differing performance levels
Coaching through a Slump
One challenge of coaching is that your team members are at different
performance levels at different times. Who do you coach, when
do you coach, what coaching style do you use for different performance
levels? When a team member is in a slump they will be sure to
get attention, but what about the players who are doing OK? What
about your star performers? Don’t they need some form of
coaching as well?
The common belief among sales managers is to leave things well
enough alone when things are going well. Don’t mess with
what’s working. “Leave Mary alone…she is doing
When to Coach
- If a rep is below expectation, you should counsel them.
- If they are meeting expectations you coach them.
- And if they exceed expectations you develop them.
When a rep is underperforming and not meeting expectations,
everybody knows you coach them. But why is it that many managers
don’t bother to coach the reps who are meeting or exceeding
expectations? Those are the reps you hate to lose...yet often
these are the reps that want the attention but won’t tell
you. If fact they reject attention usually, depending upon how
you approach them. The question is do you, as a manager, know
how to coach a rep who consistently exceeds expectations? Probably
not, that’s why you don’t do it...and that’s
often why they leave.
Think of it this way. When below expectations, the manager should
use authority to take charge of remediating the situation. When
a reps is meeting expectations, the role of the manager should
refrain from using authority and let the rep take control of
When the rep is exceeding expectations, the manager should shift
their coaching to development which requires some experimentation
and possibly some risk taking. The focus is on the future. “You’re
doing great as a territory rep...I wonder how you’d do
as a key account rep?” The focus for the “exceeding
expectations” rep moves from the current job to a potential
future orientation without building expectation. Building bench
strength is the focus. More about this in a future Viewpoints
Are You Up For the Challenge of Coaching?
No matter what the performance level...each poses a challenge
for you to maximize their productivity. And your approach to
them is based on your performance level as well.
Watch for more on your job as a sales manager in coming issues
of Systema Viewpoints.
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systems e-mail us at: email@example.com
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