When riding with your sales reps, do you find yourself jumping in and taking over the sales call? I think in certain situations, I think this is needed when things are going really bad but when a sales manager dominates sales calls, we miss out on the key observations of our sales team members. We are only in the field with our sales reps only a fraction of the time so in holding back from jumping in can really help you observe, coach and train on areas of strengths and areas of improvement based on observation.
As a rep, I remember having the sales manager hide in the corner and not be involved in the conversation but obviously taking notes of errors or “improvement” areas and it makes everyone (customer included) feel uncomfortable. When visiting customers with the sales reps, be involved, but be sure the sales rep is the one leading the conversation. Below are some benefits of not jumping in and taking over the sales call.
BENENEFIT OF SALES REP LEADING THE CONVERSATION
During the field visit, when the sales rep leads the conversation, you can safely be an active participant and not be the creepy manager quietly observing in the background but by having the sale rep take the lead, you can observe the actions and interactions so that you can observe and discuss during your post sales call discussion. You can observe how they handle objections and leads the conversations to meet their sales objectives. If you jump in and lead the conversation, you miss out on the opportunity to have that discussion about the actions they took.
Remember, you are not with them every day and the time in field with your sales team is limited, so with the limited exposure, you want to maximize the time you do have with them and allow them to showcase what and how they operate, so that when you offer coaching, you are empowering them to execute on action items you found during observing them.
BLIND SPOTS REVEALED
When I was a sales rep, I always appreciated how my sales manager was able to uncover the blind spots to my approach and provide the coaching questions that have me examine my call. An effective sales coach can ask the questions to arm me with the tools to ask myself those same questions when the sales manager is not there. As a sales manager and sales coach now, in leading my team, I take the time to ask them thought provoking question about each call, their thoughts and to reflect back on what they did and if they had accomplished their objectives. I offer my opinions and suggestions when they ask, but setting aside the post call plan is very important in the sales coaching continuum.
YOU ALLOW THEM TO SHINE
As the sales manager, you won’t have the same level of interactions with the accounts, so you want your sales rep to be seen as the “go to” person and allow them to shine in the eyes of the customer. I have observed customers lean more towards visitors or VIP guests and even though we know the answer, we want to give our sales rep the opportunity to offer the solutions and to give them the opportunity to shine in front of the customer as well as their manager.