Expanding Sales Managers’ Coaching Skill Set

Business Challenge

The division had a pool of extremely talented and smart sales professionals, many of whom had been promoted through the ranks of the organization and now managed their own sales teams. They faced a challenge common to many sales organizations: their sales managers had not been trained to coach their front-line sales people. Given the global and virtual nature of most sales teams, simply modeling good behavior was not cascading effectively to the front line. The amount of admin work with which sales managers were tasked also limited the amount of time they could allocate to sales coaching and development.

Expanding sales managers coaching skills

Symmetrics Group Approach

Symmetrics Group’s goal was to provide coaching opportunities “in the moment”, when a manager could coach the sales person in real time for the maximum learning. We framed coaching moments across several capability areas and provided specific skills to apply with sellers:

  • Sales Management: Working with the Sales Enablement team and top sales managers throughout the company, Symmetrics Group identified the eight skill areas that required the most coaching attention: pipeline and forecasting, territory planning, account planning, opportunity management, pre-sales call prep, sales call execution, trials, and renewals. Each “coaching moment” first diagnosed the sales rep’s competency, from learning to mastering. Then we gave the manager steps to advance the rep’s skill level (based on current competency), trends to watch out for, and best practices and existing tools that managers could use to quickly up-skill their teams.
  • Sales Coaching Skills: Knowing that tools and coaching were not enough to develop sales talent, Symmetrics Group used the coaching moments to facilitated Coaching and Leadership sessions for first-level sales managers in the US and Europe. We also led train-the-trainer sessions for the sales manager audiences in Asia and Australia. These highly-interactive, day-long sessions gathered a cross-functional set of sales managers to discuss and workshop how the coaching moments could be applied to their teams in the short and long term. Managers walked away with a personal action plan that guided their coaching and development efforts for the next quarter.

Results

We worked with over 100 front line sales leaders through experiential sessions to develop and practice their ability to coach during key selling moments. In each session, sales leaders indicated that this was the most relevant and valuable sales training that they have attended.

COMPANY BACKGROUND

Our client is the financial and risk division of a top-tier, $13 billion leader in the financial software market. They offer accurate analytics and valuation, financial news, and information on cross-asset class indices across every facet of the global financial markets: commodities, equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, hedge funds, investment banking, investment management, research and trading, venture capital and private equity, and emerging markets. The company wanted its sales managers to coach their sales people consistently and regularly, and engaged the Symmetrics Group to up-skill the first-level sales manager team.

MEET A TEAM MEMBER
CRUCIAL TO THEIR SUCCESS

David Szen – David is a principal with Symmetrics Group and expert at sales leadership development. He used his master facilitation skills for this client to provide leaders a hands-on, experiential workshop to learn and apply coaching concepts.

David Szen
The Multigenerational Sales Team

More effectively leverage talent across generations who think, sell, and buy in vastly different ways and overcome generational obstacles to drive improvements in both individual and organizational performance.