What’s Missing From Your Training on Sales Coaching?


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A sales manager’s entire attention is focused on leading a sales force to achieve specific organizational business objectives and goals, yet there is something conspicuously missing from sales manager training on coaching — a focus on the specific path to achieve those objectives and goals. Most training on coaching includes traditional coaching models that can be used by any function within a business. Unfortunately, these coaching models stop short of providing sales managers with insight into how to leverage coaching to best achieve organizational business goals. In sum, most coaching models miss the critical link between “what” they want sellers to do and “how” sellers can best accomplish the desired outcomes.

As a trainer, you have the opportunity to uncover the specific business goals your sales managers need to achieve, and then use that information to zero in on the exact topics sales managers need to address through coaching to help the sales force reach those goals. For instance, maybe your company’s main business goal is to obtain 20% more new customers. If so, sales managers would benefit from training on how to coach sellers to segment territories and determine which accounts have the highest potential.

Perhaps the main business objective is to increase profits by selling more to existing customers. Then sales managers could certainly benefit from training on how to coach sellers to more strategically align with large accounts. What if sellers need to improve close rates to boost the bottom line? Then give sales managers training on how to coach their sales team to better prepare for and conduct individual sales calls, especially early in the sales cycle. Maybe the whole sales force is driving toward shorter sales cycles. If that is the case, consider providing sales managers with training on how to coach sellers to better qualify good deals into the pipeline, pursue viable opportunities, and win those opportunities that are the best fit.

As you can see, the more you know about the specific business objectives and goals sales managers are striving to achieve, the better able you are as a trainer to pinpoint the training sales managers need to help the sales force reach peak performance. The bottom line—if you really want to help sales managers score big through coaching, give them coaching training that directly relates the desired business goals to the specific nature of coaching required to ensure results are achieved. Not only will this insight make you more valuable as a training professional, but it will also help the sales force strike gold. That’s what you call a win-win!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michelle Vazzana
Michelle Vazzana is a partner at Vantage Point Performance and co-author of Cracking the Sales Management Code. Vazzana has more than 28 years of successful sales and management experience in the major account environment. For more information, visit www.vantagepointperformance.com.


  1. Hey Michelle,

    I really enjoyed this entry, and thought you made a lot of really good points when it comes to the shortcomings of most sales consulting firms. Particularly your statement that, “…most coaching models miss the critical link between “what” they want sellers to do and “how” sellers can best accomplish the desired outcomes.” As a sales consultant for Sales Result Inc (www.SalesResult.com) I understand that it is vital to work closely with a sales team to give them all of the proper tools they could need. It is important to conduct a comprehensive analysis, to thoroughly understand their unique needs, and how best to address them.

    Happy Selling,
    Sales Result inc


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