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How To Coach a Sales Team

How To Coach a Sales Team

If you want to know how to properly coach a sales team, you need a few key skills that most resources tend to overlook. Fortunately, this guide goes through the most important considerations to help you ensure success.

Kayvon Kay
Kayvon Kay

April 4, 2022

If you want to know how to coach a sales team, you need a few *key* skills that most resources tend to overlook.

Don’t worry, in this practical article, we’ll give you what you need.

We know what it takes to coach a sales team—each one differs, but they all share certain traits.

So if you want to know how to coach a sales team the “right” way, keep reading. 

This is the plan…

Table of Contents — How To Coach a Sales Team

1. How Can I Improve My Sales Team

2. What Do Sales Coach Do

3. What Does Good Sales Coaching Look Like

4. What is The Key To Coaching a Successful Sales Team

4. 1: Give Your Team Your Time

4. 2: Personalize Your Approach

4. 3: Set Clear Challenges (and Goals)

4. 4: Focus on Progress as Well as Outcomes

4. 5: Keep Laser Focussed (Them & You)

4. 6: Provide Clear (and Honest) Feedback

4. 7: Encourage Self Evaluation

4. 8: Above All… Care!

5. How To Coach a Sales Team—The Conclusions

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How To Coach a Sales Team

At The Sales Connection, we’ve worked with countless sales teams in different industries. From small teams to large ones, we’ve seen every situation you can imagine. And, each time, we’re tasked to build and/or coach a sales team to the top.

It isn’t easy. Yet it also isn’t as hard as many make out.

(so long as you know what you’re doing)

That’s our aim with this article. To give you what you need without any of the overwhelming fluff.

How Can I Improve My Sales Team

There are many ways to improve your sales team. So, before we get into what a sales coach does—and how to do it the right way—here are some other resources that focus on sales training and best practices:

What Do Sales Coach Do

So… what does a sales coach actually do? In general, a sales coach uses data (and other relevant information) to gauge, monitor, and evaluate both individual and team performance.

From there, they provide specific training to help individuals and teams alike improve.

With this in mind, it’s important to note that there’s no single solution to sales success.

Each project differs for a sales coach. No two situations are ever the same.

It’s the job of a sales coach to tailor their methods based on the team in front of them.

What Does Good Sales Coaching Look Like

The keyword to all this: tailored!

A good sales coach has vast experience in the sales world, appreciating that different situations need different solutions. With a sales coach like this on your side, you’ll see your sales team grow and grow!

Benefits include:

  • Sales professionals and reps that follow best practices, processes, and methods.
  • Improved retention rates among your team (fewer people feeling the need to leave)
  • Continuous growth and evolution of each salesperson on your team
  • Strong return on investment for any sales training you provide
  • Greater understanding of your customers and their exact needs
  • to name just a few…

Let’s be clear… a sales coach doesn’t work miracles. Growth and success still come down to the team. All a sales coach can do is review calls, monitor systems, and get to know each individual. From there, they offer tailored advice and training. Whether the team takes this on board is out of their control.

Yet one thing is clear… sales managers that utilize a sales coach see better results than those that don’t!

There are many ways to improve your sales team.

What is The Key To Coaching a Successful Sales Team

There are many different approaches, models, and frameworks a sales coach can use to bring success. We won’t get caught up in any of those in this article. Instead, we’d like to share some best practices that help any team thrive—no matter their industry, situation, or experience.

1: Give Your Team Your Time

If you want to coach a sales team to success, you need to give them your time. Be there for them. No two personalities on the team are the same. Different ones require different help. Embrace this. Be there for each person, providing them with a tailored service. 

Everyone needs your attention, but they need it in a different way. 

What’s clear is they need you to be there for them. 

This is the fundamental start-line for all sales coaches.

The more you give your team, the more they’ll give you!

2: Personalize Your Approach

Once more, no two personalities are ever the same. You cannot attach yourself to any single model or methodology. Different sales teams need different solutions. Those individuals inside the sales team need a personalized approach, too.

Embrace this. Where most sales coaches phone it in, you can stand out by giving it 100%

3: Set Clear Challenges (and Goals)

Your job as a sales coach is to push the team to the next level.

You need to challenge them.

You need to motivate them.

Yet setting goals is one thing. Making sure everyone remains on the same page is another.

Be clear in your communication. Set clear challenges with clear goals and KPIs. 

In short, set those you lead up for success!

4: Focus on Progress as Well as Outcomes

Too often, we get caught up on results in the sales world. Don’t get me wrong, the end result does matter. In the end, we’re only as good as the results we provide.

BUT… too much focus on the outcome stifles your team.

Much of what we do in this world remains out of our control.

You can set a goal, and one of your salespeople can pursue it… but they may still not reach it.

This is why it’s important to consider the effort put in and the progress individuals make (as well as the team overall). Even if you don’t get the desired outcome, celebrate the progress you make.

5: Keep Laser Focussed (Them & You)

Let’s face it, we live in a busy and overwhelming world. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to get caught up in the next thing. You have to fight this. As a sales coach, you need to focus on what’s in front of you. 

You need to hold your team accountable in this regard, too.

Don’t let you or them wander off course.

Set a plan and then stick to it. Commit and go all in.

The more focussed you (and them) are, the more progress you make!

6: Provide Clear (and Honest) Feedback

Once more, clear communication sits at the heart of success. The better you communicate, the more you’ll succeed. It’s as simple as that. With this in mind, communicate with your team (often!!).

Give them feedback.

Be honest, upfront, and transparent.

Follow up with them and hold them accountable.

Clear, blunt, and honest feedback like this can hurt at times. It’s not always easy to give, let alone hear. Yet this is the only way to help individuals and teams alike grow.

7: Encourage Self Evaluation

As a sales coach, you can only achieve so much. You can’t do the work for them. One of your key roles is to hold them accountable and make sure they step up. Yet it all comes down to them.

As such, set a few clear expectations.

One of these is to always take responsibility for their own progress.

If they fail, that’s on them. If they succeed, that’s on them. You need to remain by their side, but success begins and ends at their fingertips. Make this crystal clear. Encourage them to evaluate their own performance. Encourage them to self-motivate and hold themselves accountable. 

Encourage them to take ownership of their lives!

8: Above All… Care!

All this brings us back to simply being there for your team.

Care about them!

Not just as a sales team…

Not just as individual salespeople…

But as human beings with dreams, ideas, and feelings.

Care about where they are now and where they’re heading. Be there for them. 

Again, the more you give to them the more they’ll give you in return.

This is how to coach a sales team to success. No matter what industry or situation you’re in, these are the key ingredients to coaching success. Of course, this isn’t where it ends. There’s a lot more to consider, which is why we encourage you to study these additional resources: 

Sales managers that utilize a sales coach see better results than those that don’t.

How To Coach a Sales Team—The Conclusions

If you want to learn how to coach a sales team, bring back to the basics. Too often, you’ll get caught up in various tactics, frameworks, and blueprints. It isn’t to say they don’t work. But unless you lay some solid foundations, you’ll never coach a sales team to the top.

This is why we share what we do in this article.

Having gone through this process A LOT, we know what works.

We also know what doesn’t—and the mistakes to avoid!

So your next step is to explore this page and Apply To Partner with US — don’t try to do this on your own. Bring an experienced agency like us on board so we can set you (and your team) up for success!

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Kayvon Kay

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.

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