5 reasons why sales coaching is misunderstood

For Sales Leaders, Outsourced Sales

Leading your sales team is all about sales coaching. The most effective managers are the ones who think of themselves as coaches.

Many managers work hard to be the best coaches they can. The reasons why they struggle could be outdated best practices or misinformation about what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps they never had a leader who modeled what great sales coaching looks like.

Because it is an everyday activity in our world of outsourced sales, we want to set the record straight on what sales coaching is not:

It’s not focusing on constructive feedback in your 1:1s

1:1s are not performance review trickery. The individual leading the 1:1s should be your reps, not you. Let them do most of the talking.

Adopting a question-first style of coaching gives reps the room to develop their selling skills. This helps keep your 1:1 from being a waste of time.

It’s not believing weekly check-Ins are all you need to keep your team on track

Weekly 1:1s are table stakes for any modern sales organization. But if you’re only coaching in these meetings and not throughout the rest of the week, then chances are the 1:1s have become a pipeline management conversion in disguise.

The most effective sales managers coach like it’s their job – continuously.

It’s not thinking your job as a manager is to resolve your reps’ problems

Your mindset should be “teach to fish.” Naturally, you as a sales manager have insight and expertise to offer your reps, but be a sounding board. Help troubleshoot. Be supportive. Show empathy.

You are doing your reps an enormous disservice if you are constantly jumping in to save the day. How will they engage, learn, and grow professionally?

It’s not spending time with your bottom performers thinking they’ve got more room to improve

Spending time on lower performers has a lousy ROI. Avoid over-investing time with your top performers: they are great and will continue to be.

Focus your time on the middle because that’s the majority of your team. A modest uptick in their effectiveness will drive the greatest reward for the organization.

It’s not impossible to measure your impact as a coach

Sales management and sales coaching should be synonymous. For example, you can measure your coaching efforts like activities and objectives. Examples are the number of 1:1 check-ins, the number of call reviews, the percent lift of total sales activities, and the percent lift in opportunities-to-deals won.

Qualitatively, the best sales coaches seek out best practices and employ techniques. They build culture. They get their reps fired up. They are transparent about performance so that everyone knows where they stand. They hold reps accountable to the right metrics and benchmarks. They recognize wins and course-correct.

No one said this was easy

Sales is hard. Quality, real-time sales coaching is built into our sales as a managed service solution. If you are considering an outsourced sales provider to extend your organization’s capabilities, ask how they coach their sales reps. If they can’t answer questions to your satisfaction, walk away.

Let us show you how we do this.

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