Build a Winning Sales Machine with Exec Sales Coaching
1. Sales Leadership Coaching
We provide Sales Training & Coaching for Salespeople and Sales Teams however coaching Sales Leaders is normally very different. Check out our video and you will see why.
The added benefit to this strategy is that we also rank on other Search Engines like Bing where we have the top 2 listings. Please note everything above Klozers are paid ads which with respect anyone can do.
In most cases, our coaching with Salespeople revolves around sales performance and is normally based on the high-value activities of finding more sales, klozing more sales and growing existing sales. For us, this is Tactical Coaching.
Executive or Sales Leadership Coaching is by nature Strategic Coaching and very different from tactical coaching.
In most cases, the Execs we coach are already high performers and for them, the challenge is much more Strategic such as helping them design and build a winning sales team.
This can cover many things like Sales & Marketing Strategy, Organisational Structure, People Development, Channel Management, Sales & Marketing Technology and Customer Management.
With increases in sales the challenges never completely go away, they simply change from perhaps not enough sales, to not enough Salespeople, or we’ve outgrown our technology, or we need to manage our new and bigger customers differently to retain their business.
Exec Sales Coaching is unique and different for everyone and your Sales Coach should be as adaptable as you will need to be in order to overcome your challenges.
2. Personal Sales Coach
In many cases our Exec Coaching clients feel they have no one to talk to about their business.
They all have a husband or wife, a business partner or even a Sales Director but they lack a sounding board to bounce ideas off and someone to provide objective advice about their business, their people and Sales.
In addition they often feel the need for someone who is not emotionally connected to the business to provide a sense check, especially around sales.
Often CEO’s come from a Technical or Operational background and Sales can seem like an uncomfortable black hole they want to avoid.
The role of a Personal Sales Coach is to:
- Listen to the Coachee and help them create their picture of success & visualise where they want to be.
- The Coach will work with you to create a sales plan -- the roadmap from where you are now to where you want to be.
- The coach then works with you to overcome the challenges and road blocks along the way.
Lastly the coach should provide expert sales insight to support and build confidence in the Coachee, so they can thrive without the coach.
3. Sales Management Coaching
Whether you’re looking for Sales Management Coaching because you need to support a Sales Manager, or you have a Sales Manager that you want to start coaching your sales team, we’ve got you covered.
Recently a Chief Exec of a Mid Market organisation told us how they recently had been forced to let one of their new Sales Managers go. The Manager had been working in a remote office and they had been unaware of any problems until some of their best Salespeople had left the business. One by one their top people had left until they realised that the Sales Managers style was simply destroying the culture they had built up and wasn’t willing to change.
Sales Managers have an important but difficult role and can often make or break a Sales Team. Sales Managers have often been top Salespeople with the ambition to move on and up, without anyone preparing them for a Management role. Sales Management is a completely different skill to being a Salesperson and many of the traits that make someone good at sales often work against them as a Sales Manager.
Often Sales Managers need training and coaching to help them, in turn, be better at coaching their Salespeople. Many managers will claim they are too busy or there is no need for coaching because “I talk to my people every day”. There is no substitute for a transparent, structured and objective coaching process that meets the goals of the coachee and the goals of the business.
4. Sales Performance Coaching
Sales Performance Coaching is very similar to Performance Management Coaching, however, it is specific to sales whereas Performance Management usually relates to the wider business.
Sales Performance Coaching should:
- Inspire the company’s “A” players to push on and break existing sales records.
- Provide the support that “B” players need to improve and become “A” players in their own right.
- Should be used to onboard new Salespeople and Graduates to ensure they get the best possible start in the business.
As a CEO or Sales Leader, we would encourage you to develop a coaching culture within your business which supports both the organisations learning & development goals and the business goals.
Whilst we always endorse internal coaching by line managers, in most cases Sales Managers:
- Don’t make time available for coaching
- Don’t have a formal coaching process
- Haven’t been trained to coach Salespeople
Developing a culture of coaching within the business engages and empowers the whole sales team. Studies show:
- 80% of the workforce who have experienced coaching say it positively impacts their work performance, productivity, communication skills, and well-being.
- 65% of those in a coaching culture are highly engaged.
- Organisations with a strong coaching culture report revenues 34% higher than their peer group.
5. Sales Coaching & Mentoring
Sales Coaching and mentoring are similar but different skills and activities.
Mentoring is typically a long term (1-3) year process where a Mentee is guided by a third party who has typically gone through the same challenges and can therefore empathise and bring a different perspective.
Mentoring is normally more informal and doesn’t have any particular process or structure to it.
This can cause issues as, without any process or structure, there is little to no accountability from either side and often the mentoring relationship fizzles out.
That said a good mentoring programme can provide real benefits when designed and managed well.
Sales Coaching is typically a short term (9 month) process where the Sales Coach is supporting the Coachee with the practical application of strategies and tactics.
Whilst not always Coaching should have a clearly defined and transparent structure and process.
