What is sales coaching and why is it important?

Sales coaching is the guidance a sales leader or peer provides to a salesperson in three main capacities:

  1. Pre-call sales planning: Before the customer meeting, the coach helps the sales representative develop the business objectives, materials, and prepare for the call.
  2. On-call support: The coach guides the sales rep during the customer call, participates in the conversation, and helps him through difficult times when needed.
  3. Post-call debriefing: The coach and the sales rep meet afterward to debrief the call, asking what went right? What could have gone better? What should we repeat and what should we never repeat? How can we drive this process into a continuous improvement program?

Sales coaching is important, especially in 2017 and beyond. The industry has hit an all-time low; as 2017 draws to an end, only 53% of sales representatives met their sales objectives. In today’s economy, the average sales rep has only 21% of the skills required to find new business, develop a business case, and present and close effectively.

Very few credible training institutions offer sales coaching. Sales coaching is a very effective way for helping  a sales representative learn strong  B2B sales skills and meet their sales objectives.

Why aren’t more organizations participating in sales coaching and sales training?

Most sales leaders tend to focus most of their attention on closing, accountability or administrative functions. This leaves little time for coaching. And, many salespeople don’t appear to be open to it.

Very few organizations are focused on developing their sales team, They don’t mind coaching an operations leader to learn how to better manage, or an engineer to acquire better engineering skills. But the sales department is not commonly open to development or improvement through coaching.

In addition, sales coaches often don’t understand their position very well. Their coaching consists of browbeating or the “follow me, watch me” attitude. Sales coaching is more about helping a sales representative achieve their goals, not watching someone else meet theirs. Great coaches ask great questions; they ask the salesperson how they’re going to improve position the offering or how they plan on developing the business case and then allow them research and find the answer themselves – helping them along the way but not doing the work for them or punishing them when they can’t get it.

How can sales coaches get the training they need?

Few credible resources on sales coaching are available. Reputable organizations that offer sales coaching include Worldleaders Sales Inc., RAIN Group, and the Corporate Executive Board. Most institutions, colleges, universities, or schools don’t offer sales training courses, and the traditional mindset about sales can’t be trusted for proper training. You need an organization that will evaluate sales talent and stick with the curriculum – pre-call planning, on-call support, and post-call debriefing.

Sales coaching is based on the industry, clientbase, and skill level of the salesforce. If you’re interested in learning more about sales coaching, contact Joe Morone and he’d be happy to discuss feasibility and fit, and if Worldleaders can supply the solution you’re looking for.

Joe Morone
Phone: (585) 732-5666