With a basic understanding of the four zones salespeople move between, you as the sales manager need to check your zone, to see where you are as the leader. This is important because you can’t take people where you haven’t gone!
To perform a manager self-check, ask yourself several questions:
- When do I boss and when do I coach?
- As a coach, when and how do I evaluate, and when and how do I develop?
- Which zone am I in and which one do I want to be in?
To help answer these questions here are some success factor comparisons for coaching and bossing:
|Being a Boss||Being a Coach|
|Title||Role Modeling – The coach lives the vision|
|Power||Trustworthiness – Coaches earn people’s trust|
|Position||Mutual Respect – It’s a 2-way street and the coach let’s you figure it out|
|Authority||Communication – The coach has good communication skills|
|Status||Experience – Coaches have relevant experience qualifying them to contribute|
|Control||Praise – The coach gives positive feedback|
Webster says a boss is a person in authority over employees and a coach is an instructor or trainer. You must decide which role will give you the best results.
Managers who want to change from boss to coach can initiate the change themselves. It’s as simple as altering the dynamics of how they work with their people. This means creating a hierarchy of behavior rather than a hierarchy of structure. For example, think about one of your reps that you have a great working relationship with. How do you work with him or her, as a boss or a peer? Although the reporting structure is boss/subordinate, the relationship should be peer/team.
The key to both change and cooperation is feedback. When it’s plentiful and honest, it’s much easier for salespeople to remain in the Stretch Zone. There are two types of feedback to be aware of:
Evaluative feedback is the grade, like the report card you received as a student. It relates to yesterday, not today. The person being evaluated should clearly understand (although not necessarily agree with) the past picture.
Developmental feedback looks forward to what the coach can do to improve and hopefully create a better picture for the future. This type of feedback creates empowerment because it helps people identify obstacles and reinforces their role in removing them each day. Developmental feedback helps people live and thrive in the Stretch Zone.
Both types are essential for development of the salesperson. Although they are clearly linked, an evaluative coaching session is not the time for developmental coaching and vice versa. The evaluation is a platform for development. The evaluation session is the grade and the developmental coaching is the action plan.
Evaluative coaching works well on a quarterly basis, while developmental coaching should be ongoing. The developmental process makes the evaluative sessions more positive.
Hopefully this three-part post helps your understanding of the coaching side of leadership. Why not comment below in the Speak Your Mind area on your experiences with sales employee coaching?
Hey, Doug wrote and published a book that is great for sales managers and business owners to use as lesson plans for weekly sales meetings…
Everybody knows that…
But did you know that Doug just developed a Study Guide that’s designed to be used as a companion piece to the book that eliminates the manager’s prep time for those meetings?
Watch This Short Video Explaining How It Works!
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