Sales Coaching: What it is and What it isn't

3 min read

Buzz words like “coaching” are used in professional context very often these days. Chances are many of your work inboxes are filled with emails riddled with some shape or form of athletic jargon. Whether you enjoy it or not, the witty (and fitting!) juxtaposition of business and athleticism is here to stay. Have you been considering if sales coaching is truly valuable or not? Recent studies validate the importance; according to Knowledge Tree, sales representatives who received at least three hours of coaching per month exceeded their selling goals by 7 percent, increased revenue by 25 percent, and increased close rates by 70 percent. Those are statistics we can get behind. Before you ramp up your efforts of coaching your reps to the finish line successfully, we should distinguish the term coaching from other very similar terms like sales training and management.

Sales Training

Sales training describes tactical instances where new sales skills need to be taught. For example, when new products get released, or you have a personal contact to leverage for your sales reps, that’s when you should put your training hat on. Training naturally happens when reps work together. Conferring about a new product, or talking over the latest industry specific news is an organic way for reps to train themselves and each other. Encouraging your reps to seek leadership in their peers will go a long way in their success. Here are a few additional sales training ideas

Sales Management

Managing the members of your team is not coaching. This cannot be more explicitly articulated. Management of your sales reps should be done in the hopes of aiding them toward their professional development goals. The management of a sales rep should be entirely directed based on what the rep hopes to get out of their hard work on your team. (Learn more about cracking the sales management code here.)

Sales Coaching

Similarly, the coaching you set out to do should be fine-tuned toward each individual rep on your team. It’s important to realize that by coaching, you are not controlling results. However, your guidance will help manage the behavior of your reps to reach success. Simply put, the effectiveness of your coaching will result in your reps making effective decisions on their own.