Will 2020 be the year when companies have 20/20 vision on how to best invest in their sales team to deliver targeted performance? US-based companies spend nearly $20 billion per year on sales training. Why do they settle for traditional sales programs where 85% of the content is lost within 90 days (SRG, 2018), when strategic and tactical coaching can potentially increase revenue by 20%.
Many sales leaders don’t have the coaching skills or time to invest in their sales staff. For this reason an external sales coach can be part of the sales training solution—working with the sales leader and meeting one-on-one with account reps or in small sales groups on day 30, 60, and 90 after initial training. In most cases, sales coaching brings substantial and sustainable benefits regardless of whether formal training is part of the process.
A coach can help the sales professional with approaches to new clients and how to sell deeper with an existing accounts. A coach can also help the sales team to:
- identify and overcome specific account obstacles
- prioritize accounts based on risk/reward
- create specific customer strategies
- review and understand contributors to success
- develop plans for improvement
- build general sales skills in account planning, preparation, and execution
- improve negotiating approaches
- increase sales team cohesiveness and teamwork
More companies are realizing the value of individual coaching for their sales team. Group training can still be part of the process, but to sustain the impact of training investment it should be paired with one-on-one coaching. Coaching is the sign of the future. Are you ready to get on board and make more effective use of your training dollars?
Sales Readiness Group. (2018). Maximizing the Effectiveness of Sales Training: Five Factors for Developing Sustainable Selling Skills.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com
Two Business Executives Charged and Booked. Their Crime? Caught Being Good.
I heard a statistic that the top three fears that people have are (1) public speaking, (2) public dancing, and (3) going to prison. If true, I guarantee that the thousands of business executives, who have paused from their work schedules to volunteer with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), would wholeheartedly disagree with that third claim. In fact, I would bet they would say spending a day in prison with PEP men is more fulfilling than the work they do and successes they’ve had.
If you don’t believe me, I’ll let photos tell the stories that words cannot describe. PEP was founded in May 2004 and operates exclusively in the Texas prison system. Their first class started at the Hamilton Unit in Bryan, Texas, and then in 2008 moved to the Cleveland Correctional Facility, north of Houston, which is where many of my colleagues and friends volunteer. Graduates of this program receive a certificate from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, but the PEP men aren’t learning only business skills. They will tell you the most challenging part of the program is Leadership Academy, where they do a deep personal dive into character and come out transformed men. The program starts with leadership, because people cannot be successful in business long-term without having a solid foundation of character underpinning their decisions and actions.
If you want to learn more about this program which is transforming men, families, and communities, I’d love to introduce you to the PEP Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO), Bert Smith, and his senior leadership staff. Even better, I would love to take you to prison, so you can hear firsthand testimonies from the men and servant leader graduates. Ask me how you can get yourself a Get Into Jail FREE card. I’ve got a few I can hand out.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership, business development, and sales. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help organizations engage all their colleagues. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.
I haven’t yet heard a business owner, executive, or manager who hasn’t expressed a need to have stronger leaders in their organization. Everyone wants more and better leaders. Unfortunately, some employees don’t view themselves as leaders and neglect to grow their leadership capacity. What these employees may not realize is that their DNA rubs off on others as their colleagues observe them, have conversations, and work alongside them.
Although I believe everyone is a leader, I admit that the ability to influence may be easier for some. From my experience, these perceived “natural leaders” already possess a high degree of certain personal traits they build upon to grow in their leadership strengths. Yet, even these emerging leaders need the partnership with more experienced leaders to help them grow their leadership brand.
Organizations that emphasize leadership development for all their employees will foster stronger employee engagement. I propose that part of an organization’s intentional mission should be to identify and raise up the next generation of leaders. Some business leaders may ask, “What’s the best way to start investing in our emerging leaders?” Growing leaders can be broken down into a few simple steps:
- Make the decision that you will invest your time and resources in growing new leaders. Leadership demands intentionality, which means you will take on this assignment as part of your job description.
- Identify potential leaders that have some level of the characteristics you believe will make for great leadership within your organization. Bill Hybels (2009) mentions five key qualities that he looks for in potential leaders: (1) influence, (2) character, (3) people skills, (4) initiative, and (5) intelligence. You may select all five or modify; however, you should be clear on the criteria by which you will base your selection.
- Invest in potential leaders through coaching, mentoring, training, and wise counsel. Storytelling is a powerful way to learn, so share your stories of successes and challenges and what you learned. Be aware that just listening to leadership stories does not grow leadership; therefore, it is important to have them put to use what they know.
- Create opportunities for potential leaders to practice leadership. You need to trust they will become stronger leaders by figuring out leadership through their own trials. Leaders grow by moving from theoretical to practical experiences through a series of more challenging assignments.
Management typically justifies leadership coaching for an identified few, because the investment payback can be roughly calculated. With relatively high turnover rates at lower levels in the organization, management does not want to invest in these employees only to have the competition realize the benefits. Decisions in leadership investment can be a difficult decision, but I can make the argument that if companies invested more broadly in leadership development, they would keep their best employees and also have the competitors’ employees want to join.
Hybels, B. (2009). Courageous Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and leadership consultant with an extensive background in business development. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops that address her clients’ business needs. She has a passion to help organizations fully engage all their employees. Reach out to her at email@example.com or 281.793.3741 to further the conversation and determine how she can help you grow your business.