Turn My Managers into Leaders and Coaches

The Challenge

One of the biggest obstacles to sales performance we see in banks and credit unions is managers failing to effectively coach and develop their staff. A frequent comment from executives is, “Our managers spend too much time on operational issues and reading month-end sales reports rather than coaching to raise team performance”. Another from frontline managers is, “I have no time to coach my people. Some days it’s so busy, I only have time to serve members and solve problems”. They seem to have every reason why they can’t coach and develop their staff, some seemingly very convincing.

When I (Bob) was just starting out in sales with Xerox, at one sales meeting my manager told his team, “You either have results or you have reasons why you didn’t get the results. I’m not interested in your reasons”. He was sincere, not snarky. He went on to explain his boss had no interest in his reasons for not getting his team to perform and neither did his boss’ boss. Such is the reality in a true sales culture.

Another challenge is simply managers not receiving any sales management training, but that’s really a choice by the senior management. However, providing training doesn’t stem the tide of reasons why managers feel they can’t coach and develop their people. Even when they do invest time in their people, we see first-hand that many are still not getting results. They’re often just plain ineffective. Does all this sound familiar? Are you tired of hearing all the reasons?

High Definition Banking® Solution

We understand many branch managers are working managers and are pulled in all directions. So how do you get around this “lack of time” and ineffectiveness even when they do work with their people? Our approach is fivefold:

  1. Simplify Training – Managers can be overwhelmed with their day-to-day function so asking them to add more layers of tasks can be daunting, especially to those in busy branches. So it’s important to greatly simplify sales management training to a few easily digestible activities that when done properly, get results. High Definition Banking® has done that and we still get results. Our informal training motto is “No bulky 3 ring binders”.
  2. Change Managers’ Perspective – Knowing their job is already challenging, we know that many managers bring a mental block to sales management training. Their mindset is “No matter what new skills I’ll be asked to learn, it will be a miracle if I can squeeze a fraction of them into my “impossibly busy” day”. Our two step approach is to first get managers to understand the important role they play in developing and inspiring their team. Second, managers participate in an exercise to evaluate how they spend their time and come up with ways to work with each individual on their team. Most training programs just teach skills. High Definition Banking® also gets buy-in and reduces resistance.
  3. Integrate Activities – Rather than conducting isolated training events that may or may not be used back on the job, sales management tasks and supporting tools are integrated into the daily routine of your managers. We provide an effective organizational process – not simply events. Learn More. All people responsible for coaching are expected to follow the methodology and the process makes it very obvious to senior management who is coaching and who is not.
  4. Coach the Coaches – As good as Olympic athletes are, they still have coaches to help them improve. Based on that premise, all frontline managers, including senior managers (like head of retail) take part in a proven coaching and debriefing process. Its purpose is to reinforce skills and demonstrate this new regimen is now a way of life in your bank and credit union. Senior managers also learn their role in sustaining results and receive techniques to insure their managers are coaching and developing their team.
  5. Turn Conventional Wisdom Upside Down – We realize your senior management needs reports to know if your bank or credit union is reaching its goals. However, an obsession with and sole focus on monitoring goals, reports, numbers and results can actually become an obstacle to getting the results. We have put a new twist on the adage, “what gets measured gets done” that leads to even better performance. Give us a call to learn about our “secret sauce.”