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  I have three new salespeople, and a handful of more experienced reps. I find myself spending a disproportionate amount of time with the new guys, and, therefore, ignoring the others. Is this OK? Or should I spread my coaching time around to be equally available to all of them?
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by Dave Kahle
copyright (MMXII)

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Dave Kahle
"I hope you enjoy this article. We have lots of resources on this site, ranging from dozens of similar free articles, podcasts, weekly features, books , CDs and video training programs. Enjoy! "

Let me give you a short answer as well as a long answer. The short answer is this: Yes. It's OK. You're doing fine.

Here's the long answer.

As you work intently with the new salespeople, hopefully you are helping them to understand how to do their jobs well. You are educating them in the principles and practices of successful sales in your field. Not only that, but you are also, I hope, helping them to create positive habits which will be repeated numerous times over the next few years.

Since a new salesperson is, as a general rule, much more open to learning than a more experienced person, your efforts will return better than average results. If you only had one hour of coaching time to allocate, for example, that hour would get more payback if you invested it in a new person, than if you invested it in a more experienced one.

Now let's look at the other side of the issue – your more experienced salespeople. Let's start with an observation that I have made over the years: Just because a salesperson has experience, that does not mean that he+she knows how to do the job well. You cannot count on all your current salespeople knowing how to do the job well. You can count on them having arrived at some place where they are comfortable in what they are doing. In fact, they may not even know what it means to do their jobs well!

See my article, "Stop the bleeding," for a description of what I'm talking about.

OK, let's assume that you have worked with your experienced salespeople sufficiently to come to the conclusion that they are competent at what they are doing.

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Kahle Way Sales Management System

Can you then leave them completely alone and devote all of your attention to the new people? NO.

They still need direction and feedback from you. That doesn't mean that you need to micromanage them. But it does mean that you should have created and communicated specific annual expectations for their performance. Not only that, it also means that you ought to meet with them individually each month to review their priorities and plans, and to review their previous month's performance.

By the way, these specific practices are part of our Kahle Way® Sales Management System. If you're interested in learning more about it, click here.

So, once you've assured yourself that your more experienced people are competent, and you've provided them with some leadership in the form of annual goals and monthly reviews, then you are free to invest your coaching time in the new people.

That's the long answer. Thanks for asking.

If you have any comments or questions, email them to me.
I do, of course, reserve the right to edit.

Here are a few articles by Dave
that you might be interested in reading:

  • What's the Best Way to Find a Good Salesperson... Good question! It seems that everyone has a favorite response. Some people only use recruiters, and others swear by networking. But classified ads continue to be the most common choice. Almost everyone who hires salespeople will, at some time, search for prospects via the "help wanted" section.... {Read More}
  • Is it Time to Revise Your Sales Compensation Plan?... If you're paying your sales reps straight commission, you're using an obsolete formula. If you're paying your sales reps a straight salary, you're also using an obsolete formula. Read this article to find out a much more effective way to compensate your sales staff.... {Read More}
  • How to Deal with the Salesperson Who Has Leveled Off... Every manager has, or will, confront this troublesome issue. It's arisen in every workshop for sales managers or branch managers I've done. One or more of your salespeople has leveled off. Their performance hasn't improved much in the last few years. Where before you were able to count on significant increases each year, now you can not. You know that these experienced salespeople can do better, but they seem unable or unwilling to break out of a certain level of performance. You are scratching your head, frustrated, and loosing sleep at night wondering how to improve the situation. What do you do?... {Read More}
There are also many other action-packed articles for sales professionals that offer how-to solutions to every day sales problems that you can read online at www.davekahle.com/article.htm.
Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of B2B salespeople, sales managers and business owners to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He's authored nine books, and presented in 47 states and seven countries. To access Dave's training, insights and tools online, visit The Sales Resource Center. Visit www.davekahle.com to check out a seminar near you.
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