In the article, 10 characteristics of super coach we shared what are the 10 characteristics of a sales coach. In this article, we will focus on addressing some of the common misconceptions around coaching.
Before that, let us understand again why coaching is important
Why Sales Coaching?
One of the key differences with respect to high performing organization vs average organization is how sales coaching is being practiced in the organizations to drive sales performance.
Statistics show, >75% of time sales managers spend time on coaching in world-class companies. What it means is coaching is a sure way to achieve higher results and for 50% or more sales force, coaching alone can increase performance significantly.
But there is also a misconception on what is sales coaching. Companies think their managers are doing coaching but actually, they are not. The key areas of sales managers of work i,e, Sales Management, Sales Training or Teaching, Leading, Mentoring are not at all coaching. Let us understand more,
Sales manager wears various hats and one of the primary function is management. This can include hiring, performance reviews, conducting regular meetings, scheduling, reports filing, keeping employees on notice or even firing. These are sales manager tasks but not coaching.
Sales Training or teaching
Sales training is a very critical aspect of any sales organization. Selling requires developing skills and process. Training helps this. A sales trainer will be providing the necessary information to participants to acquire key skills to do the job better. But this is not coaching. Sharing necessary information or helping your team member to acquire can be part of coaching. But by itself, training is not coaching.
Driving Sales Performance
It is most likely that company promote best performers to become a manager. These sales managers, when working with their employees who are struggling will find it easy or tempting to just teach or “do the work for team member” to demonstrate how to do work. This is also in a way to show that “lead by example”. Demonstrating own expertise helps build some kind of authority in others but also boosts our ego. But this should not be considered as coaching.
There is always confusion of mentor vs. coach. To become a mentor it is necessary to be experienced in actual work and also to somewhat expert in that field. By having already passed similar experience of say launching a new product, building a new territory, a sales manager can do mentoring a team member. But coach need not have experienced the work or be expert in that. He focuses on the individual performance and agenda is set by coachee. In case of mentoring most agenda’s agreed commonly.
Counseling is mostly about past performance and how to overcome some of the self-doubts, performance limitations. It is much about the situation and overcoming psychological barriers. But coaching is about future performance and involves more of future possibilities and building capability for the same.
Sales Management, sales training, leadership performing, mentoring, counseling is all important factors in a successful sales organization, but it is wrong to attribute them to coaching. Coaching is helping coachee to realize his own potential and help him the deliver the performance which is he is expected to do.