The Coaching Effect Blog

What Does It Mean to Be a Sales Coach?

Posted by Sarah Wirth

August 6, 2014

Sarah-Wirth_2014_sOver the last few years, “coaching” has become more and more of a buzzword in the sales management community. As popular concepts of leadership continue to move away from a more authoritative model, many thought leaders espouse the idea of managers acting more like coaches than traditional managers. But what does this term “coaching” really mean and, more importantly, what should coaching look like to really impact the performance of a sales team?

When we talk about sales coaching at EcSell Institute, we aren’t just referencing a manager helping a rep improve their sales skills.  Of course, skill building is part of what great sales coaches do, but that’s just the beginning of what it takes to coach someone to the highest performance levels. Indeed, skills only go so far when a sales producer isn’t in the right mental space to best use the skills they’ve been taught.  This is why we are going to focus on the most challenging aspect of helping a rep sustain high performance levels:  mental coaching.

Based on EcSell Institute research, we know that it is critical to help sales producers get in the proper mental space to perform most effectively.   Just like high performance athletes, the outcomes for high performance salespeople are impacted by their confidence level, motivation and engagement with their work. This is why the best sales coaches are those that not only build skill, but focus on helping their sales producers get into the right mental space to perform.

Over the next few blogs, we will explore three key coaching principles that you can use to help improve your sales reps’ performance mentality.   First, we will discuss the importance of creating relationships of trust with those you are coaching. Next, we will explore how to ask powerful questions to drive effective learning.  And finally, we emphasize creating growth experiences for your team to maximize their potential.

Please continue to read this blog for an in-depth discussion of each of these three coaching best practices.


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