Certain managers do a terrible job in coaching. Are you one of them?
The majority of them aren’t aware of this, but they perform terrible work because they actually compete against their reps rather than provide constructive feedback that can assist them in changing their behavior to increase sales.
Although they are well-intentioned, “competitive” coaches can do more harm than positive. In addition to doing nothing to change the behavior of the sales rep, they could inadvertently trigger anger, create frustration, and undermine confidence.
What is a Competitive Coach?
In simple terms, that is, the competitive coach is a manager whose feedback is designed to enhance their own expertise and knowledge in selling but diminish the effort or skill of the salesperson. In many cases, despite this way of thinking and prone to mock their salesperson by explaining how the (manager) would have handled the situation differently, and most importantly, better.
Here are some examples of coaching styles that are competitive to show the concept.
Style #1: The Tell Style
The coaches who are competitive tend to take a “tell” approach to give feedback. They are usually direct and direct in their comments, “You didn’t close,” “You didn’t get the buying sign,” “Next time, prepare the presentation.” Sure, there are occasions when direct communication is booming, but the problem of the “tell” approach is that it does not help sales reps change their selling style. Instead, it exposes flaws that annoy or embarrass the sales rep.
Style # 2: Chide, De-ride, and Kid Style
Certain managers are known to instruct their employees by laughing, scolding, or even de-riding. For example, “Kelly, what did you do?” or “Cathy, Are you really kidding me? What if a seven-year-old could have shut that one down?” The manager isn’t always trying to be mean or harsh, but it’s what happens. The majority of reps are defensive, either silently or in other ways.
Style #3: Nit Pick Style
Highly competitive coaches usually believe that they must give some form of critique criticism even if their call was exceptional. They’ll discover something, anything that could be improved or better. This approach also can raise the perceived worth in the intellect and wisdom of the manager, if it is since it lowers the capability or skills of the person in charge. Effective coaches recognize that if there are no imperfections, they don’t have to embellish them.
Style #4: Schizophrenic Style
Coaches in competitive teams often use the “sandwich” method of feedback that was taught to coaches for many years but is actually a demotivating method. This method suggests that constructive feedback must be incorporated into a series of positive remarks. For instance, “Jen, that opening statement was great… however, I’m afraid that the questioning and phrasing needs some improvement. The statement didn’t really go to the core of the client’s requirements… But there was an attempt at a conclusion.”
The “but” is the killer. The rep’s plight is in a state of confusion. The agent is frightened. positive feedback, but they are waiting for the opposite shoe to fall when the manager responds with “but.” Within a moment, the positive gets whipped out. The rep is able to hear the positive remarks, and congratulates himself, and ignores the negative feedback. Rare is the rep that can mentally separate the two kinds of feedback.
The coach who isn’t competitive provides positive or constructive feedback and allows the call to take place based on the merits of that feedback.
Style #5: The Rhetorical Style
As with coaches in sports, competitive sales coaches may employ rhetorical questions as a way to motivate reps and providing them with feedback. “You would like to be a winner, aren’t you?” “You are looking to finish them, isn’t it?” “You do not want to remain in the bottom of the pile, are you? “Why didn’t you make a request for a recommendation?” The manager isn’t searching for answers; she’s making a point about the error and relying on it to significantly improves sales performance. The reality is that the majority of reps listen to the blather and perform the same.
Coaching is a two-way road. A great manager or coach will ask questions and then wait for feedback. This type of interaction aids the rep in understanding and improve.
Style #6: Personal Anecdotes Style
Many sales managers were ex-sales reps, and the chances are that they were excellent sales reps. Thus, their instruction is evident in all kinds of personal stories like, “When I was on the phone, I utilized the direct closing technique” …” as well as “I recall a customer similar to the one I dealt with and here’s what I did to complete the deal for $20K.” There are occasions that personal stories can provide some insight, but generally, they’re just tales of war that inform that rep how excellent the manager was…and in a good by the way, how effective the agent would be if only they took your advice.
Style #7: Heaping Style
The final style of coaching is that the manager ‘grabs the feedback until the information is the handle for the representative. This is often the case for rookies, where the whole call is not very effective, and the manager offers feedback regarding everything from the plan beginning, the opening, questions, the presentation, the handling of objections, and finally, the closing—the sales rep who is telesales feeling lost and discontented.
A skilled coach concentrates on one, perhaps two, areas that need constructive feedback. Let the employee learn how to master the areas prior to proceeding to the remainder of the meeting.
Managers who are competitive aren’t ‘flawed individuals with a devious strategy to discredit their reps’ sales. Many competitive managers aren’t efficient coaches because they’ve not been taught how to give feedback that works in influencing their sales reps to alter their selling habits. Read the following article If you feel your style of coaching could benefit from some changes.