Coaching: For Salespeople
“Coaches are aware of how to ignite passion and motivate people. They have an energy that is contagious and know exactly how to get their team excited.”
Coaching is not just for athletes. More and more organisations are choosing to include coaching as part of their instruction. Coaching salespeople, when done correctly, will not only increase sales, it will have a positive impact on the community and culture of a company. The benefits of coaching salespeople are numerous and worth exploring.
Before it is possible to implement any coaching activities, the definition of a coach must be made clear. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of coaching as well as the challenges that coaches face will establish the foundation necessary for moving forward in the process of becoming a coach for salespeople.
In the business world, a coach is responsible for increasing employee and company success. The goal of coaching is to develop employees at all levels, including productivity, adaptability, satisfaction, and retention. There are professional coaching positions, but any manager can be a coach who develops the best in their employees.
Coaches are not mentors, although they share some of the same roles. Coaches work to help people discover information on their own rather than relying on direct teaching methods. In any coaching relationship, it is necessary to develop trusting relationships based on confidentiality.
Being a good coach demands a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities that a coach must provide. These roles include:
- Challenge assumptions – Ask team members to consider their beliefs.
- Offer encouragement – Celebrate achievements and build confidence in times of struggle.
- Provide education – Help team members find skills, knowledge and expertise.
These roles that a coach plays require balance. It is important to avoid focusing so much on one role that you fail to address others.
The coach is responsible for guiding and supporting the team. Responsibilities extend to specific activities such as:
- Maintain the team’s focus on a common goal
- Assist the team in different processes and provide support
- Monitor progress
- Give effective feedback diplomatically
These are not the only responsibilities that coaches have. Remember not to take on too much. Your responsibilities need to support your roles. When you go beyond this, you risk overextending yourself.
There are common challenges the coaches face when they are working with their teams. Many of these challenges become risks when coaches fail to address them. We will discuss risks later in the blog series.
- There is a lack of trust in relationships – Be honest and sincere in relationship building.
- Failure of individuals to come to their own conclusions – Allow them to struggle without interfering.
- Dependent team members – Do not allow team members to use you to solve all their problems.
- Uncommitted team members – Have members develop goals and cut them if they refuse to engage.
- Lack of respect – Maintain boundaries to prevent members of the sales team from losing respect for your position.
Kate was a new coach for her sales team. She attempted to become friends with her team in order to develop trusting relationships with them. She soon discovered that it became difficult for her to maintain order with her team. Some of them became very dismissive of her advice and ignored her ideas. She decided to contact her friend and mentor, Helena, to get advice. Helena explained that she failed to maintain boundaries. She lost the respect of her team for her positions. She was just another friend giving helpful advice.