Sales managers know that sales coaching is important, yet it is often the very last thing on our list.
I often observe one common challenge among leaders with the way they attempt to coach others. Sales coaches think the same approach works for all representatives. They fail to bring generational differences into play. They lack know-how and understanding of how to apply the Platinum Rule (Coach others how they want to be coached … not how you would want to be coached.) And unfortunately, sales leaders do not know what is important to each generation and how to apply that in their sales coaching.
Did you know that Generation X’s sales professionals are not usually facing a competency issue, but rather a capacity issue? If you were to coach a Gen Xer, you need to focus on wit and speed (not depth and abundance), so that they can achieve greater work/life balance. They know what to do. Gen Xers’ need support of how to do it efficiently.
Millennials? That’s a whole different story (and generation). This generation will make up approximately fifty percent of the 2020 US Workforce and seventy-five percent in 2030. Sales managers need to rethink their approach and management style to poise and ready themselves. With “helicopter parents” as the millennials’ influence, this generation needs more guidance and telling. They value knowledge and experience over power and position. So, even though you may have Vice President of Sales next to your name, it doesn’t mean very much to them. Millennials have a need for instant access to you and for instant information that will help them sell better. What do you mean that you can’t speak to them until tomorrow? This won’t fly very well with the millennials, so you need to create mutual understanding and agreements for how to work together. Strange but true.
The secrets above are just scratching the surface of understanding what it means to be a successful sales coach in today’s marketplace. We’d love to share more with you, if you are committed to learning how to manage and coach the multi-generations. We have programs, services, and coaching just right for you.
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