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Sales Coaching Poll

How much impact does coaching have on career success? - by Linda Richardson
How much impact does coaching have on career success?
Okay, let's first define "career success." In most sales organizations, "career success" (if not career continuation) hinges on delivering the sales and margins required by and promised to the company's stakeholders. In other words, quota (and profitability) achievement equals career success. So, if my company can help me win deals and deliver on my quota, I'll be successful. Right?

One of the areas we focus very strongly on with our clients is training the sales management team to effectively coach their sales reps through deals. A study last year by CSO Insights showed that, despite all the money and time spent on sales training and technology, twenty-percent of forecast opportunities are still being lost to "no decision." While some of these losses are just the way the game ends sometimes, twenty-percent is far too high to indicate anything other than a problem with the way opportunities are being monitored.

We teach a structured continuous coaching methodology that is proven to actually help sales people spot holes in their deals, competitive threats, solution weakness, political difficulties, and more. Using this process – especially early in an opportunity – helps to greatly reduce losses to competition or the dreaded "no decision." We find that salespeople love it because it's non-confrontational and collaborative. One of our mottoes is, "Bad news early is good news." It's this focus on coaching that helps spot that bad news long before it's too late to change the account or opportunity plan.

Perhaps the question would be better rephrased to, "Does your company and your sales manager employ an effective coaching method that helps you close more deals and assure your career success?"

Thoughts? Comments?

Jim Cundiff
Senior Demand Creation Executive
The Complex Sale - by jcundiff
I work with a personal trainer at the local gym. Besides spotting problems with my technique the trainer encourages me and holds me accountable. I know I am more productive in the gym with a trainer than I would be on my own. I expect I would see a similar outcome working with a sales coach. - by Mikey
I'll put it like this. I've been in direct sales/network marketing with one company since 1996. Sales coaching gave me the confidence and knowledge I needed BUT I was also motivated AND an ideal student: I wanted to learn and learn it right.

Likewise, we have a successful network of distributors because a few of them had the same characteristics as me. So for an individual and a sales team sales coaching is very important.

BUT if it's poor coaching because of the coaches ability or content of what's being coached, sales coaching means very little except for the highly motivated who do well in spite of it.

The best of the best to everyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
BUT if it's poor coaching because of the coaches ability or content of what's being coached, sales coaching means very little except for the highly motivated who do well in spite of it.
Mitch,

In any sales organization there are three kinds of salespeople - those that are motivated and "get it," those that are motivated and could "get it," and those that will never "get it." I won't go into best practices for hiring salespeople to avoid the last category.

The first two categories are your A- and B-level players. A-level players need very little coaching. It's the B-level players where coaching - based on the sales manager's knowledge of the way the A-players work - can make a difference. The goal is to get your B-level players to be more like A-level.

The quality of the coach is important, but more important is the process of coaching. Coaching a deal early in the sales cycle spots poorly qualified opportunities before a lot of time and resources is spent chasing a deal that is a poor fit. Coaching throughout the sales cycle helps spot holes in the plan before they fester into a lost sale.

Too many sales managers feel their role is to be the super-salesperson. They believe the stories told by salespeople with little or no process to v