Telling is Not Coaching!

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

Coaching is considered an essential skill of sales leadership and the implications are well summarised in this quote from coaching “godfather” Timothy Gallwey: “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance – it is helping them to learn rather than teaching them

In a study by the Harvard Business Review coaching was reported to have a “markedly positive impact on sales performance, team culture and bottom line growth” but interestingly the report also said that coaching is the least used leadership style.

The challenges

And there are three of them.

  • Time. Many sales managers will tell you they don’t have time for coaching, even though they know its value and importance. Their days are just too crowded with stuff including the role of chief problem solver.
  • Approach. Those that try to coach often confuse it with training or worse they believe it’s about sharing their experiences in a “how to” group session. In other words, too much “telling”.
  • Relationships. There is a concern from some that coaching can damage a rep’s confidence or offend them – particularly high-performers. More likely in a company lacking in a coaching culture.

Effective sales coaching

First, coaching needs to be seen as genuinely helpful and focused on individual sales person development.

Second, coaching is rarely successful with those who have a history of poor performance. Sales coaching is best focused on middle and higher performers who have the capacity and desire to improve.

Finally, the goal of sales coaching is to improve sale person performance and increase confidence levels as they develop even better selling skills.

Next step

If you’d like to learn more check out this Salesforce blog “How To Effectively Coach a Sales Team

Fact: Successful sales managers understand that they can positively impact their sales team by effectively coaching and developing them. To become a great sales coach requires time and dedication. The payoff in terms of business impact is enormous! The choice is yours.

Until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]