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5 Coaching Roles You Need to Fill When Selecting Your First-Round Sales Manager A good sales manager can tell people what they are doing wrong while inspiring them to do better.

By Mike Schultz Edited by Dan Bova

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The NFL draft is upon us. Teams like the New England Patriots are wasting no time making blockbuster moves to secure additional picks. One of the key positions they're rumored to fill: quarterback.

An elite quarterback must possess a multitude of qualities. From arm strength and mobility to intelligence and vision; these are just a few qualities that Belichick and Kraft will be seeking in their next GOAT (Greatest of All Time).

Similar to how teams have checklists to aid in their search of draft picks, your company should establish criteria when selecting your next franchise sales manager.

A good sales manager isn't a one-trick pony. They must be able to perform multiple tasks well. In addition to managing performance and attracting talent, your organization requires a stellar sales manager who can coach sellers effectively. Here are five key coaching roles to consider when you're on the clock.

1. Motivate

"Coaching is not how much you know. It's how much you can get players to do." -- Bum Phillips

Exceptional football coaches find ways to motivate their team to achieve the best results. The same is true in sales.

Your sellers are motivated by a variety of factors, and it's not always monetary. A good sales coach is able to uncover and understand the key influences on sales motivation for each seller. Once it's determined what drives your sellers to excel, coaches should provide maximum energy to help them succeed.

Your sales manager holds the keys for inspiring and encouraging your sellers to be the very best they can be. Make sure you have someone onboard who can fire them up!

Related: 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You're Really Not Feeling It

2. Focus

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." -- Tom Landry

In football, the goal each week is to win (and do so without sustaining any season-ending injuries). To do this, coaches devise specific game plans for offense, defense, and special teams.

The ultimate goal for your sellers is to win sales. This also requires laser focus and a solid plan of attack. Your sales manager is responsible for helping sellers build goals and action plans. They help them focus their time to reach their full potential.

Look for a sales manager who has experience defining goals and tactical plans to set your sellers up for success.

Related: 13 Ways to Develop Laser-Like Focus

3. Execute

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle, victorious." -- Vince Lombardi

It's third-and-10 with 11:14 remaining on the clock. The Patriots are down by five to the Giants. Tom Brady throws a 65-yard pass to hook up with Randy Moss for not only the touchdown, but also a record catch. The play was executed to perfection.

Execution in sales is crucial. Sellers get the most accomplished when they are held accountable to their action plans. A successful sales manager knows how to execute and is dedicated to helping your sellers develop habits that will allow them to reach their goals and use their time most effectively.

Our Top-Performing Sales Organization research revealed that 71 percent of companies do not believe their sellers manage their time and day effectively. That's a bit concerning.

Look for a sales manager who has the skills to keep your sellers on-track with their plans and remain productive.

Related: 9 Traits You Must Have to Execute Your Mission

4. Advise

"They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them…you show them the reasons." -- Vince Lombardi

Every football team has a head coach, offensive and defensive coordinator, special teams coach, and the list goes on. These coaches have a laundry list of responsibilities, but one of them is to provide support and instruction.

An exceptional sales manager provides guidance on a regular basis. They help your sellers create and win the most opportunities. While they might ask your sellers exploratory questions and encourage them to find their own answers, they also know when to offer direct advice about specific opportunities.

The key is to find a sales manager who knows how to deliver advice the right way. This will vary depending on your seller's level of expertise. For instance, a less experienced seller will likely need a more direct approach while a veteran seller might appreciate a facilitated approach where they work together on finding solutions.

Related: 4 Things Teaching Has Taught Me About Running a Business

5. Develop

"A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are." -- Ara Parseghian

Drafted players enter the NFL as standout athletes, but there's still room for growth. Teams work with players to help them improve their skills.

Your sales manager is counted on to do the same with sellers. They work with your sellers to improve their capabilities, develop sales skills, and coach them to achieve top performance.

Do your seller's cave under pressure when it comes to handling objections? Do they struggle with prospecting success? Do they know how to maximize sales and grow existing accounts? Your sales manager is responsible for identifying any short fallings and working with sellers to master these talents.

Luckily, there are resources and sales training solutions that address various topics to develop sellers. One thing is certain, work and commitment is required from both parties.

As you look to hire your next sales manager, it's important that you dig deep during the interview process. Stay focused on uncovering examples of how they've demonstrated these five roles in previous positions. If you keep these coaching roles in mind, you'll not only end up with a winner, but you'll also receive an "A" draft grade.

"The most valuable player is the one who makes the most players valuable." -- Peyton Manning

Mike Schultz

President of RAIN Group

Mike Schultz is a bestselling author of Rainmaking Conversations, Insight Selling, Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships, Differentiate, and Win Sales Remotely, and Not Today: The 9 Habits of Extreme Productivity. He is Director of the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, and President of RAIN Group, a Top Sales Training Company that delivers award-winning results through in-person and virtual sales training, coaching, and reinforcement. He and RAIN Group have helped hundreds of thousands of salespeople, managers, and professionals in more than 75 countries transform their sales results and unleash their sales potential.

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