How To Be A Coach Instead Of A Micromanager

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “How To Be A Coach Instead Of A Micromanager”

If you spend your time worrying about what the boss thinks of you and grinding your people to make their numbers, you’re probably not having much fun. You can change that by learning how to be a coach instead of a micromanager. When you focus on ways to help your reps succeed instead of micromanaging them, your job will feel more rewarding.

Sales Manager Stress

A sales manager has plenty of opportunities to become a micromanager. They’ve been given a number to meet, and often, they’ve inherited a sales team. If they haven’t been given any management training, they may dive into their new job with mistaken beliefs. Specifically, managers may expect reps to sell exactly the way they sold. Even worse, they may be so obsessed with what the boss thinks of them, they won’t step back and make decisions that are best for the team, say Ben Wigert and Ryan Pendell in their analysis of micromanagers for Gallup.

There are times when a manager needs to pay attention to details: onboarding new employees, assigning a team member to a complex project and working on performance improvement. These are all cases of when a manager should be hands-​on. And, if you’re working with an employee who requires support, you’ll also want to provide plenty of feedback. But the rest of the time, a sales manager needs a different mindset.

Be A Coach Instead Of A Micromanager

C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of SalesFuel, says that the job of the sales manager isn’t to sell more, it’s to develop your team so they can sell more. The best way to do that is to move from a micromanager mindset to a coach mindset. Micromanagers tend to find fault, not listen and fail to praise their team in public. “Great coaching, on the other hand, is an ongoing relationship of support and trust that emerges out of a rhythm of collaborative conversations, leading to teamwork and shared accountability.”

The biggest challenge in coaching sales reps is the demand on the manager’s time. You can improve that situation by using an automated coaching solution that includes a profile of every rep on your team. With that information, you’ll know each team member’s strengths and weaknesses. If you have a rep who’s working as customer service agent, but is better suited to business development, implement a staffing change.

An automated coaching solution can reveal which parts of the sales process are challenging for your rep. Instead of talking with them about how they missed their numbers, you can give them assignments to help them improve their discovery or closing skills. This kind of coaching enables your team members to succeed.

In our Voice of the Sales Manager survey, over 60% of managers agreed that engaging and motivating their reps is a necessary characteristic for being effective in their position. One key way to motivate and engage staff members is to provide coaching, but only 53% of sales managers understand this fact. Commit to being a coach instead of a micromanager and you'll see engagement and sales climb.