You may think you are doing all of the right things. You coach. You let your team members make mistakes. You show them the “right way”. But is it enough?
The combination of learning from experiences — your own or others, trying new ways to get something right, and willingness to persist while remaining open-minded can be boiled down to some terms we are all quite familiar with: coaching, practice, and endurance. A recent analogy to the well-known tale of the three little pigs gives insight to how this combination can truly mean the difference between surviving and thriving. The article, focused on financial investment behaviors, could quite easily be applied to how we survive and thrive in sales.
According to a recent survey by A Sales Guy and published in Forbes, those who exceeded their sales quotas consistently over a 3 year period were 32.5% more likely to be coached than those who missed quota. Clearly, these salespeople know a good thing when they see it. They see that coaching worked for them and so they continue to be open to feedback and practice. But what about those who did not exceed their quotas? What about the salespeople who were trying to build their careers with hay and weak foundations? The survey suggests that it should not be assumed that these people do not want to be coached toward improvement. In fact, although 82.1% of sales leaders say they coach their salespeople, only 48.2% of salespeople report they are getting coached. Further, according to the report, 66.1% of those people who weren’t coached say they wanted to be.
This leads us to question what we are doing as sales leaders. If you are a sales leader, do you feel you are providing the coaching your salespeople demand? A whopping 40.3% of salespeople don’t believe their sales leader is committed to their personal development. If you fall into this bucket, what can you do to make a shift way from a traditional selling culture focused on a monthly push for numbers and instead comment yourself to truly improving your salespeople?
Today’s workforce is more employee-centric than ever. Employees need to know why they are working, what they are working for, and how their development will be valued now and in the future. Further, as employers, we are dealing with the stress of managing this new employee-centric culture while still grappling with a growing diverse and remote workforce. How can we be all things to all people? There is an answer: technology. Technology alone will not turn your apathetic salesperson into a super-seller but technology in combination with human intervention at the right time and in the right ways, may be exactly what you need. The concept of “Human-Technology Symbiosis” is what sales leaders and leaders in general will need to embrace in order to motivate their team members to a state where they recognize that they are being coached and that the commitment by the manager is not perceived but is real and quantifiable.
At Rehearsal, we strive for human-technology symbiosis. We have designed a video-based platform that lets people practice, receive feedback, and enter into a coaching look. The platform let’s this all happen virtually BUT it keeps the human element at the forefront. We see faces, hear tones, watch motions. Managers are expected to respond thoughtfully through either video or text. And those thoughtful comments instantly convey the commitment our people look for in a good manager, leader, or mentor.