ART of Performance: Coaching a loyal foot soldier
Fresh thinking required
Ellen had been very successful in sales, and was promoted to national sales manager. Popular and hardworking, she brought the same high energy and ‘can do’ attitude to her management role that had led to her past success. But a year in, she ‘hit a wall’. Despite her work-rate, her sales teams weren’t hitting targets.
What we did
So we helped her to think clearly about how she was approaching her new role. Critically, she identified some important factors that, in her enthusiasm, she had missed. Externally, her customers were being impacted by a change in legislation. The sales process that Ellen had inherited didn’t take this into account, which meant that her teams were out of step with their clients’ buying cycle despite doing everything ‘by the book’. Internally, Ellen recognised that her management style was shaped too strongly by her own experience, so she assumed that her team all needed the same sort of guidance that she herself preferred. Whilst this was true for some, others needed a more directive and challenging style.
Once aware of these influences, Ellen set about re-designing the sales process, as well as stepping up the pressure on those in her team who needed it. Improvements in performance soon followed.