No matter how much natural talent you have, there are tricks to any trade that only come through experience and wisdom. Learning from a sales mentor will equip you with both.

You’re not far into your sales career, and you’re already killing your numbers. You close deals faster than anyone else at your level. You bring on some of the most impressive clients. You’ve even gotten personalized praise from the company CEO. Yet despite your success, you know you haven’t fully mastered sales. What you need is a sales mentor.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 71% of Millennials are not engaged or actively disengaged at work, making them the least engaged generation in the U.S. But why are they disengaged? What is it that they want?

The same study says that above all else, Millennials want opportunities to learn and grow on the job. It’s an area that frequently goes overlooked, especially in an industry like sales where numbers form the base of so much.

One significant solution to the problem of engagement—and this isn’t just for Millennials, by the way—is sales mentorship.

sales mentor

The case for mentorship

A sales mentor isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a direct manager. Instead, they’re someone usually within the organization who you trust, respect, and look up to in some way. They should be the person who most closely resembles the salesperson you want to become.

The reason mentorship is useful is that it teaches you things you couldn’t have learned in school, and probably wouldn’t learn on the job for many years without some help. A sales mentor can teach you the nuances of the business, how to interact with certain types of people, how other areas of the business operate, how to better negotiate and close deals, and how to strategically come by opportunities for advancement. A sales mentor is a teacher and a coach, eventually, perhaps even a friend.

lead-managerlead-managerMake time for mentorship with Blitz’s CRM software. Schedule a free demo  to see how you can you have more time for growth and development.

sales mentor

How to make use of your mentorship time

Mentoring is an out-of-office activity. It should involve relatively impersonal (though still professional) conversations over coffee or lunch, or over the phone if in-person time is unavailable. You should feel comfortable talking to a sales mentor about your successes and struggles at work, but also anything from your personal life that might be interfering with job performance.

When you meet with your sales mentor, ask a lot of questions. It’s not a therapy session; you’re there to gain wisdom and experience before you’ve put in the years. Spend more time listening than talking.

Most important, don’t rush your mentorship meeting. Schedule it on your calendar and devote that entire thirty minutes or hour to your conversation. Don’t check e-mails or texts, don’t take phone calls, don’t daydream. Engage so you can be further engaged at work.

sales mentor

How to find a sales mentor

Finding a sales mentor doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If someone at your company doesn’t immediately come to mind, consider the following things you might do to help connect you with the right person.

1. Identify someone who fits with your personality 

This is critically important for a successful mentorship. If you and your sales mentor clash on any level, it will be difficult for you to learn from them. Think about directors and above with whom you get along and feel some kinship towards, even if they aren’t in the sales department.

2. Talk with your manager 

You should let your manager know before you begin searching for a mentor, so they don’t think you’re doing something behind their back. While having the discussion, ask them who they think would be a good mentor. If you have a good working relationship with your manager, they’ll likely be able to help you.

3. Talk to Human Resources 

HR is there to support your professional growth and development. If anyone will know the right mentor for you, it’s likely that they will.

4. Online 

If you have the budget for it, you can find a sales mentor online through a number of different organizations. This will feel a little more impersonal at first, but professional coaches are trained mentors who will know exactly where to start with your needs.

Once you’ve identified someone you’d like to work with, ask them if they have time to go for coffee or lunch. Don’t ask them to be your mentor, as that can feel like a heavy burden for some. If the first meeting goes well, ask if you might make it a monthly meeting. Most mentors will be flattered by your interest and will be glad to help you out. Just remember that you’re in charge of coordination—you’ve got to set the time, the place, the questions, and of course, follow through with the meeting.

lead-managerlead-managerMake time for mentorship with Blitz’s CRM software. Schedule a free demo  to see how you can you have more time for growth and development.

Have you used or been a sales mentor? What advice would you offer? What were your successes? Leave a comment in the field below.