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5 Tips to Help You Make More Time for Sales Coaching

  1. Don’t block out full days to conduct marathon pipeline, opportunity, forecast, account reviews, and coaching sessions.
  2. Get aligned with your sales team’s travel schedules, time zones, personal lives, etc.
  3. Start declining internal meeting invitations, and ask others to record web or phone conferences to listen to later.
  4. Travel less by attending more client and prospect meetings via desktop video conference.
  5. Color-code your calendar meetings.

Most sales leaders don’t appreciate how little time they have to coach and help their salespeople succeed.

Suppose you have sales leaders with a span of control of 5 – 8 direct reports. In that case, you’re lucky to have two (2) hours a day in an average week for thinking, coaching your salespeople, and conducting pipeline, opportunity, forecast, and account plan reviews. Not a pretty picture, is it?

The average span of control can vary significantly for sales leaders (5 -12 salespeople), so you can finish the math to determine how much time you could theoretically allocate to each salesperson. 

You’ll discover that something has to give if you are committed to providing your salespeople the time they need and deserve.

We’ve helped sales leaders across various industries uncover ways to improve their productivity so that they can spend more time with their salespeople. We conduct full-day workshops on this subject, so I’m sharing a few recommendations that you can begin to apply today:

 

How to Make More Time For Sales Coaching

1. Don’t block out full days to conduct marathon pipeline, opportunity, forecast, account reviews, and coaching sessions.

NPS scores are simple to understand, but the reasons for a score can be complex. Gathering, synthesizing, and socializing formal customer feedback provides invaluable context to NPS scores and a balanced understanding of the customer experience.

2. Get aligned with your sales team’s travel schedules, time zones, personal lives, etc.

Individual and work schedules are often in flux, but less so within a two-week horizon. Set a scheduled time with each salesperson, and agree with the team that you and they won’t be rescheduling coaching sessions within a two-week window. Coaching sessions can’t be the first meeting moved to accommodate other priorities; it should be the last. Also, the coaching impact diminishes if you have a 1:1 session at 7:30 am with a salesperson who is not a morning person.

3. Start declining internal meeting invitations, and ask others to record web or phone conferences to listen to later. 

Organizations may celebrate good NPS scores but not recognize they don’t reflect a balanced view within the customer organization. The decision of whom to survey within an organization might be a mix of customer voices, not one role versus another.

4. Travel less by attending more client and prospect meetings via desktop video conference. 

It’s a thing now.  It works, and it’s powerful. Covid demonstrated we could succeed with a lot less travel.

5. Color Code Your Meetings.

Not all meetings are created equal. By color-coding (Categories in Outlook, Color dot in Gmail) your calendar, you can visually see which events are a priority and how the flow of your day will go. For example, when I’m working directly with a client on a project, the color is purple. Business development is orange, and thinking/project work is green. Planning time is yellow. Low-value meetings that I can quickly move are light-blue, and so on. Different colors provide visual cues as to which events require prep time and how you allocate time for the week. By color-coding coaching sessions, you’ll be less likely to move their session in favor of impacting others.

The suggestions above are but a few practical tips on finding more time you can spend with salespeople, but they won’t increase the level of commitment a sales leader has in spending more time with her salespeople.

This math also applies to marketing and functional business leaders that need to coach their direct reports; swap out salesperson focus for your respective teams.

Give the recommendations a try? 

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