How to be a Good Sales Mentor
Mentoring is about helping less experienced colleagues through professional expertise and support via a one-on-one relationship. It’s a common practice for transferring knowledge and developing talent.
Mentoring is an effective way to provide soft skills that cannot be taught in a classroom or through general business training. Incorporate these tips to create a solid sales mentorship program that will grow your salespeople and the overall business.
Kick it off right
First, have an open conversation to get to know each other, how you work and learn best, and understanding exactly what you and the mentee would like to get out of the relationship. Setting goals is an important first step.
Listen First, Then Discuss
Always hear what your mentee is saying and really understand what their issue is before giving your opinion. Ask questions to clarify their point of view and then bring insights and perspectives to help them consider a pathway.
Share Your Experiences
Probably the most important knowledge you can share is your experience. Many situations you have in your sales career, even the trickiest ones, aren’t that unique. The best mentors share how they handled challenges and turned them into opportunities.
It’s easy to just tell your mentee what to do. But your role is to help them think through challenges and get to a solution. A good mentor lets their protégé make mistakes, learn and grow.
Helping a young salesperson see challenges as an opportunity and giving them the tools to create something positive from it is the most valuable thing you can teach them.
Lastly, as the sales mentee grows and learns, give them more responsibility so they can become autonomous and confident. You don’t want to create mentees who are dependent on their coaches. Rather, give them opportunities to cultivate their new skills and they’ll transition to becoming more self-reliant.
Being a sales mentor is as rewarding an experience for you as it will be for your mentees. The more you work at it, the more you’ll learn how to communicate, process feedback and help your mentees pursue their goals. And you’ll achieve the larger purpose of the sales mentorship program: to create a team of talented, knowledgeable salespeople that will enhance the overall profitability of the business.