Sales Coaching: What Is It?

Nearly every business guru will tell you to make productivity investments if you really want to see improvements in the numbers. As you begin to research the right productivity investments for your team, one topic is likely to appear again and again – sales coaching. Designed to promote individual sales rep performance and development, sales coaching has been touted as one of the best ways to enhance productivity and see a statistical performance change. 

In fact, research by the Sales Executive Council found that no other productivity investment could even touch the numbers sales coaching produced. Sound like an investment for you? There’s a catch. Not all sales coaching was created equally, and understanding exactly what builds a good sales coaching program and which reps you should begin to invest in is key to your success in this space. 

Understanding the Method

First, it’s important to know what coaching is not. If you’re confusing the process of sales coaching with managing, you have a problem. Managers focus on what to do, not necessarily how to do it. Coaching also isn’t training. While training can give you a good overview of how to do the job effectively, training is typically developed for large groups of people in a one-size-fits-all approach. Think it’s more like mentoring? You’re getting closer, but you’re not quite there. Mentoring typically means advising and guiding, but it doesn’t usually involve the kind of direct feedback coaching does. 

Coaching is enabling and helping individuals improve job performance. When done correctly, it pushes development at the individual level, slowly improving performance over time. By focusing on individual strengths, coaches work to emphasize an individual’s advantages rather than their weaknesses. 

Coaching occurs in a one-on-one setting. Because no manager, mentor, or coach could ever create the results an individual experiences, the goal isn’t the end. Instead, for coaches, the goal is to manage the behaviors the individual exhibits and the steps taken to create results. Through a process of inquiry, reps access their own strengths to become self-aware of the behaviors, skills, and competencies they use during the sales process, challenging them to meet their personal best. While it must be data-driven to some degree to measure success, the goal is continually looking at improvement and progress in the long game.

Who Should Be Coached?

Not all of your team members may need access to a coach. Instead, your top performers may be offended at even the idea. Instead, you’ll want to target it at those mid-range performers who could certainly improve with a bit of extra help. 

Who Makes a Good Coach?

You may already have individuals on your team who could step into the role of a sales coach. These people manage to effectively combine elements of many different roles: teaching, counseling, guiding, and cheerleading. If you have someone who would make a good coach on your team already, you’re going to know it. This is the individual who encourages, inspires, and understands at every opportunity. 

If you don’t have that person on your team already, all is not lost. Sales coaching is increasingly becoming a service many companies need, and at Samurai Business Group, we offer one-on-one sales coach sessions that are not one-size-fits-all. Instead, we offer the necessary guidance to apply the concepts and skills developed through careful training so they can be applied in actual sales situations. A good sales coach has one goal: help the individual salesperson maximize their success.

Is Sales Coaching the Right Investment For Your Business?

If you’re struggling to find productivity investments that actually work for your team, coaching might be the right way forward. Statistics have shown that applied correctly to the right individuals, you could see an average performance increase of 2 – 3x. 

Give Samurai Business Group a call today to learn more about how sales coaching could do to your organization.