Coaching: The Process
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”
Being an effective coach requires an understanding of employees and what it means to focus on them. Coaches need to recognise the difference between training and coaching and what it means to be an effective salesperson. A coach must also understand whether or not employees are coachable and how to avoid the gap.
Define effective salespeople
When you are a coach, you should create criteria for effectiveness based on your company’s values and needs. There are, however, some characteristics that effective salespeople share.
- Set goals
- Show enthusiasm and passion
- Listen empathetically
- Act with persistence
- Demonstrate value
- Take personal responsibility
These are not the only characteristics of effective salespeople. It is important to note that effective salespeople do more than focus on making money. They earn sales by using these characteristics to their advantage.
Coaching vs Training
Coaches are not trainers. To be effective as a coach, it is necessary to understand the difference between the two. Each one serves a different purpose. Training is used to teach specific skills and information. Trainers have basic roles.
- Drive learning
- Direct the content for learning
- Control group process
Coaches, on the other hand, have to work differently to provide guidance. They:
- Use questions to drive learning
- Focus on two-way communication
- Do not use specialised content
- Work one-on-one
How coachable is an employee?
Before you enter a coaching relationship with sales employees, you need to determine if they are coachable. Many professionals use the A.G.R.O.W.T.H. model to assess coach-ability.
It is important to remember that you will not be able to coach everyone, Employees who are not trustworthy or willing to take personal responsibility will probably not benefit from coaching. Assessment and observation will be beneficial in determining how coachable your salespeople are.
Avoid the gap
We have already established what the gap is. Effective coaching can address and help employees bridge the gap and avoid it altogether. A successful coach will address the gap in the following ways:
- Pay attention to behaviour and results
- Treat employees as individuals
- Listen to employee reasoning
- Document activity
- Provide clear and honest feedback- this is covered in our coaching workshop.
- Help employees diagnose their own weaknesses and find solutions
Gaps need to be identified as quickly as possible so that the employee can focus on moving past the gap with the coach’s guidance.
Lauren was always behind the rest of the team in almost every metric. She kept promising to improve, but she never created personal goals or paid attention to team goals. Lauren always had an excuse for her behaviour. Paul, the team coach, was unhappy with her performance. The rest of the team was carrying her, and she was dragging everyone down. He decided to discuss Lauren’s willingness to participate fully as part of the team. If she continued to refuse responsibility, he would consider removing her from the team using legal HR input!