Samuel Striker here again to talk about my experience as a coach in soccer and also sales. I didn’t expect it, but coaching a couple of soccer teams has had substantial influence within my career of being sales leader. Coaching young people taught me many different things about being a leader. It allowed me to bring the best out of our team through a deep connection, and I’ve been able to apply that to my sales team as well.
When I first started coaching, I didn’t think I would cut it. A few experiences made me more comfortable, and all of a sudden I started loving it. It’s not easy being a leader for a team. People look to you for everything and expect you to have a solution. Two of the most important things I learned were patience and trust. Being patient allows your team some breathing room to develop without you being on their backs. Trust is key as well. Having faith in your sales team can improve morale and build their confidence.
I’ve noticed that getting to know my team well has helped them develop strongly. I’m not just talking about on the practice field or at work. Getting to know everything from their families to what their favorite kind of ice cream is allows us to build a strong relationship that to apply to work. A manager should know and enrich their team’s lives, not just at work or at the game.
I’ve also noticed that a sense of belonging helps strengthen a team. The first soccer team I coached had difficulty getting along. They couldn’t see us becoming a family that could trust each other and know that we had each other’s back. As we started to practice more however, things started coming into place. The same goes for our sales team. Promoting a culture of belonging and pride can help motivate a squad to want everyone to succeed.
Knowing the talent levels of my team and where they strive the best helped considerably. There are always those that succeed and start to level off. If someone is better on the phone, and another is better at face-to-face meetings, I make sure to put them in situations they are comfortable it. It’s important to stress that even great talent needs to work hard to prosper.