6. The Sales Coach
Our Exec Sales Coaching programme is headed up by myself, Iain Swanston and includes two other Exec Coaches James Henderson & Stuart Rowell. I personally have over 35 years in B2B Sales, and have amassed lot’s of experience to draw on, both good and bad.
Whether your business is a Startup and you need help with Scaling the business, or if you are an Enterprise organisation and are more interested in Sales Growth, we already have a lot of common.
We are so lucky to be busy, I find it difficult to find time out of work for anything, but when I do, it’s either riding a motorbike or hill walking in the great outdoors.
I live in Scotland with my wife Joanne and my two adult girls, who despite moving out keep coming back to be fed and watered.
As you would expect with any Coach I am committed to Personal Development and am an avid reader of Sales and Business Books. My (probably all too predictable) favourites are:
|Business Books||Sales Books||Personal Development Books|
by -- Jack Welsh
|Cracking the Sales Management Code|
by -- Jordan & Vazanna
|As a Man Thinketh|
by -- James Allen
by -- Al Ries
by -- Mack Hannon
|The Success Principle|
by -- Jack Canfield
|Good to Great |
by -- Jim Collins
| 5 Star Service|
by -- Michael Heppell
|59 Seconds -- Richard Wiseman|
7. Virtual Sales Coach
With the world becoming smaller and electronic communications getting better we deliver all of our sales coaching programmes online now. We have built a custom coaching portal inside Microsoft Teams which is reliable and robust, and allows us to share documents, guides and templates with you as and when required.
Inside the portal, we can each track and measure your progress to your goals and all our sales support content is available to you 24/7.
The Teams portal also provides chat, email and video conferencing facilities, however, if you don’t have Microsoft O365 don’t worry you can access Teams through our license on IOS or Android with a free email account from Microsoft. There’s also an app available so if we need to talk when you are away from your desk it’s still really easy for you.
8. Coaching Style
Their are many different Coaching styles, however, our belief is that the style should be based on what works best for the Coachee not the Coach. In order for the coaching to be successful the programme needs to follow a transparent structure and process however the way the Coach and the Mentee work through the process can be very different. The Coaching Styles we work with are:
Directive Coaching is where the Coach will explain and demonstrate new strategies, tactics or skills to the Coachee. The Coachee is given a “learning path” and has to follow it. For example one particular client we worked with, who had previously used a Business Coach made us assure her that when she asked a question on how to do a particular sales task or activity we would tell her immediately and not respond with questions. This lady was fiercely ambitious, but more importantly she had the intellectual humility to take on board external advice and then immediately rushed off to implement it.
Non Directive Coaching
Non Directive Coaching is based on the principles of Socratic teaching which conveys knowledge through critical thinking and reasoning. This format is a question based approach that encourages the individuals to work out and discover for themselves the answers to the problem. Whilst this may take the Coachee longer to get there, the process can be more empowering as “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. What we mean by this is telling is not always the best way to convey knowledge.
Collaborative Coaching is where the Coach and the Coachee work together to discover the best approach and answers. In many cases Exec Coaching requires this as whilst the Coach may know the answers the context might make the answers less effective. The Coachee knows the organisation, it’s structures and people better than the Coach but working together they can find the best solutions to move forward.
We have discovered over the years that in order to serve our clients well our Coaches need to be able to use all three Coaching styles. Throughout our Exec coaching sessions we have to be able to respond in the most appropriate style based on the scenario and the needs of the Coachee.
9. Are You Coachable?
Coaching doesn’t work for everyone and this normally relates to their leadership style. A study by Zenger Folkman the Leadership experts showed:
- People become less coachable the older they get
- Those who remain coachable maintained a high level of Leadership effectiveness
- Leaders with the highest potential also scored high on coachability
- Those who are more coachable are better leaders
- As people move up into C level positions the most coachable are the most effective
In order for Exec Sales Coaching to work for you it’s important that you understand:
- It’s important that you understand that no Sales Coach in the world has a magic wand or quick fix for sales. Yes Sales Coaching can help, however, it’s unrealistic to expect any Coach to turn around sales in a month when you may have been trying for 4,5 years or more.
- It’s your responsibility to have a good, reliable, product or service (not necessarily the best). There is no sense in trying to grow sales if your product or service isn’t good enough to win repeat business. Fix the product or service first and then look to improve your sales.
- Growing and Scaling a business is not only hard work, it can also be very stressful. Sales Coaching can alleviate this however it will always be hard and stressful and your well being should always take precedence.
- Much like when you go to the gym, you will be doing all the heavy lifting and like your Coach in the Gym, our job is much easier standing by your side. However in the same way that when you come out the gym you feel much better and more positive, your Coaching sessions will lift you. Often just knowing you are on the right track is the most important thing.
10. Recommended Reading
If you are interested in Coaching for your own Salespeople and Sales Managers then you can find further information via this article on Online Sales Coaching.
We also provide training for Business Owners and Entreprenuers which can learn more about via this article on Sales Training for Entrepreneurs
Most readers interested in Sales Coaching also consider training which you can read more about our sales training section.