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In Their Corner

Focus your coaching efforts where they'll pack the most punch--on your top performers.
June 1, 2003

When it comes to coaching your sales force, you musn't wander down Egal-itarian Avenue--it's a corridor of dashed expectations and unmet challenges. Well-meaning entrepreneurs may be forgiven for thinking a sales team should run like a democracy, but don't confuse the wonders of our social and political structure with the rigors of sales management. It's imperative that you focus on the fundamental few salespeople who'll afford you the lion's share of the results. Squeamish about playing favorites? Vanquish any unease by digesting the following reasons for devoting your coaching time to your elite sales performers:

Lunsford adds that managers can also work with the elite crew to have them serve as mentors to any up-and-comers or those in a sales slump. Mentorship, believes Lunsford, "helps the poorer performer, provides recognition for the top performer, and encourages the top performer to be more mindful of the detailed procedures that may have been 'shortcutted' over time."

Kimberly L. McCall (aka Marketing Angel) is the president of McCall Media & Marketing Inc.(, a business communications company in Durham, Maine.