The amount of time that managers spend with their representatives is often contingent on the available resources in the company and not the amount of coaching that each employee needs.
A sales management team needs to put aside time to coach their salespeople without allotting too much effort to the wrong representatives.
According to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, the total amount of time that managers spend with their representatives should depend on the size of the role that they are in and the account that they are managing.
"If you have an account sales rep that is putting together multi-million dollar deals, the management should spend a significant amount of time with this person for each call," said the executive. "There is going to be a lot of prep work, and guidance is needed to help bring in the highest level of revenue."
Small and mid-tier size accounts still require preparation and help from managers, but this is less targeted guidance and often includes a more basic approach. These representatives need help honing their basic skills through role playing and teaching consistent selling methods, according to Kivett.
Inside sales also requires a basic approach to teaching, but there has to be a specific target. The manager has to focus on either the cold calling skills, prospecting, retaining existing customers and upselling or taking incoming calls that were generated by marketing.
"Sales managers can also jump into calls silently and listen in to see which person they need to target and what this individual needs to work on," said Kivett. "The appropriate amount of time is dependent on the salesperson and the amount of coaching that they need."
Sales hiring methods can affect the amount of teaching that is necessary, as outgoing salespeople may only need help with targeting individual accounts. However, Kivett noted that regardless of skill, each representative needs some level of coaching.
"Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have quarterback coaches in order to maximize their performance, despite the success they have had," said the executive. "Even the top salespeople need guidance and the manager's job is to determine what level of involvement is needed to accomplish the goal."
It is the nature of the dialogue and the exchange that is important, but all of the salespeople in the company need coaching.