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Why Sales Managers Fail at Coaching?

By Norman Behar

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The reason is pretty simple. Managers become accustomed to telling as opposed to enabling their salespeople to identify and solve their own problems. Consider these two typical situations:

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How to Align Your Sales Coaching Program for Success

By Ray Makela

Young businessman standing in start pose ready to run

It’s no surprise that high-performing sales teams have managers who spend more time coaching, as evidenced in our Sales Management Research Report.

There are numerous benefits to effective coaching, but despite the general acknowledgment that it’s a high-value activity, many managers don’t spend enough time coaching. Several reasons managers don’t coach include that they don’t know how, don’t think they have time, or don’t have a process to follow.

But here’s another piece of the puzzle that many sales leaders don’t want to admit.

One of the biggest reasons managers don’t coach is because the organization hasn’t adopted a culture of coaching. Changing the organization culture is hard. At a minimum, if the initiative hasn’t been made a top priority by the leadership team and there isn’t a process in place to manage the behavior change, it will be doomed to fail.

The six factors identified in the graphic below will help ensure your sales coaching program is aligned for success.

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6 Benefits of Sales Coaching (And Why It Should Be a Priority)

By Norman Behar

benefits of sales coaching

The battle cry for Sales Coaching has never been greater. Learning and development professionals and senior sales leaders continue to identify Sales Coaching as a top priority for their frontline sales managers. Yet, the frontline managers often avoid coaching for a number of reasons:

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Why Sales Managers Don't Coach (and What to Do About It)

By Ray Makela

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The evidence for the benefits of coaching is compelling. Not only can it help develop your reps and improve selling skills, but high performing sales teams tend to have managers who spend more time coaching, as evidenced by the 2017 Sales Management Research ReportIt’s a bit like flossing or going to the gym—we all know we should do it, but for various reasons, it doesn’t happen as often as we might like. So why is that? 

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The Importance of Sales Coaching Models for Better Results

By Norman Behar

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In our 2017 Sales Management Research Report, 5 Hallmarks of a High-Impact Sales Organization, we found that sales managers at high-performing organizations spent significantly more time coaching their teams than average and lower performing teams.

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Six Sales Coaching Activities That Will Set You Apart As a Coach

By Ray Makela

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Sales coaching is one of the most important activities a manager can do to improve the performance of their sales team, as evidenced by the 2017 Sales Management Research Report.  Yet managers often confuse sales coaching with just having one-on-one meetings and telling their reps how to improve. At the heart of good sales coaching is a mindset that encourages the rep to take responsibility for their development and engage in a collaborative, positive process of improvement. This involves key sales coaching activities that are different than other things you may be doing to direct, manage or motivate your team.

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One Additional Question Salespeople Should Always Ask

By Norman Behar

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I was sitting down with our Chief Customer Officer, Ray Makela, and we were discussing deal coaching.  I reminded him of his blog post on 5 Deal Coaching Questions for Sales Managers to Ask and he made a very interesting point about a sixth question he now wants to add to this list; What's the decision making process? 

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How to Allocate Your Sales Coaching Time

By David Jacoby

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Research shows that sales coaching is a critical skill you need to master as a sales manager. When you do a great job coaching, your reps make quota more consistently; they learn how to solve their problems; and rep turnover rates go down as your sales people achieve greater success and see that you are committed to their development.

So, how much time should you spend coaching your team each week? 

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Six Questions to Coach a Gritty Sales Team

By Ray Makela

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I’ve written before about Angela Lee Duckworth’s concept of “grit,” which she discussed in her popular TED talk, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” Duckworth defines grit as a winning combination of passion and perseverance, and she found that this quality is high among very successful people (including salespeople).

How do passion and perseverance manifest as behaviors among salespeople? As a manager, you’ve probably noticed the grittiest members of your sales team tend to do the following.

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How to Manage, Coach, and Lead a Remote Sales Team

By Norman Behar

In this episode, our CEO Norman Behar shares best practices for managing a remote sales team. A challenge that sales managers have struggled with for years. Norman discusses the impact technology has had on the sales management function and shares techniques you can use to manage, coach, and lead a remote sales team.

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Powerful Coaching Questions Every Sales Manager Should Ask

By Ray Makela

On this episode, Kumarasen Govender asks: What questions should I ask during the coaching process? Our Chief Customer Officer Ray Makela shares a three-step approach to creating a sales coaching mindset; and three types of powerful coaching questions to help sales reps improve their skills.

