10 Sales Coaching Articles Your Sales Leadership Needs to Read
Being a coach for sales teams has never been more important. Here are 10 sales coaching articles that can inspire new thinking, motivate your sales leaders and ultimately move the needle on your sales team’s performance.
When your sales leaders hear the word “coach”, what comes to mind for them?
We often associate “coach” with a sports analogy. However, the origin of the word speaks to a different level of understanding. Historically, a coach was a horse-drawn carriage that transported important people from where they were to where they wanted to be. Isn’t that what you want to do when coaching salespeople?
The data is clear. Salespeople who receive consistent sales coaching outperform their peers and hit their quotas much more often, are more engaged, apply more discretionary effort and stay with their organizations longer.
Whether your sales managers knee-jerk reaction in dealing with challenging situations and goals is to ask their high performers to step up even more or, conversely, pick up the slack for their low performers, neither is practical, sustainable or helping your sales team improve as a whole.
Our Favorite Sales Coaching Articles
Below we’ve aggregated 10 sales coaching articles, blogs and infographics various subject matter experts from across Integrity Solutions have published that demonstrate the importance and results of developing a culture of sales coaching in an organization.
The Law of Limited Performance
We often start with this concept because the key to creating a commitment to coaching often begins with shifting the leader’s mindset about what their people are actually capable of achieving.
Whether it’s a lack of skills, awareness or commitment to coaching, many sales managers struggle to improve their team’s skills and behaviors. When their employees fail to achieve desired results, they start to believe their people have plateaued.
What happens is an almost self-perpetuating loop that puts a cap on potential and performance. Managers unwittingly send a message that an employee’s current level of performance is all they are capable of, so employees adjust accordingly. We call this “The Law of Limited Performance.” Check out this infographic to separate the myths from the facts surrounding the manager’s role, the role of coaching, what constitutes effective coaching, and the factors influencing employee performance.
The Link Between Coaching Skills For Sales Leaders and Sales Coaching Maturity
Despite high levels of awareness that they should be doing it, the vast majority of sales managers either don’t coach or don’t do it well. Why isn’t everyone putting their energy and attention behind something they know will deliver results? In this blog we look at the key areas where high performers differ from low performers. Here are just three of the pivotal differences that showed up in our research
The post also includes a link to a brief 10 question assessment comprised of questions centered around the areas top performers clearly took a different approach than their peers. Take the quiz to find out where your company falls within the “Sales Coaching Maturity Model.”
Put Your Manager Hat To The Site For Now And Prioritize Coaching
The pandemic was a stark reminder about the importance of using coaching as an opportunity to connect deeper with your teams and be more human. In times of real crisis or even just when a salesperson is in a slump, it’s critical to reach out to your team with a truly human touch to reassure them, bolster their confidence, and keep them connected. Sales leaders play different roles, wearing three different hats: manager, leader, and coach. And it’s important to understand the importance of each and how they interconnect.
Our CEO, Mike Esterday, penned this blog post just as the pandemic was getting underway worldwide.
Your Front-Line Managers: Are They Ready For The Post-Pandemic Boom?
As important as it was to keep your sales teams engaged, confident and motivated as the COVID crisis began, it’s equally important to be sure that front-line managers are prepared to meet the demands of an emerging world and economic recovery as the pandemic wanes. In this feature contribution to Forbes, Mike Esterday offers advice for how to prepare your customer-focused teams to deal with a dramatically changed marketplace and customer behavior.
He also looks at how can you address the biggest pressure point at most companies — your front-line managers, who are among your hardest-working employees.
Manage or Coach? Balancing the Urgent & the Important
How are sales teams in traditionally “drop-in” sales cultures like pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies finding a firm footing and building back sales? The answer explored by our EVP and Partner, Harriet Butler, in this feature contribution for LTEN Focus on Training Magazine is found in how leaders can strike the balance between the urgent and the important. Sales managers are key to that, of course, especially in how they shift from managing to coaching. She explore the issues and challenges in making that shift.
Don’t be That Boss! Be That Coach!
We’ve written a lot of contributions for Top Sales Magazine. And this one was particularly poignant for sales leaders. Developing a coaching mindset involves some important pivots. Great sales coaches excel at helping people develop the confidence to answer their own questions and find their own solutions.
The goal of coaching is not to tell your people what to do but rather to understand the salesperson’s goals and have a discussion about THEIR plan for getting there. When they’re engaged in that way, salespeople feel confident and empowered. It develops our bench strength and ultimately a team of more valuable- and more promotable- problem solvers.
What’s Holding You Back From Coaching Your People?
In another of our contributions to Top Sales Magazine, we dive deeper into sales coaching as a key lever for driving incremental growth and being the single-most important manager activity impacting both sales performance and salesperson retention. It also offers several lessons for creating a coaching culture that truly works.
Seven Insights for Building a Sales Coaching Culture
Can you tell we believe in coaching (and like to write about it)? Here is yet another insightful piece we penned for Top Sales Magazine that helps sales leaders take an honest look both at their current level of sales coaching proficiency and commitment and how to create a coaching culture based on a structured sales coaching process that holds them accountable to coach in ways that will most impact sales productivity.
Understanding Human Behavior Styles Can Improve Sales, Coaching and Leadership
Recognizing and adapting to the behavior styles of others builds trust and rapport, whether in person or from a distance. And that’s more essential than ever in today’s economic climate, both for meeting revenue goals and for keeping employees engaged. In this popular blog post written by Debbie Irving, one of our Master Facilitators and Business Associates, she explores the importance of self-awareness and why identifying and connecting with the other person’s Behavior Style should always be part of pre-call planning with customers and any coaching discussion preparation.
You can also learn more about Behavior Styles Assessments from Integrity Solutions.
Coaching People to Be Like You? Here’s Why That’s a Big Mistake
Last of our top sales coaching articles, but certainly not least, here’s another area where sales leaders can often falter when engaging with their teams: taking a one size fits all approach to coaching. Sales managers will often end up “coaching in their own image,” mistakenly assuming that what works for them will work for everyone else, too. What one person is motivated by and seeks out may be totally different from another. And what is energizing and inspiring to one person may completely exhaust or irritate someone else.
That’s the focus of this blog post (and what is still our most widely-read blog post we’ve ever written) by our Joyce Hames.
A core element of what makes Integrity Solutions different is our focus on the importance of coaching as the pivotal way to sustain sales training and create lasting behavior change. Creating a sales coaching culture is a strategic differentiator for top organizations today. The Integrity Coaching programs develop the skills to coach others with integrity while adapting to different situations and styles. We develop a leadership mindset that results in coaching becoming a consistent habit. Contact us to discuss how we can help you make 2021 the year that a true sales coaching culture takes hold in your organization.