Why Sales Workplace Shadowing Should be Banned

Here’s a Sacred Cow that just won’t go away.

A new salesperson joins the team, the Sales Manager needs to get a training on boarding plan in place so he sends them out to shadow a top performer.

These are the reasons this is a bad idea:

  • Its often treated as an easy option for the sales manager. She just needs a quick call or email and she has the new recruit off her hand for a few days.
  • Top performers are too busy to give any attention
  • They are not naturally good at coaching, lack patience
  • They don’t know what they do to be a top performer so find it impossible to teach them what I do.
  • The situations seen are entirely random and may not reflect their role area.
  • Top performers actually hate it when they have a shadow on them
  • It can go on for ages since its an easy option for the sales manager so you’re losing revenue.
  • Its always embarrassing introducing them to clients that you’re going to see.
  • They slow the top performer down.
  • There’s little de-briefing after the event to eke out any learnings.

Other options:

  • Devise a proper training workshop with you acting as the person to shadow
  • Train a member of your team in coaching, they may no be the best performer either, but they have a knack of coaching and developing people.

But please don’t just dump them off with the top performer