Sales Coaching for Executives
1. Sales Coaching for President of a newly acquired firm: An executive with financial and general management skills acquired a small, yet profitable specialty manufacturing and service business. His new responsibilities meant that he had to become personally involved for the first time in his career in sales and sales management, notably in two areas. First, he needed to turn around the existing sales force, because the prior president had taken a hands-off approach, which resulted in the sales people becoming too complacent about new business development. Second, he had to become actively involved with their key accounts, in order to minimize any attrition due to the acquisition. STAR provided coaching to the president in both these areas. We developed the president’s selling skills with a personalized Selling Skills Inventory along with coaching on the key topics from our Essential Selling Skills. Subsequently, we followed this with some additional coaching sessions on managing an experienced sales force.
The second stage of our coaching engagement was to provide a customized sales training workshop that included the president and his entire sales team, based primarily on two STAR workshops, Sales Prospecting and Business Development and Time Management for Sales, so that the entire team could become re-energized to put the necessary time into prospecting for new business.
2. Executive Sales Coaching: A business owner, directly responsible for the inside and outside sales force for his mid-sized manufacturing firm, contacted STAR for sales coaching. We provided coaching to the owner to improve his ability to be a pro-active sales manager, with emphasis on how to set realistic sales targets with each salesperson. We also provided consultation to the owner to analyze their current and prospective markets, and to then identify and target the best sources for new business. STAR was subsequently used to do some skill development training for the sales team, such as how to sell on value and overcome difficult objections.
3. Coaching for Sales Teams: A national sales manager for a high tech firm had hired some experienced salespeople to add to their existing sales force because the company was in a growth mode. It became apparent to him during joint sales calls that, although his entire team was highly skilled and experienced in the industry, they did not follow a consistent sales process. To validate his observations, he asked STAR to videotape each sales person making a realistic sales call to the STAR consultant, who acted as the real-life customer. The format and videotaping let STAR provide 1-on-1 feedback to each sales professional about their individual Sales Presentation Skills, and also to consult with the manager afterwards on the collective "best practices” and areas for improvement of the entire sales team.
4. Individual Coaching: A sales manager for a specialty products firm had recently been promoted from the sales force. Although he had been quite successful in sales, he was new as a sales manager. STAR worked with him in two ways. First, we used our Coaching Behavior Inventory (see the "Coaching Process” described below) to assess and provide coaching to identify his natural strengths, as well as areas for improvement as a sales manager. Secondly, he shared with STAR that one of his senior salespeople needed some individual coaching, and he preferred to use us to work with this individual rather than do it himself.