fact that if it's not you don't get hung up on it. Go find out what's the best resource to to demonstrate that skill and just go do it. Yeah, I think this show is is a critical, critical stuff and I know, even on calls with people that I've managed before, there might be a delicate conversation and in our in our call prep, I might say here's what I want to do in this call and here's how I'm going to do it. So just watch how I do this so you can do it the next time. And if used that showing component as part of our call preps so the person knows to listen for how I'm going to execute a certain communication tactic or whatever. Yeah, right, soil. That point is so critical that you're making because, like, first of all, we're just trying to get people to do pre call planning. Allowed just showing up and hey,...

...let me get my boss on the phone. And I'm guilty of this at force management too. If I don't do a good job preparing with the REP, I wind up going on the call and I go to my default self setting, which is, you know, sell the deal or do whatever I'm doing due discovery and I wind up just running, and I'm not being specific. We haven't had that conversation sometimes about okay, who's doing what and why is somebody doing something? So I don't mind showing up and helping reps do things but sometimes I fall into the trap of I just naturally continue to do things and then the rep isn't progressing because I'm always doing that and it's both of our faults. Sometimes the reps get a little complacent and say, well, if Caplan's going to do it, John, John, he's our man. If he can't do it, no one can. And you know, feeding into my ego and you know I show up and want to do really, really great on sales calls and but the problem is sometimes you advocate your authority and sales calls, if you're a seller, if you have your boss, just kind of take over and you know the person that's being sold to is looking to whoever is speaking kind of in the future, and sometimes we can get into a jam on that. Yeah, that's a really, really good point. So those first two, first two steps, tell and show, both super critical and we talked about managers who stop at telling. There's a sect of them to that stop it at showing and these but the final two steps, observing and providing feedback, are two areas where you can really distinguish yourself as a great manager. Yeah, I'm just going to be really transparent with the listening audience. I suck at observing. It's hard for me. Like I said, I like the three really the deal, the art of the deal, the art of the conversation. I love being involved. So I'm just giving your heads up. Observing, watching somebody else do...

...something is so critical, but it's really, really hard to do and you can't look at it and say, okay, this person is not doing it exactly as I would do it, so I'm going to cut him off and I'm going to take over again. You're not going to scale. And so I actually literally do this sometimes. I just because I'm an animated Talker, would have you I move my hands. Sometimes, I actually just slip my hands underneath my thighs and I just hold my hands down and it's kind of a natural thing that I do, or physical thing that I do, to say, John, just watch, just be quiet now. You can't. This is going to be the hardest thing. I think it's the hardest thing to do in the whole model. You you can't let you can. It's okay for people to fail a little bit in sales conversations or in situations because it's not catastrophic. You can always go back and clean it up or you can clean it up at at at a when the person takes a break, you're transitioning to the next subject or what have you. But the big challenge is is just telling yourself, unless there's something catastrophic going on here, that the customers going to get into a jam, we're leading them to a really bad place or it's just wrong what the seller is saying. Just be quiet and then use it for the next step on feedback. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to progress. And so when we get to feedback, you know the challenges and struggles with that is is that sometimes we don't really think about how we give feedback. In the really simple model, I like to start with two things that the seller like about what they just did or what I just did about us. So two things we like about when we get off stales calls. I like to do this, two things we like about what we just did and two things we would do differently. And when I asked sellers about that, hey give me two things you like about what you just did on the call, they really really struggle with it...

...and they go to the negative say, well, I don't think I asked a great discovery questions. I struggled a little bit when they asked for that concession. I say no, no, start with two things that you liked, two things that you like and then two things that you would do differently. The reason why I love that model so much is it really helps me gage how aware they are of their situation. And most times here's what I find. The good ones they're harder on themselves than I could ever be, and I'm not looking to be hard on people, but the good ones they'll talk about those areas of where they struggled. You know, give me really, really laser focused areas that I can get feedback. So I love doing that. Two things that you like about what you did and two things that you do differently. And if you're a leader and you're on a sales call, you should have you should allow the rep to do it for you too. You should say, okay, on my part, what two things did you like about what I did and what two things would you do differently? People just freak out when you do that. It happens all the time beforce management for me with some new sellers and I'm like, okay, what two things did you like about what I did. And what two things would you do differently? Oh, I love this and that and this and that, and I said, okay, thank you, I appreciate that. What would you do differently? Of Your me? Ah was just so good. I don't know if I would do anything differently. And I'm like Nah, that's not how we roll here. You know, I'm looking to improve too, and once you kind of just do that humility a little bit, I think it's gives a great a great platform to be both give each other and ourselves great, great feedback. Yeah, it creates a great environment for constantly trying to get better at what you do, and that's why we call this coaching model. Tell, show, observe feedback. It's a circular model, so after you provide the feedback, you t home what they would do differently,... observed feedback. It's an ongoing cycle, and that two things you did well in two things that you would improve, is something I'm glad you said a John, because I was going to say to I mean, that's how we do debrief all of our calls. That's that's the mantra that we use and we have a whole blog on giving great feedback and ways to give feedback to your teams. I'm going to go ahead and make sure to put that in the show notes, so be sure to check that out. And I think kind of the underlying theme with all of this and one of the traits that always rises up for me when when it when we talk about frontline downal sales managers and what makes them great, and it typically comes back to effective communication. I think that probably fuels our bottom line here John Today. Yeah, I'm just going to be for I do the bottom line. I'm just going to comment on something that she said on it being circular, because I don't want to leave people with the impression that says, Hey, you just go around in this endless loop on this. First tell them, then show them, then observe them, then give them feedback and if they're not improving as you continue to go through this model, after you give them the feedback and they're not improving on stuff that's critical for the job or critical for the role, then my boss told me, okay, now you can go ahead and move johnny out, because I really want to be clear here. The goal is that they're improving and so when we go through this, I don't want you to feel like you go through this endless motion. Yeah, I told them and I'm going to tell them again. I showed them and I'm going to show them again. I've observed them and I'm going to observe them again, and I've given the same feedback over and over again. That is not what we're talking about doing, but we're talking about doing what, like you said, from an effective communication standpoint, that's key. So we, as leaders and coaches, have to find a way to coach the what and the how, and this coaching model of Tell, show, observed, give... is a great, great way to do it. Give it a try. All right. Thank you, John. Thank you for going through that circular motion a little bit more clearly for us, and thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready podcast. At force management we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US AT FORCE MANAGEMENTCOM you've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (198)