Commercial Coaching: 3 Top Tips To Transition From Technician to Commercial Leader
Commercial coaching: How do you increase your chances of being successful in a new commercial management role?
How can you build traction quickly and align people to a new way of thinking about pricing and commercial management?
What are the right things to do to take-charge in a new role with lots of competing demands and opportunities?
Changing jobs and transitioning to the next level position is not easy: There are new things to learn. Added complexity. Tough problems to solve. Difficult people to manage. A time pressure to get results. People to impress. People to avoid. Resource constraints. Pressure. Stress. Burnout.
All of this can be even harder still if you’ve got a difficult boss…
If you are struggling in a new role; or feeling like you just can’t take your boss anymore, sometimes even a great pay packet feels like it’s not enough to stay.
But before you disengage; look for other pricing manager jobs; or hand in your resignation, remember…
You have options – lots of them. More responsible roles will demand different things from you. You may be on a learning curve and need to learn how to respond to a new business environment as a whole system. Consider your commercial coaching options. Understand your capability – strengths and weaknesses.
Below listed are three key commercial coaching principles taken from our commercial coaching program. These commercial coaching tips can help you deal with difficult situations, build momentum inside a new business, and raise you to the next level in work and life – even if you have a difficult boss.
What are the key commercial coaching tips for pricing leaders?
Commercial coaching tip 1: Break free from past habits
What made you successful in the past may not make you successful now. Don’t stick to what you know and feel comfortable with, you will fail miserably in new roles and businesses.
Commercial coaching tip 2: Understand the business environment your operating in
Early wins build a leader’s credibility and creates momentum. The only way to overcome inertia, resistance, naysayers, is to proof of concept. However, it’s incredibility difficult to drive results and outcomes when you don’t understand the pricing system you’re operating in. A bad pricing system (and organisational structure) will defeat even the best pricing leaders and teams.
Make sure the business and function are set up correctly: Commercial coaching can guide you through difficult business environments:
Has the business changed its strategy, but not adjusted its execution cycle?
Has the business brought in excellent people, but still operating within the wrong structure or relying on broken processes or no processes?
Has the business changed its strategy, but continuing to operate within an old organisation structure?
Is the pricing team simply an adage to an older structure – like a bad extension to a house that needs to be bulldozed?
Commercial coaching tip 3: Change your managerial style
As you progress from pricing analyst to pricing commercial manager or from senior commercial manager to general manager etc, you will find yourself having to change your managerial style.
After facilitating many commercial coaching sessions with pricing and commercial managers, I realise change is not easy for pricing managers. Some of our commercial coaching clients, for example, are naturals and only need one or two commercial coaching sessions to adapt their managerial style while others find situational leadership very difficult – we all are unique with different strengths and weaknesses.
Some of our commercial coaching clients, for instance, prefer to operate in their comfort zone and do not realise when their style is jarring or clashing with another person’s style. A lot of conflict and resentment can build in between people and teams when this happens. They need more time to recognise and accommodate individual differences and managerial techniques to respond to people needs and emotions.
Many pricing managers have built their reputation on their technical ability i.e., financial modelling and number crunching. However, as they move to new and more senior roles, they need to be good people managers, technicians and inspirational leaders as well – a tough combination.
Creating a vision and bringing people along the journey transcends technical functional ability and even traditional soft people management skills. It requires imagination and some element of risk taking. A strong belief in yourself and the value you offer. An ability to understand the market quickly and develop smarter ways to drive profitability. An ability to lead and align people to better ways of pricing while operating within a culture of resistance.
Many commercial coaching clients find themselves caught between the technician and harmoniser mindset and don’t know the best way to resolve the tension. An external commercial coaching perspective on your skills and managerial style can help you understand the forces at play and give each force what it needs. Taking charge is a crucial part of the pricing manager and leader role. Some people are naturals, other people need help and support. Commercial coaching and mentoring can help you to take-charge of tough situations.
Being call a well-respected pricing manager or leader is not easy.
To be a successful pricing and commercial manager, you need to be a good technician but a good people manager as well. To be a successful leader, you need to know the forces at play, and give each force what it needs. Very different roles.
Some commercial coaching clients are aware of inherent tension between teams and individuals and can quickly diffuse conflict by changing their style. A lot of managers however, wonder why they continue to be overlooked for promotion or fail in new roles. Too many analysts, managers and general managers struggle to fulfil their potential and are disillusioned.
Commercial coaching can help you build resilience, adapt your thinking, and re-frame your problems. With the right commercial coaching and advice you can get results in tough business environments and drive the career in commercial pricing you really want.
A transition into a new role begins from the moment you know you are being consider for a new job (right from the recruitment phase).
You have 90 days to make an impact.
This is not a lot of time to make a good impression. Make sure you work with a pro-active coach that can help you refine your managerial style in highly personalised coaching sessions.
Seek out commercial coaching to help you develop an action plan to get you through difficult leadership challenges.
Use systematic commercial coaching to help you reduce transition risk in a new role.