“Champions play as they practice. Create a consistency of excellence in all your habits.” –
Mike Krzyzewski 

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson. Tom Brady has Bill Belichick. What’s the common denominator?

Coaching benefits professional athletes, so why don’t more in sales leadership, sales management and in sales have coaches?

Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback credits much of his passing success to Tom Martinez his former quarterback coach. He worked with Brady to refine his release and improve his throwing technique.

 “Mechanics should be coached on a daily basis, and I don’t know that it is. It’s like Tiger Woods’ golf swing or Michael Jordan’s free throws,” 
Tom Martinez

Atul Gawande a surgeon and writer for the New Yorker Magazine gave a TED Talk titled: Want to get great at something? Get a coach.

Sales success tends to mask deficiencies. With the assistance of a coach, sales professionals can take what they do to higher levels.

“Investing in yourself yields the highest return on investment.”

GREAT COACHES GET ATHLETES TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES

Great coaches inspire their players to do more than they think they can. They stretch their limits, beliefs and challenge them along the way. Phil Jackson built up Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Bill Belichick has built up Tom Brady’s self- esteem rather than undermine it. These coaches don’t praise mediocre effort. What they do effectively is practice catching elite athletes doing things right. They don’t get caught up playing head games leaving these athletes questioning their abilities.

How do sales professionals improve?

How do sales professionals get better at what they do?

How do sales professionals become even greater?

“The simplest things are not simple”

There may be a fine line between a good coach and a great coach but they can make a world of difference to professional athletes.

Can the same be said inside the sales world?

Great sales coaches…

  • Are effective communicators
  • Are compassionate
  • Have a passion for sales
  • Are heartfelt and genuine
  • Are true leaders
  • Are practitioners

THE CHALLENGE

How do sales professionals become better at what they do?

I believe sales professionals are capable of managing their own improvement. Why? Because they’ve developed habits of thinking and learning.

However; somewhere along the way some stop improving. They stop doing the small things.

“Great coaches reenergize the small things”

A challenging question… What makes a great sales manager versus a sales leader or coach? I’m not here to bash on sales manager’s as they play an important role, however; I’m here to challenge the status quo in how they grow, nurture and enhance the lives of their sales team.

“Management is transactional, while Leadership is Transformational.”
Brian Tracy

The challenge inside many sales teams – great sales reps often times get promoted to sales managers. One huge issue is most promoted sales managers are familiar with the transactional side of the business as this is what their sales mindset is accustomed to achieving. This is polar opposite of transforming and leading others in order to achieve results.

Sales managers who lack leadership qualities fall into the habit of managing off of to-do lists, activity reports and a “what will you close mindset?”

WHY A COACH?

Phil Jackson and Bill Belichick are leaders and exceptional coaches as they enhance the lives of the athletes around them thus achieving outstanding results.

  • Coaches and leaders spend more time listening and asking questions.
  • Coaches and leaders invest serious amount of time observing.
  • Coaches and leaders are support outlets in assisting to develop growth plans.

“How many in sales today can honestly say their sales manager is a great sales coach?”

A great sales coach provides insight to build up sales professionals by:

  • Providing and personally assessing strength and weaknesses
  • Challenging thinking and assumptions around personal growth
  • Supporting and encouraging open communication
  • Driving results through written action plans and daily practice

A sales coach leads sales professionals to constantly be improving, never accepting mediocrity

Top performance sales professionals do things differently than their average peers: they invest in themselves. They continually hone their craft. The best-of-the-best take it to heart and to the next level, they hire a coach.

WHO’S YOUR COACH?

The best personal trainer in the world can’t improve a person’s fitness if the individual is not committed. A coach can be an incredible asset to someone who is committed to getting better.

“The more success an individual achieves, the more pronounced their blind spots become. ”
B.Formato

I ask all of you to think about the following:

  • Who’s helping you to define your sales goals?
  • Who’s helping you to build an action plan?
  • Who’s giving you direct advice to help you get to the next level?
  • Who’s challenging and encouraging you to take ownership of your own success?

If you are serious about getting better, a coach should be in your future. There is no shame in asking for help. You never know what a fresh pair of eyes can see for your sales career, so why not seize the opportunity to be held accountable and become better?

The investment you make in yourself could pay huge dividends. Growing sales is hard. It takes new ideas and fresh energy. I’d like to be your coach!

Larry Levine

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