Yesterday I was listening to a VP of Sales belittle his sales team for poor performance during the first quarter of the year. From previous contacts with him, it was clear he had a financial background but little or no sales experience himself.
He just analyzed the numbers and tracked the results, but did not actually coach his team!
This situation made me reflect on the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments and the exceptional effort put forth by marvelous athletes along with superb coaching.
Virtually all of the coaches have played basketball at some level and although they may not have been a superstar, they all have studied and know the game intimately.
In addition to the X’s and O’s, they understand the emotional nuances of the game and the highs and lows of winning and losing. They excel at empathizing with their players, providing them with structure, as well as motivation support to achieve their goals.
In our work with sales organizations, we often see superbly talented sales professional’s performance being sup-optimized by average to poor sales coaching.
Frequently sales managers have expertise in other aspects of the business i.e. finance, accounting, marketing, operations, etc., but they lack practical experience of actually been out on the bricks selling.
I’m not inferring other disciplines can’t lead the sales effort; however, organizations need to provide them with supportive training or coaching to fill the obvious void.
Just as in the NAAC tournament “world class” athletes combined with “world class” coaching results in championship performances! You shouldn’t underplay your sales coach.
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
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