Dedicated practice time is critical – are you on skills life support?
Think about it.
Football players practice all week for a two-hour meeting on the playing field.
Basketball players practice every day for 60 minutes of game time.
We all know a champion is more successful because of the unbridled commitment to preparation. According to psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, one of the leading researchers on expertise, world-class performers excel because of deliberate practice – often 10,000 hours or more in their field before becoming an expert. They know that practice is critical – there is no substitute.
Yet, why do most managers skip practice with their sales teams, leaving the training to others?
Just like in school, people forget what they’ve learned if it’s not put into practice. You’ve got to use it or you’ll lose it. Why would a manager invest in training and development if s/he isn’t willing to embrace practice with the team?
The best sales managers know the importance of practice and repetition. Great sales managers advocate for dedicated practice with each member of their team and participate actively. They schedule it in. They set aside one hour during each sales meeting for a team practice session. They even assign training specialties to others on the team, sharing the responsibility of preparation. And right before game time – the sales call – they are diligent in conducting a mini-practice with the salesperson.
Champions know they have to practice and prepare for success. What are you doing with your sales team to promote deliberate practice?
Carlos Quintero, founder of Sales Effectiveness, coaches senior executives who want to drive change with their sales teams. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 770-552-6612.