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Coaching the Plan

If you did a good job of target setting everyone in the sales team knows what they have to achieve early in the year. Now it’s time to exercise the most fundamental act of behavioural change: “It’s not what you expect to get done that gets done, it’s what you inspect!”. In other words, follow up regularly! For¬†sales managers, this means getting out with sales people and coaching. In manufacturing, Tom Peters called this “MBWA” (Management by walking around). The sales profession doesn’t have a snappy equivalent of that phrase, but the value is just the same: Spending time with sales people to see what is happening in their world, and helping them perform in it.

As a minimum, sales people benefit from at least one day per month in the field with their sales manager where they are coached, get feedback, encouragement, training, troubleshooting, or whatever it takes for them to make their targets. Concretely, they need behavioural feedback on what they are doing well and what can be improved. So, this month, make sure you have a plan for field coaching for the year. This way you send a strong signal that you believe in performance, and will be following it up. Good luck!

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