How a new sales manager raised close ratio by 41%

For this new sales manager, learning how to listen deeply improved his effectiveness dramatically, and helped him lead his team to a 41% increase in their close ratio.

FROM SALES PRO TO SALES MANAGER – Jack was a former top performer in sales, who had just been promoted to his first management position. His go-getter approach had served him well as an individual contributor, but now, as a manager, it was getting in his way. He was rubbing a lot of people the wrong way, he had emotional outbursts, and he came across as abrupt.

He knew something wasn’t working so well, and he was eager and open to being coached in this new role. That’s when the CEO contacted me.

Jack and I began working together an hour a week, in the form of weekly 1 hour coaching calls for 6 months.

SELF-AWARENESS – His biggest A-Ha’s came from working on his self-awareness and the impact he had on others. We replayed situations where he knew he ticked people off, but didn’t know how else to respond. He became aware of the triggers that kicked him into that abrupt, “I’ll get it done” mode, and I had him visualize different ways of reacting when similar situations occurred.

AWARENESS OF OTHERS – He also raised his awareness of his colleagues, their unique strengths, their drivers and motivators, and how to see things from their perspectives. He learned new ways to acknowledge and recognize each of them in meaningful, authentic, and specific ways that made them feel seen, recognized, and appreciated.

LISTENING SKILLS – We spent a lot of time on listening and worked through various strategies to help him be more fully engaged in this critical process. Techniques included Active Listening, the 3 Levels of Listening, and Deep Listening. He experienced tremendous progress and became a much better listener, raising his listening skills from a 3 to a 9, as reported by his colleagues.

SHIFT TO CONSULTATIVE SALES – The new listening skills was a big game-changer for him and his team. In the process, the team shifted from “pitching product” to a “consultative sale” — and clients started calling them for guidance.

RESULTS – By the next quarter end, he and his team had raised their close ratio by 41%!