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How to Measure Sales Coaching Effectiveness

By Norman Behar

On this episode, our CEO Norman Behar discusses tools and processes to measure the coaching effectiveness of sales managers, two types of sales coaching, a five-step coaching model, and five key questions to ask during opportunity coaching.

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New Sales Manager: My Boss Won't Let Me Do My Job!

By Norman Behar

On this episode, a new sales manager asks: My manager often gives me good advice on how to get my team to respect me. Lately, I've noticed my manager is stepping in in situations that I should be handling and not letting me take control. How do I approach this conversation?

In this video, we take a deep look into what could be causing this situation and how to have an effective conversion with your boss.  

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How to Help Sales Managers Successfully Coach Selling Skills

By Norman Behar

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One of the primary reasons sales managers neglect to coach their sales reps is that they don’t know how. Although this is a legitimate reason, it also tends to overlook the fact that most sales managers already have many of the skills and attributes they need to become great sales coaches.

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The WHY Behind Sales Coaching

By Norman Behar

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Sales coaching empowers sales reps to improve selling skills and close more business. Industry research backs this up. For example, CSO Insights has shown that there is a relationship between companies that have coaching programs that exceed expectations and the percentage of sales reps achieving quota. 

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When Sales Coaching is Most Effective

By Norman Behar

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If you want to maximize the performance of your sales team, there is almost universal agreement that you must master the skill of Sales Coaching. This makes sense because sales coaching provides the greatest point of leverage when it comes to improving sales team effectiveness. 

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Top 3 Ways to Assess Your Sales Coaching Effectiveness

By Marlaina Capes

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:

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How to Create a Highly Collaborative Sales Coaching Environment

By David Jacoby

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When most of us think of great coaches, the picture that frequently comes to mind is that of tough, no nonsense “field generals” – Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, or Joe Torre – screaming at players, officials and opponents.

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How to Deal with Sales Reps Who Don't Want To Be Coached

By David Jacoby

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One of the most frustrating aspects of sales coaching is dealing with sales reps who don’t want to be coached. We all have managed these types of sales people before. They get defensive when you provide feedback, deny they have a development need or try to deflect the blame for performance challenges.

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5 Deal Coaching Questions Every Sales Manager Should Ask

By Ray Makela

deal-coaching-questions-to-ask

Deal coaching often gets a bad rap because it is frequently unstructured and often becomes a contentious discussion between  the sales manager and the sales person - with no tangible outcomes or benefit to either party.  Reps keep having to defend their deals, and managers keep wondering why there's so much dead wood in the pipeline. This is unfortunate since (when done correctly) deal coaching can be a mechanism for winning more deals and improving selling skills.

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Three Mindset Traits Top Sales Coaches Have in Common

By David Jacoby

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We firmly believe that sales managers must master the critical skill of sales coaching in order to maximize the sales performance of their team. The role of a sales coach cannot be over-estimated for any high performing team. One common obstacle that many sales managers encounter when they try to coach their teams is getting “buy-in” – i.e., convincing a salesperson to try a new approach or change a behavior. While it is easy to blame the salesperson in these situations, sometimes it is the sales managers approach to sales coaching that is the root cause of the problem. All too often these managers engage in “telling” as opposed to collaborative sales coaching.

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How to Coach Sales: 6 Vital Lessons from Coaching Youth Soccer

By Ray Makela

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As a self-diagnosed “soccer dad,” I have had the opportunity to coach and watch hundreds of youth soccer games over the past decade. Not only was I learning how to coach youth soccer, I was also learning how to coach sales.

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Avoid The Sales Coaching Trap to Drive Improved Results

By David Jacoby

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Consistent sales coaching is a great way for sales managers to improve results. However one common challenge we see with sales managers is that they often spend too much time coaching the wrong sales reps.

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Sales Coaching: When Should You Ride to the Rescue

By David Jacoby

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For a sales manager going on a call with a sales rep, nothing is more painful than watching the rep crash and burn.

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Why You Should Create Coaching Culture with Your Sales Reps

By Norman Behar

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Many managers get so immersed in tracking past performance that they neglect to focus on how they can improve the effectiveness of their teams. As a result, they focus their discussions with sales reps on missed results instead of coaching their sales reps on how they can become more effective salespeople.

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Important Sales Coaching Skills to Solve Challenges

By David Jacoby

I recently participated in a Webinar that was hosted by Selling Power on the topic of sales management and sales coaching (“Accelerated Sales Success through Effective Coaching“). The webinar featured Selling Power CEO Gerhard Gschwandtner and included a lively audience Q & A (see here and here for answers to selected questions that were asked during the webinar).

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