Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.
This is episode 97 of Front Line Fridays. Watch for Episode 100! The topic of this episode is coaching and helping people who have been promoted.
Bridget asks about coaching reps who are resistant to coaching. One rep is aware of his distaste for it and admits it, which actually makes him quite coachable. Others resist it altogether. The feedback from your manager is important.
Coaching is meant to be collaborative, not directive. It is encouraging. Ask questions, so people see for themselves what the problem is and have a framework to let them develop a solution for it, without feeling defensive.
You cannot force someone to be coached. It is a joint activity. Wait until they are in a teachable condition. Let them stumble, and ask for help. If they don’t learn and don’t ask, they should be managed to another career. Don’t do their job.
Another approach is to learn more about the account that the rep knows, and discuss the account with the rep. This was used on Andy in such a way that he knew he had some more work to do on that account.
Andy comes up with another avenue: Find one thing on which to coach someone. Keep it small. If there is still resistance, that leads to a question: Is this rep in the right job? Bridget suggests hiring for coachability.
Mark Roberge of Hubspot would have a candidate give a presentation, provide the candidate with feedback, ask them to leave the room, and then have them come back and repeat the presentation. Mark watched if they used the feedback.
A person who doesn’t use the feedback is not aware of their situation. Observation and awareness is a very important aspect of sales. Listen intently and integrate what you observe.
A person who visualizes the outcome of the coaching they receive, and then desires to go try it, is most coachable. They are curious. A person with poor performance is fearful to move out of their comfort zone, even to improve themselves.
The lesser performers are those who complain about management and make excuses. The higher performers are always seeking new insight to improve themselves. You can only coach people who want to be coached.
Where do you go for training at a company that has no experience in the job you’ve just gotten? Take a class, find a mentor that can teach you. Go and visit customers. Talk to product end users. Immerse yourself with customers.
Being promoted from an SMB rep to an enterprise rep is opening many layers of complexity in one motion. You want a lot of support to complete the transition easily. Andy talks about doing it with no support. Build client trust. Be a pioneer.