Playing “In” the Field

I get constant feedback from sales managers on the challenges they face. However, in many cases I see sales managers facing problems that they could resolve with some restructuring of their time and priorities.

To achieve better results from your salespeople, getting out in the field with them and observing them is critical. No NFL football coach would ever consider sending his team onto the field without his being right there on the sidelines – observing their every move.

The same applies to your sales team. Too many sales managers expect top producers to meet their sales goals without their observations, feedback and coaching. Instead, I see some sales managers expecting great results without their personal involvement.

Let me recommend that if you haven’t spent some time with your salespeople in the field, do so, and get a good sense of their capacity in the sales process.

Here are a few questions to consider when observing your salespeople in the field:

  • How well do they engage the prospect or customer?
  • Do they monopolize the conversation, are they too quiet or do they dialogue in a productive manner?
  • How well do they ask questions? More importantly, how well do they listen to the answers?
  • Does your salesperson focus on the prospects wants and needs or focus instead on their own?
  • Does your salesperson give up too quickly if there does not appear to be an obvious need?
  • Do they provide a targeted solution – or simply pitch features instead?
  • Do they ask for the sale?

I recommend you use this list as you field coach your team. Doing so will provide you with better knowledge of your salespeople, lays the groundwork for development initiatives and drive the sales results you’re looking to achieve.