Over my 20 plus year sales training and coaching career, I have been privy to a fascinating view – I listen to sales managers have coaching conversations with their salespeople.
It’s a privileged perch to sit on, thanks to the many clients that have hired me to listen to and then coach their managers on how to make those conversations more effective.
In these 1:1 calls everyone dials in – the manager, the salesperson, and me. I say nothing. I take lots of notes. Then the manager and I debrief after the call. Usually I will sit in on one manager’s several calls over a day. Patterns and habits emerge.
One of the discoveries I’ve made is that managers consistently commit behaviors that they are unware they commit, and these behaviors prevent them from delivering effective coaching and developing stronger relationships with their salespeople. I call this phenomena blindspots.
Unfortunately, these blindspots are one cause of salespeople underperforming. The manager’s blindspot behavior prevents getting the most from the salesperson. It’s similar to a sports coach not getting the most out of his or her players. What’s worse is when these blindspots cause the relationship between manager and salesperson to be so bad the salesperson leaves to work for someone else.
After several years of listening to the coaching conversations and processing what these blindspots mean for the profession, I decided to write a book about it.
The book is called Blindspots: The Hidden Killer of Sales Coaching. We are targeting a Q1 2019 release for the book.
I wasn’t gifted with some natural ability to coach sales managers about their blindspots. I knew a poor coaching conversation when I heard one, but it took me a while to be able to deconstruct it and lead a conversation about what and why it happened. I poured through my personal notes of 600 coaching conversations and saw patterns. The patterns led to insights and the insights led to developing frameworks for coaching that I’ve applied to thousands of sessions since.
Before you think that I think I’m somehow immune from this same phenomenon, the biggest factor in my being able to write Blindspots is because of dealing with my own, both professional and personal.
Over the next several months I will blog about blindspots. I hope you find value in this. Since I’ve had (and still have) my share of blindspots I know you will likely be challenged too in acknowledging your own. I challenge you to remain open to the possibilities and most of all to have faith in the purpose of the suffering that you must endure to authentically become better.
Author of The Funnel Principle
Author of Blindspots: The Hidden Killer of Sales Coaching (due out in Q1 2019)