One on Ones
Sales management is fairly simple if you keep to the basics. The sales manager is the
coach of the team, and as the coach, he or she must do what is necessary to bring the
individuals on the team to a higher level of performance.
This is done through two simple methods. The problem is that most sales managers are
not consistent. Let me repeat that since it is so important to understand. Most sales
managers do not do the right things all the time. Oh yeah, they have good intentions, but
usually paperwork, emails, budgets and all the "office stuff" keep them from doing their job!
The job is twofold. Number one, is to be in the "field" as much as possible with the sales
people to watch their habits or how they sell. This is like the coach watching their players on
the football field. The coach is with all the players, not just the top performers or the weak
ones, but the entire team. Secondly, the reason for this article, are the numbers or how the
sales person is performing with respect to their activity. This goes hand in hand with "field
time" and why these two areas must connect with each other. By being in the field, you get
to witness first hand the different personality types and their individual skill level, and now
by observing the numbers, you get to look at their performance.
This is accomplished by doing "one on ones." These one on ones are to cover their
individual numbers or sales quotas on what they are supposed to do each and every day.
The key difference here is not to just have a monthly sales meeting after the month is over,
but to meet the sales people during the month to monitor their sales targets.
The four areas you want to look at each and every week, is simple and very basic. This can
be done in person or even over the phone since so many people have their calendar in
electronic form such as Palm or Outlook.
- Go over previous weeks sales & their weekly goals. Look at their calendar for the
week that just ended.
- Plan the next week's activity and short term goals. Look at their calendar for the
- Take a look at their list of their prospects. Match sales calls with prospects or
- Ask them what areas they need improvement!
As far as I am concerned this is all that is important. I can see if they have been working by
looking at heir calendar and seeing what appointments they have had. I can also see what
appointments they have coming up for the following week to monitor that they are
continuing to work.
Lastly, by continually checking their prospect list you can see what prospects have closed,
what is still pending and what new ones that have been added.
This one on one time is not going to be once in a while or when sales are down. This must
happen all the time like a work out program or anything else you want to maintain. The
minute you digress from this simple action plan you will notice your sales slipping again and
the probable turnover of salespeople or your team. So, as I was saying before, this must
be consistent, and done on a weekly schedule. When you start to move away from this
very simple process, you will see the numbers or performance of the sales people
Trust me, I have seen this time after time where sales managers modify this and do it every
other week or when time permits. IT WILL NOT WORK THAT WAY! This has to be done
weekly on a set schedule for this to maintain it's forward momentum, so you can stay on top
of the salesperson's duties and responsibilities.
If you stick to the methods I have discussed, you will become a proactive coach rather than
a reactive manager.
Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on Sales and Customer Service. He is the author of two best
selling books "Can I have 5 minutes of your time?" and "Lip Service." Hal's newest book on negotiating is
titled "Get What You Want!" He can be reached at Halbecker.