So, at the end of the 5th HeART2HeART Sales Management and Coaching Workshop, this question “How long and far into the future must a Sales Manager coach his sales force?” was answered and answered well.
One of the participants, a Sales Manager with over 15 years of experience and who heads a team of over 50 salespeople nationally, quickly and smilingly responded with “seventy times seven!”Well, close we all thought, not exactly from that perspective but definitely with that kind of an attitude.
In a pure coaching relationship a coach must stay in the coaching relationship for the agreed and contracted term. He can extend that term for as long as the client has needs, is willing to uncover and unleash personal potential and also as long as the coach has the space and resources available to serve the eager client. This is true in a pure coaching relationship unbound by other organizational needs.
In an executive coaching relationship within the norms, the needs and the goals of the sales organization, the Sales Manager needs to continue supporting and developing his team and department into continuous growth year after year and month after year. This relationship must also, of course, be bound by the fact both the sales person and the Sales Manager are constantly delivering results, the sales growth is consistent and robust and they all, together, as a team create value for the company and also find fulfilment for themselves.
The Sales Manager may need to change hats from being a coach to Sales Manager only when the sales person becomes non-cooperative, delivers diminishing results and, also probably, has developed a personal agenda that does not resonate and serve the organizational vision. But, yes ideally, a good Sales Manager makes long-term and authentic efforts to keep his coaching hat on for seventy times seven.