Does Your Sales Management Training Place Too Much Weight on Reviewing Results?

Most Bank and Credit Union Sales Managers Are Off Course…

Sales managers become misguided when they spend more time on results than on showing people how to get the resultsOne of the most frequent comments we hear from CEOs and senior execs at banks and credit unions is, “Our managers spend too much time on operational issues and reading sales reports rather than coaching their people to raise performance.” Does this sound familiar? Are your managers focusing mostly on results and not enough on staff development?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you answered yes to the first question and are possibly a little puzzled by the second. The point is: if managers are not spending enough time helping their people reach their performance goals, they reviewing sales results won’t do much good.

The more time managers spend coaching the better. The problem is most sales managers are trained to review reports each month that show past results instead of coaching activities that will positively impact future results. The key to success is to focus on leading indicators instead of lagging indicators. Allow me to explain.

Sales Managers Must Coach for Activities That Lead to Success

Recently I delivered a sales management training at a community bank client that is very numbers-driven. Despite that focus, managers were not meeting their goals. As expected, I learned that reviewing month-end results was one of their standards. I shared how their obsession with and sole focus on monitoring goals, numbers and reports was actually an obstacle to getting results. I offered another viable strategy. Here’s what I told them.

Leading indicators are activities that impact future results. Lagging indicators are the results that have already happened“Obviously, senior management needs to know if your team is achieving goals. However, as a service or sales manager it’s your job to reinforce key behaviors and activities that will lead to results. Training your people in sales, service or relationship management skills does not mean they will be instantly effective. To change behaviors, you need to understand the difference between leading and lagging indicators and focus on the formerLeading indicators are activities that impact future results. Lagging indicators, on the other hand, are results that have already happened. Savvy managers focus on coaching and developing their people. You are pivotal to make that happen!”

Why Lagging Indicators are Not Very Useful

If you’re reviewing monthly goals and production reports at the end of the month it’s too late to change results. What good is it to say, “Jane, next month you need to generate $100,000 more in revenue and get three more new customers”? Will that help Jane do something different to get better results? Of course not. In fact, Jane has every right to ask, “OK coach, can you give me some ideas to help me reach my goals?”

Examples of Leading Indicators that ImpactResults

Ultimately, you want managers who coach people to perform sales activities that will lead to goal achievement. Any manager can review a report and give you a goal. However, it takes real talent, skill and dedication to actually work with you hands-on and help you reach the goal. Here’s what a sales manager with a coaching mindset would do to help you identify activities to meet your goals:Managers must coach people on effectively performing sales activities that lead to results that match the goals

  • “Let’s set aside some time to review the credit reports and profiles of a few customers and look at some opportunities to help them reduce debt and save money.”
  • “Once we identify some opportunities, together we’ll develop a pre-call plan for each of those calls. You can look up what products they have with us now and any previous conversations in the customer CRM profile. We’ll then come up with some good questions to engage the customers, build trust first and determine their needs.”
  • “I’ll listen in on a few phone calls and also observe your next meeting with a new customer, and then I can give you some pointers and coaching.”

In our experience, reviewing customer profiles, joint pre-call planning and conducting observations are three powerful and proven leading indicators.

Activities That Are Leading Indicators Increase Performance

From our firsthand experience partnering with clients, structured sales activities significantly impact future performance. Why? Because you will have a consistent development process in place that dramatically builds staff confidence and performance. Plus, these activities ensure your staff is using your CRM software to help build customer relationships. Yet many banks and credit unions do not expect, monitor or instill any of these key disciplines, behaviors and activities.

To start improving performance, we recommend you forward this post to your managers and discuss the approach with them. Also decide if your sales management training has the right emphasis on the right activities.

Thanks for reading,
Barbara Sanfilippo

P.S. Ask about our Lead in High DefinitionTM sales management training to turn your sales managers into performance builders and coaches. I’ll likely be in your area in the coming months. Let’s plan an exciting and informative motivational presentation or workshop at your leadership, sales or all-employee meeting!

We are interested in your feedback. www.HighDefinitionBanking.comYour Thoughts?

We are interested in your feedback. In the comments section below, please tell us whether you agree or disagree with the ideas in this post. Also, what challenges or questions do you have that we can answer in this post?


Your structured and sustainable training, coaching and consulting process is the catalyst that moved us from transactional selling focused on pitching product to relationship selling in which we engage customers in deeper conversations, uncover financial anxieties, goals and dreams and offer tailored financial solutions. Results we’ve seen include:
— One outreach call by a relationship banker alone generated $1.1 million in total customer relations
— Referral activity to our wealth and mortgage areas has risen by approximately 21.5% annually
— New account production has increased by an average of 25% from 2014
Your ability to add inspiration and heart to your message and process is your unique differentiator. It empowers our staff to make an emotional connection with our customers and want to make a difference in their lives. — President & CEO, Town and Country Bank

Our staff is more confident and skilled at engaging members in deeper conversations, tapping into their emotive drivers and uncovering their life events. By my estimate, you’ve improved our member experience by 300%! Your emphasis on building trust first and avoiding product pitching is resulting in more new business, referrals and increased loyalty. In fact one member said, “Nobody has ever helped me like this.” Our office VP’s and supervisors are observing, developing and coaching their team to excel at member engagement and relationship management. Not a week goes by when people don’t mention High Definition Banking®. We’re blown away by how far we’ve come in such a short time. Thank you for being a valued partner and we look forward to continuing our journey with you! — COO, WESTconsin Credit Union

Speaking, Consulting and Training Services

If you are considering a consulting and training partner in 2017 to increase sales revenue, we’re happy to have an exploratory call. Visit In addition, Barb is available to speak at your all-staff training day, sales meeting or leadership retreat. Visit her speaking site at with demo video.

Open Printer-Friendly Page
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someone
Posted in Blog, Sales Management, Sales Training Tagged with: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *