By Ted Power
Good coaching is table stakes for life sciences sales organizations. But if you’re not also coaching your coaches, you’re putting your numbers at risk.
Great sales teams start with great coaching; most life sciences sales organizations have figured that out by now. A complex product and a relationship selling model means sales must be continuously trained and kept up to speed.
More sales leadership teams are rallying around providing strong training and skills development for their front-line managers. But all too often they are missing a massive blind spot that could put their long-term success at risk — coaching the coaches themselves.
Typically, sales leaders begin as rock-star sales representatives — but the skills needed to bring in big deals are not always the skills needed to coach a team to success. Front-line, and even second-line, managers need support themselves and attention to assessing and building the skills to effectively coach and manage top-performing sales teams.
We’ve all heard the term “coaching the coaches,” but many organizations lack a clear picture of what that looks like, or what the risks are in ignoring it. Paying lip service to coaching your sales coaches can be detrimental to your organization in many ways.
Here are some potential consequences:
As you can see, failing to coach your sales managers can cost you in terms of lost revenue, employee engagement, retention and missed opportunities.
Overall, effective coaching requires a combination of communication skills, leadership abilities and strategic thinking. What skills can you be coaching to help your managers be most effective?
Here are seven of the most important skills and best practices you can aim for when you coach your coaches:
Coaching your coaches can yield an incredible return on investment — not only in terms of meeting and exceeding revenue targets but also in providing improved coaching skills and manager competencies in the long term.
Ted Power is chief operating officer of iCoachFirst. Email Ted at firstname.lastname@example.org.