The Problem with Sales Coaching

The problem with sales coaching in a lot of organisations is that it's more 'sales telling' than sales coaching.  

I've noticed that a lot of sales coaching sessions start with the manager telling the sales person what they've achieved, what they should have achieved and then telling them they need to do better. The conversation is very much one-sided and problem focused. The sales person isn't empowered to lead the discussion or offer solutions.

But whose coaching is it?

It's the sales persons, so why do so many sales coaches feel the need to control these sessions? Because they're acting as sales 'managers' not sales coaches. 

  • Managers control, coaches empower
  • Managers tell, coaches engage
  • Managers focus on problems, coaches acknowledge there's a problem but spend 90% of the time focusing on solutions.

My challenge to you is...

Hand over the reins - let the sales person lead the coaching session, after all - it is their session, it's their livelihood, and it's their profession. Have them prepare for it.

  • Let them source their own sales data
  • Let them evaluate their own selling skills (download our handy sales audit tool)
  • Let them tell you where their gaps are
  • Let them brainstorm the internal and external factors that may have impacted on their sales results
  • Let them come prepared with their focus for the fortnight/or week ahead
  • Let them tell you what they've done to up skill that week - What have they read?  What webinars have they attended? What competitor research have they done? What new techniques have they tried? 
  • Let them tell you what sales strategies they will keep, drop or create

Your role is to:

Acknowledge their results e.g. Yes, I can see you've dropped 5%

  • Help them explore why e.g. What's been different this month to last month? What internal and external factors have influenced this?
  • Help them prepare their plan e.g. What can you influence? What is outside your sphere of influence. What 20% of sales actions do you think will make 80% of the difference this month
  • Offer help and demonstrate your commitment to them e.g. How can I help you achieve a great result next month?

By adopting this small change, you'll find over time your sales team becomes more proactive, as they're encouraged to drive their own learning and development. You're encouraging them to think for themselves, rather than wait for you to tell them what they should be doing. 

Moving forward...

  • Make the focus less on telling, and more on engaging
  • Make the focus less on the results, and more on the behaviors and skills  drive the results
  • Make the focus less on the problem, and more on the solutions
  • Make the focus less on control, and more on empowering and enabling

Check out the full Authentic Sales Training program to learn a modern, fresh, more effective way to sell. We dispel all the myths of selling in the dark ages, and introduce techniques that are simple, effective and proven!




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