Finding the best sales coach for you begins with what does a sales coach actually does? Answering that question is like the old joke “how long is a piece of string”? The answer to what a sales coach does is as varied as the coaches themselves. There is no one coach that is right for every person and no one way that “always works”. Is getting a coach right for you? That is a decision you need to make and then make along with your prospective coach. If you are looking for a coach how do you know if they are the right one? Or perhaps more importantly the wrong one.
The purpose of this page is simple. It’s to explain some of the things a good sales coach can do for you. Give you few things to think about as you decided if sales coaching is right for you? Offer some tips on finding the best sales coach for your situation. And then if you’re interested a little about my own approach as a sales coach you can read that too.
Are you thinking wait “you’re a sales coach”? So sell me already! Actually, I don’t know if you fit as a sales coaching client for me any more than you know if I’m a fit for you. If you’re serious about coaching, then the goal is to help you make the best and most informed choice possible. If at the end of it what you’ve learned is of value then it’s a success and time well spent. If you are interested in working with me, I’m honored and will be happy to speak with you.
What Does a Sales Coach Do?
It’s like having a math tutor. Sometimes people have tutors because they are struggling or behind. Often when sales coaching and having a coach comes up it’s followed by hushed wisphers “missing their number”, “can’t sell their way out of a paper bag” , or any other insult about not being a successful sales professional you can think of. And yes in some instances sales coaching can help get the person back on track, build best practices, and build their confidence.
Then there is the other side there are the “straight A” students, with off the chart test scores who seem light years ahead of everyone else who have tutors. Is it because they aren’t meeting the standard? No, it’s because they are committed to achieving more, standing out in a competitive world, of getting further ahead than their own talents can carry them. Many of our clients are at the top of their game, they don’t come to us to get coaching and mentoring to keep their jobs. They work with us to be better at their jobs. This some common include
- Business, Territory, Account, and Income Planning
- Earning More Money (understanding their comp plan)
- Expanding their Customer List
- Balancing Customer Demands and Organizational Limitation
- Future-Proofing their Business
- Strategy for Strategic Opportunites
Some of it isn’t sexy but as you may have heard it’s the “basic blocking and tackling” that makes the difference. Those basics are what a sales coach does. They should help you establish best practices, build a sensible sales and business plan you can execute, provide additional perspective on challenges, opportunities, and situations, and achieve more of what you deem important.
If you are struggling they should be able to put a plan in place that works for you, that is easy and effective and delivers results. And if you are at the top of the sales charts and a perennial club winner it’s very much the same thing. Making sure you have a plan for your business, a clear set of objectives, and a strategy, and a game plan for obtaining them along with support.
Finding tHe Best Sales Coach For you
Not every coach is a fit for every person. The best sales coach for you needs to work with your style, product set, and industry. No, they don’t need to be an exact fit and know your business inside and out. They do need to challenge you, to help you reach and learn and grow.
Do you need a celebrity sales coach? That is your decision, if they are the right fit then by all means go for it. Start by understanding what you are looking for from a coach. Be honest about what you need and even why you need it. Think about your own personal style. How you communicate, learn, and are motivated. Like any good teacher or leader, the person you work with should have more than one style, should incorporate different approaches, and needs to also understand how you benefit.
Know the Need
Sales Cycle, Customer Size and Type, Complexity, and Technical Aptitude matter. When selling to a large multi-national corporation at the Exec level vs a local small business owner with 12 employees is very different.
Who you sell for also needs to be factored in. Are you a payroll employee, straight commission or highly leveraged, or own your own business (or book of business as an agent or broker)?
How You Get Paid – Money is not a motivator for everyone. Comp is not always why many people are in sales. Not only do you need to understand how you get paid you need to understand the levers in you plan. And if this is an area you choose to work on with you coach then they need have that same level of understanding.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Most real coaching is not 30 people in a room doing a modified sales meeting type agenda. Pipeline reviews are not coaching, neither is skills training. They are a legitimate and effective part of sales and some coaching may occur. Also it is not a guru at the front of an auditorium spewing a standard deck at you. And no matter what the world tells you it’s not an online course with pre baked material that when you finish it will make you the best sales person who has ever lived.
There are No Short Cuts –
Nothing is Magic –
One Size Does Not Really Fit All –