Setting Expectations for Coaching at Frontier Manufacturing

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Before the coaching contract was signed, Paul, the sales and marketing

VP at Frontier Manufacturing (fictitious name), wanted to be

crystal clear with the coaching vendor and his HR VP that he wanted

to see changes in how his 12 regional sales managers (RSMs) led

their people and seized market opportunities.“Our salespeople seem

to act like they need a written invitation to prospect new customers,”

Paul lamented. “Our RSMs respond by trying to find an engraver for

the invitations.Where’s the sense of urgency? Forget the invitations;

there’s a time when you just have to throw them in the deep end of

the pool to teach them to swim.”

Coaching (as opposed to some big training program) via the

telephone was viewed as the ideal solution, given the individual

needs and wide geographic dispersion of the RSMs. Besides, Paul

lamented, “I don’t want to invest in a big sheep-dipping program

that doesn’t hit the mark.” Paul met with the vendor and the HR VP

to set expectations for the coaching initiative. These expectations

were made to be a specific part of the contract for coaching 12 RSMs:

1. The RSMs would receive five months of coaching.

2. A follow-up evaluation would be held two months after the

coaching was completed to determine how well people have

applied what they learned during the coaching. The HR

VP and vendor would work out how best to conduct this

evaluation.

3. At least 10 of the 12 coaching clients were expected to make

significant progress in at least these two areas:

_ Improving their people management skills

_ Increasing the number of prospecting calls by their

salespeople

4. The vendor will evaluate these two areas and report back to

Paul within nine months as to what kind of progress was made.