By Dave Kahle

How much time should I spend coaching new sales people?

I have three new salespeople and a handful of more experienced reps.  I find myself spending a disproportionate amount of time with the new guys, and, therefore, ignoring the others.  Is this OK?  Or should I spread my coaching time around to be equally available to all of them?

Let me give you a short answer as well as a long answer. The short answer is this:  Yes.  It’s OK.  You’re doing fine.

Here’s the long answer.

As you work intently with the new salespeople, hopefully, you are helping them to understand how to do their jobs well.  You are educating them on the principles and practices of successful sales in your field.  Not only that, but you are also, I hope, helping them to create positive habits which will be repeated numerous times over the next few years.

Since a new salesperson is, as a general rule, much more open to learning than a more experienced person, your efforts will return better than average results.  If you only had one hour of coaching time to allocate, for example, that hour would get more payback if you invested it in a new person than if you invested it in a more experienced one.

Now let’s look at the other side of the issue – your more experienced salespeople.  Let’s start with an observation that I have made over the years:  Just because a salesperson has the experience, that does not mean that he/she knows how to do the job well.

You cannot count on all your current salespeople to know how to do the job well.  You can count on them having arrived at someplace where they are comfortable in what they are doing.  In fact, they may not even know what it means to do their jobs well!

See my article, “Stop the bleeding,” for a description of what I’m talking about.

OK, let’s assume that you have worked with your experienced salespeople sufficiently to come to the conclusion that they are competent at what they are doing.

Can you then leave them completely alone and devote all of your attention to the new people?  NO.

They still need direction and feedback from you.  That doesn’t mean that you need to micromanage them.  But it does mean that you should have created and communicated specific annual expectations for their performance.  Not only that, but it also means that you ought to meet with them individually each month to review their priorities and plans, and to review their previous month’s performance.

By the way, these specific practices are part of our Kahle Way® Sales Management System.  If you’re interested in learning more about it, click here.

So, once you’ve assured yourself that your more experienced people are competent, and you’ve provided them with some leadership in the form of annual goals and monthly reviews, then you are free to invest your coaching time in the new people.

That’s the long answer.  Thanks for asking.

Copyright MMXVIII by Dave Kahle

All Rights Reserved

Originally published: Sales Leader’s Q & A: Spreading Around Coaching Time Dave Kahle Wisdom

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and eleven countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of salespeople and transform hundreds of sales organizations. His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as “one of the five best English language business books. Check out his latest book, The Good Book on Business.