To Coach, or Not to Coach?
To coach, or not to coach: that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of occasional "time lost," Or to take arms against a sea of troubles. Think you don’t have time to coach? Think again. It’s easy, almost comforting, to say there simply isn’t enough time in the day to coach and do everything else—reports, admin tasks, hiring, and, of course, selling. From a sales manager’s perspective, coaching is a burden, especially given the pressures to produce. But, consider the premise that proper coaching is, in fact, not “time lost,” but time saved.
That an hour helping prepare a salesperson is time better spent than fighting the “sea of troubles” generated from unprepared, ineffective sales activity. The answer lies in targeted coaching. Think about it. Few, if any, fields of human endeavor succeed on mere reaction. Success requires preparation, focus and disciplined execution—especially when time is limited.
There is no question that sales managers have one of the hardest jobs in any organization. But it is also true that sales managers are the key to success in both changing behavior and achieving positive results in the field. Huthwaite challenges you to find an hour a week to do a pre-call plan or some other coaching exercise with one of your salespeople. Monitor individual progress and measure whether there is a positive net gain. The benefits realized will be far greater than the business outcomes alone. You will also save hours that otherwise would have been expended objection handling, exception making or playing the super closer. The more proactive you are, the more discretionary time you have to invest in other priorities. How does the old saying go—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Or a stitch in time saves nine? Trite perhaps, but true. To coach, or not to coach: that is the question. The answer is up to you.