Ep 013 New Research for Creating a Sales Coaching Culture

Most sales managers claim to value coaching- yet most don’t do it rigorously, effectively or sometimes at all. What’s behind the disconnect? Research done by Integrity Solutions in partnership with The Sales Management Association looks at key challenges for developing an effective sales coaching culture and drivers for making sales coaching yield better results.

Why is clearly defining coaching for your sales managers important? What’s the impact of time spent coaching? What does it mean when managers say they “don’t have time” to coach? And what’s the impact of coaching your sales managers?

An insightful discussion with Mike Esterday of Integrity Solutions and Bob Kelly, Chairman of The Sales Management Association.

Key Sales Coaching Culture Podcast Takeaways:

  • Most sales managers say they value coaching; yet most say they don’t do it well- or do it at all.
  • Coaching is one of the top levers of sales success; yet we’ve seen many organizations either ignore it or exercise it poorly.
  • 76% of survey participants agreed that coaching is important; yet over 3/4 also said they didn’t do very much sales coaching today- and in some cases not at all.
  • Organizations that did the most coaching had the highest sales results.
  • The lack of clearly defining coaching for sales managers and misunderstanding the core components of coaching- building people to their very best, the human element of sales vs. numbers and details- negatively impacts newly promoted sales managers ability to become coaches.
  • Those deemed effective at coaching say sales results 15% greater than those that were not.
  • Over half of the sales leaders polled said they had never been taught how to be a coach and builder of people.
  • When managers were coached themselves- when senior leaders modeled the coaching they wanted to see for their front-line (sales) managers- sales went up the most.
  • Though managers say coaching is important, they’re typically only doing maybe 7 hours of coaching per week (or about one hour per direct report).
  • There are 5 key things that someone (in a sales leadership role) can do to impact sales: have a common definition of coaching, implement a structured coaching system, coach to motivation (“coach to the why”), coach everyone (not just low-performers), and build accountability and commitment in the organization to do it consistently.

Podcast Quotes from Mike Esterday and Bob Kelly:

“Coaching is a topic that everyone agrees is important. What we’re not seeing is a lot of consistent and rigorous practice around coaching.” -Bob Kelly

“The number one reason people said they couldn’t coach was that they didn’t have time. That ‘no time’ is really an excuse. ” -Mike Esterday

“The ‘coach’ is someone that sees more in people than they see in themselves. It helps draw out the very best in themselves to perform at the highest level.” -Mike Esterday

“It’s impossible to have an effective coaching culture unless the coaches themselves are being coached. And the data from our research bears that out.” -Bob Kelly

“When you think about the range of activities that sales managers do, I think the only one that’s not likely to be automated very soon is this matter of coaching and- more broadly- helping salespeople to become better.” -Bob Kelly

“There are really three conversations that cause people to be successful in sales. One is an understanding of how to have conversations with their customers (their skillset). Secondly they need to have a conversation with themselves all day long (their attitude and drive to achieve). Number three is the conversation with their coach.” -Mike Esterday

Related Links:

Sales Coaching Research Brief

Sales Coaching Research Infographic: How Top Companies Use Sales Coaching to Buoy Their Results

Sales Management Association website

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