Don’t be alarmed that this is not an advertisement for glasses or contact lenses.
However, this question can make people talk if we link it to the activity of your sales team.
One of the things we are most passionate about internally at Results Driven is the subject of coaching.
Not the “Life Coaching” side that is so fashionable, but the more business side of “Executive Coaching” and “Coaching of sales Teams,” in which we have been giving letters for years and in which we were pioneers in Portugal.
You may think:
“But isn’t that a fad?”
Yes, indeed, it seems so when we look at everything that is going on around us. However, all fads have good and bad things.
In the case of coaching sales teams, the processes implemented and later continued by companies and their sales managers are, in our opinion, the most successful in the evolution of sales teams.
One of the coaching assumptions is that the Coach cannot give paths to his Coachee.
“Oooops? Can’t give paths?” You may be thinking.
Yes, he can’t give paths. The idea is that the Coach helps the person or team they are working with question, challenge, and even force them to look at the situations or difficulties they face with different “glasses.”
It may sound strange, but we have often seen a rather complicated phenomenon in our years of experience as trainers, consultants, and coaches in the business field.
It is the post-program enthusiasm.
“But people being excited about a program they just completed isn’t good?”
Yes and no!
What happens is that this enthusiasm is not sustainable over time after the program. This is usually called “the return to the origins.” That is, we slowly return to the old habits that initially caused the training or consulting program to be contracted to be implemented.
No matter how good the training is, and believe me, we are one of the best in Europe at doing it, when there is no internal change in the “ecosystem,” i.e., the conditions, processes, and other variables, the “back to the origins” phenomenon ends up happening.
So, why can Coaching the sales team make a difference in these processes?
By working with the sales team in one of these dynamics and not giving the path, the team is “forced” to discover the solution by themselves, relying on our help and guidance.
When something is created by us, and when that something is done as a team with everyone’s participation, we end up with a much higher level of commitment.
So, here is the science of doing a “Coaching the Sales Team” project.
In practice, what we are doing to them is changing the lens through which they see the problem, situation, or another theme.
Want an example that you can work on today with your team?
Be aware that what I will ask you to do is not easy and will often make you bite your tongue to avoid giving away the path!
At your next business team meeting, choose a theme to work.
Put that topic on the board and ask your team to spend 15 minutes together generating ideas to solve that situation without your intervention.
Try not to intervene and let the team flow.
When presenting the ideas that they have created, try to question them without criticizing them.
Use these questions to generate different points of view:
Where are we?
What are the current situation, its constraints, and associated themes?
Try to question why we have arrived at this point, which variables have contributed to this situation, etc.
Try not to invest too much time here; that would be working too much on the past, and what we want is to project the team to the next steps, that is, the solution or solutions.
Where do we want to be?
Look for them to define the ideal situation. For example, what is their characterization, market, customers, sales, whatever makes sense?
Question them with simple questions such as:
- In what situations?
- What would be the added value?
- Why would it be important for our team?
Don’t worry if you look innocent. Experience tells us that when we appear innocent, like children, people try to explain situations to us more simplified way. Sometimes, light is made in other aspects of the issue at hand that had not yet been observed.
How do we get there
As you might imagine, this is about the concrete plan of action.
Try to let them generate the ways to get there, don’t blame them unless it is impossible. Let the process flow and fine-tune the path the team gives you with questions.
The advantage of this process is that since the path they are giving you was designed by them (the team), your level of commitment will be much higher.
This week stop for a moment to think:
“Am I not fogging up my sales team’s glasses?”
Also published on Medium.