Top 3 Ways to Assess Your Sales Coaching Effectiveness

Sales Management | Sales Coaching

sales coaching effectiveness

Are you a good sales coach?  Many managers rarely give this question much thought, and that is a pity since sales coaching effectiveness is a key sales management ability.  If you can help your salespeople become more effective at selling, they will close more business, and rely on you less and less over time.  Think about: increased sales and less time putting out fires. 

So how do you know if you are a good sales coach?  Below are three methods for you to assess your effectiveness as a coach:

 

1) Formal Assessment

There are many coaching self-assessments (ours is called the Coaching Activity Profile) you can use to assess your own skills.  Self-assessment is a highly effective tool that will shed light on how you rate in some of the key skill areas for coaching a sales team.  But beware - your perspective may differ from that of your salespeople.

If you want a more insightful assessment of your coaching effectiveness, consider having your team assess you anonymously, and then compare the results.  This may be a real eye opener.  Avoid looking at these results on an individual basis but rather a collective assessment of the coaching areas so that you see trends across your team and not just one individual’s perspective

 

2) Informal Self-Assessment

If you don’t have access to a formal self-assessment or don’t want to go through all of the trouble of having your own team assess you, you can use a very simple self-assessment.  Ask yourself one simple question: “Would I want to be coached by me?”  In order for this self-assessment top work you must be brutally honest

Here are some other questions to consider:

  • Do your team members ask you to join them on sales calls (not to sell but to be coached)?
  • Reflect on how you respond to selling ‘mistakes.’ Do you use them as learning experiences or are there repercussions? 
  • Do you have a coaching focus so the salesperson does not feel ‘beat up’ at the end of the call? 
  • Have you set the salesperson up for success by practicing examples of the coaching focus before the call? 
  • Do you follow up with the salesperson on skills that they are working on developing and continue to encourage them? 

By answering these questions honestly, you can gain insights into how effective of a coach you currently are and what are some areas for improvement.

 

3) Tracking Behavior Change for Sales Coaching Effectiveness

While the assessments described above measure coaching related behaviors, determining your effectiveness as a coach ultimately can be boiled down to how well your sales team’s skills improve as a result of your coaching. This means that you have specific behaviors that you are targeting for improvement through coaching, and that you document and track your coaching and the results. This may sound like a lot of work but it’s ultimately the only measurable way to know if you’re coaching is making a difference. 

Example:

Imagine that you have a salesperson on your team who performs well until it comes to closing.
 
Through observation, you notice that there is one behavior where the salesperson falls short. When she gets resistance after asking for the close, she wraps up the sales call rather than probing to uncover the objection and ultimately loses the sale. 

In this scenario ‘probing to uncover the objection’ is the behavior that you want to coach to and track. 

So you practice the skill with her before the sales call, you observe her during the call, and give her feedback after the call. 

Next sales call, she does better, and by the fifth sales call, you see her probing and uncovering objections without your guidance. 

If you can see that in five calls, you’ve had a significant impact. 

Becoming a great sales coach takes hard work and commitment.  A great place to start is by assessing your current coaching effectiveness and using this a basis for making improvements.

 

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About Marlaina Capes

Marlaina Capes is a Senior Director of Client Services at the Sales Readiness Group (SRG). She has over 20 years of experience helping organizations improve performance in the areas of sales skills and leadership development. At SRG, Marlaina has worked with industry leading clients including Abbott, AdRoll, Alcon, Catalina Marketing, FactSet, Johnson Financial Group, Maritz, RingCentral, Univision, and Valmont Industries.