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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

More Teaching. Less Telling. (VIDEO)

As a sales manager, how can you do more teaching and less telling? Often, salespeople get frustrated when the only thing they hear from their sales manager is that they need to have more activity, increase the number of asks they have, and they need to increase the dollar amount of the asks they have. They get that. They want to be taught how to do that. They want training and teaching, and not just telling

There's a certain amount of telling that goes on when managing a sales team, but there's also a certain amount of teaching that goes on. Today, I'll share three things you can teach your sales team.

3 Things You Can Teach Your Sales Team

  1. Meeting Preparation
  2. Taking Notes
  3. Active Listening

1. Meeting Preparation

You should have something laid out - possibly in your onboarding - that teaches people exactly how you want them to prepare for a discovery meeting. Maybe it's that you want them to blueprint the organization, or that you want them to know all of the people that are going to be in the room, all the job titles of all the people, and that you want them to have looked up all of these people on LinkedIn prior to the meeting. Whatever it is, it should be something that isn't guesswork; it should be something organized. Prepping for the meeting is important.

2. Taking Notes

Some people just don't know how to take notes, or think they have an incredible memory and can remember everything discussed in the meeting. Sales managers really should encourage their sales team to take notes during these meetings. At The Center for Sales Strategy, we recommend drawing a line down the center of a sheet of paper. One one side, write the notes and the interesting things that are discussed in the meeting. On the other side, write down the needs, the desired business results, and the opportunities. Sales managers should teach their teams how to do this. 

3. Active Listening

I go on a lot of sales calls, and too often, salespeople are so concerned with asking the next question that they don't listen and they don't pay attention to the conversation. It's a missed opportunity. So, one way to teach active listening is in a sales meeting, read or share a success story of a client and give as many details as possible. At the end of this 3-5 minute story, stop and ask someone to repeat back, in 30 seconds or less, what they heard me say, and I want you to include as many details as possible. It's a great way to teach active listening. 

So, three things you can teach your sales team: how to prep for the meeting, how to take notes during the meeting, and how to actively listen during the meeting. I hope these three things help you to become a better teacher vs. just telling your sales team what to do. Good luck! 

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Topics: sales management sales training coaching