My name is Tom Lavery and today I’m going to talk to you about creating a coaching culture in your business.
Coaching Culture Starts with the Leader
Coaching, and sales coaching in particular, is always completely reliant on the leader, and that’s something you have to really change from day one if you’re going to build a coaching culture within your organization. Think about it from a bottom-up approach. It needs to start with the individual.
Structure Allows for Easier Self-Assessment
You need to create a framework and a way of working for them to actually understand what they’re looking for, because if we can do that off the bat, then everyone knows what they’re looking for in the business. Then you can start with your new sales guys; as an example, start to do some self-assessment from day one. If they can do some self-assessment, they can see what they’re looking for within the framework, and then they can start coming to you, and you can start analyzing stuff. It starts with creating a coaching framework and a philosophy. You create a world where everyone knows what they’re looking for in each individual part of your sales process.
Then make sure that it starts with the team. Don’t put it all on your shoulders; it has to start with them analyzing their own behavior and their own way of doing things.
Coach in the Moment and in Retrospect
Once you create a framework and you make sure that you have a bottom-up approach, you have to facilitate a way in which it is not always retrospective. So you have to create a world where you can coach them in real time. That’s because you know what it’s like when you’re in the moment: these things are real, and they’re happening right now. Creating a world where you can coach in the moment is just as important as looking back at stuff respectively as well.
Focus Time and Energy on Your People
I think a big thing in creating the right kind of coaching culture across a business is the amount of time you spend. It might seem like a really obvious thing. Whether you’re a business leader or you’re in charge of sales, looking at how much time your team actually spends coaching is really important. I’ve done a lot of analysis of this across peers and people in previous companies I’ve worked with and find that the vast majority go to a dashboard or a report or spend multiple hours in one-to-ones in meetings scrutinizing a number to see if it’s going to go up.
I’ve been in boardrooms where I’ve gotten the question, “Okay, so our conversion rate is 8 percent. How can we make it 10 percent?” I can tell you the answer right now: it’s making your people better. That wagon wheel of time that the leader has needs to be put into the people, spending it with them in a way that makes them more effective. That’s what will get you a high number, not delving into the numbers, analyzing it, and changing the strategy. If you are in a place where you’ve got more than five or ten people in your business, then you need to spend your time making them better. That’s the most important thing.
About Tom Lavery
Tom Lavery is CEO & Founder of Boston-based startup Jiminny. Jiminny is a sales coaching platform specifically designed for B2B sales. It helps you coach your team more effectively to improve performance and drive success. Jiminny will help you make coaching part of your day to day sales operation.
Previously Tom was on the board at Reward Gateway for five years and was their Global SVP of Sales for 8 years. He has seen them through two MBOs. One for $40m to Inflexion PE in 2010 and for $220m to Great Hill Partners in 2015. He has over 15 years experience in sales and sales leadership and has worked in the U.S, Europe, and Australia.
Tom is also the author of the Sales Shake, a no-nonsense blog that gives sales professionals practical advice you can read today and implement as quickly as tomorrow. He currently lives in Boston with his family and is a huge sports fan who loves soccer and tennis.