I’ve recently been involved in a pilot coaching project with a large organization where we are teaching their sales managers how to coach. These sales managers have been incredibly effective with their coaching and getting their teams to accelerate results.
However, as we’ve discovered, sometimes you just can’t coach a salesperson and elevate their performance. They are either unwilling or unable to do the work. Simply put, they are in the wrong job or position. While coaching the un-coachable might seem difficult, it is important to examine how sales managers should tackle this.
Coaching is critical for sales managers because, if you have a systematic way of evaluating performance, you are able to identify poor performers subjectively and objectively very quickly. The objectivity component is particularly essential because you don’t want to be seen as someone who just fires an employee just because you don’t like them. You need to have objective evidence. For example, objective evidence is when you are providing advice to a group of sellers in the same way and one of them is deliberately not incorporating the feedback, unwilling to listen, or not generating the same results of the other salespeople.
Transitioning Salespeople to a Different Division
There can be salespeople who are un-coachable, but has been in your company for a long time and beloved by customers. What do you do? Indeed, assess those un-coachable salespeople objectively and realize that they are just in the wrong position. Move them to a different part of the organization where they can excel. Perhaps they need to be moved to inside sales, customer service, or a different division where their skill set will be rewarded and better utilized.
The only way sales managers are able to make these decisions is by spending one-on-one and group coaching time with their salespeople to really identify the important issues—objectively.
Now, you have a solution. Before, you just had a problem.