Sales Management Training Tips: Sales Coaching vs. Admin?
After my last blog 5 Ways to Gauge Your Sales Managers' Coaching, I heard from several clients. One VP of Sales loved the article and asked for copies for his Directors of Sales. Two heads of sales from different companies liked the post but did not want to send it out to their frontline sales managers because of my comment (see below) that coaching was more important than administration. Neither wants their sales managers to feel that it is OK to spend time in the field and avoid administration.
"Like many of us, managers tend to spend their time on the activities they are the best at and most enjoy. A manager who focuses extensively on administrative tasks like submitting reports on time probably is less comfortable coaching. The manager who finds creative ways to get into the field and spend more time with sales reps probably sees the value of this time. Remember that administration doesn't generate revenue or help develop your salespeople and that time spent in the field improves your reps' ability to be the best they can be".
Both were struggling with individual sales managers who were not completing their administrative duties on time and they were tired of excuses. So by sending this article out they felt that they would provide an additional rationale for the sales managers to avoid completing their administrative work.
For the head of sales, managers not getting reports from their direct reports affects their ability to do their job -- hence their frustration with their reports that are not on top of their admin. I can certainly see their points of view and I took two key points away from our discussions:
- It is always important to manage your boss and keep them happy. Even though the administration doesn't generate revenue, the old adage that "the job ain't finished until the paperwork is done" holds true.
- It reinforces my article that a Head of Sales has little visibility as to how well his or her managers coach. Given that lack of visibility, frontline sales managers can be poor coaches but perceived as good managers by their bosses.
The message? Great coaching = great performance. Getting the paperwork completed = happy boss.
Do both and be great and happy!