3 Habits of Great Sales Coaches

Great Sales CoachGood sales coaches provide their sales reps with good answers. Great sales coaches provide sales reps with growth opportunities. Take, for example, a common step of the sales process: qualifying. Your salesperson excitedly reveals a hot prospect that they just know is going to close. A good sales manager might listen to the rep explain what happened on the sales call. Then they might share their opinion as to why the rep is either right or wrong in their assessment of the opportunity.

A great sales manager puts on their coaching hat and says, “How qualified is this opportunity?” The sales rep immediately must begin to connect qualifiers with closing. The sales rep might claim that the prospect is fully qualified and ready to close. The next words from the sales manager are, “Prove it.” (You see where this is going.)

Then, they take out their list of qualifying questions and go through each one with the rep. “Does the prospect possess the first qualifier?” asks the sales manager. Upon a positive response, the sales manager follows up with “Prove it” forcing the sales rep to support their claim that this qualifier is fully satisfied. Sometimes the sales rep rattles off a cogent answer. Other times, it’s “um’s” and “ah’s” or blank stares. They continue until all the qualifiers are covered. Only now can the sales rep legitimately determine if the sales opportunity is qualified.

Great sales coaches do 3 things:

  1. They don’t accept all of their sales reps’ forecasts at face value.
  2. They make their sales reps prove their claims.
  3. They condition their sales reps to consistently follow the sales process.

To move towards great sales coaching, ask the questions your reps should be asking themselves and their prospects. By repeatedly going through this process, your reps eventually become conditioned to ask those very questions out in the field without your prompting. Your new coaching strategy leads to a higher level of execution of the sales process, getting your salespeople to think for themselves, and elevate their resourcefulness.

Sustain this over a long enough period and you will develop the proactive, independent, self-sustaining sales team that you want. Getting close to quota stops being a problem and that’s an achievement worth celebrating. Good coaches get there. Great coaches find a way to elevate the performance of their reps in order to grow beyond their sales goals.

Don’t be a good coach.

Be a great coach.