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Three Reasons to Look Externally for Sales Coaching

It is not a stretch to believe that sales coaching will have a positive impact on a sales team’s results.  But a company has two different options for delivering coaching.  Either the management team can deliver one-on-one coaching sessions as part of their standard management process.  Or the company can look externally to hire a sales coach to work with each sales person directly.  The latter has some benefits and those are summarized below.

1.  Open lines of communication

A very important piece of effective coaching is for there to be an extremely good channel of communication between client and coach.  The sales person must feel comfortable opening up and talking to the coach about what is going on.  Without being completely open and communicating, the coaching process will be disadvantaged and this will decrease the results and effectiveness of the attempt to drive improvements.

When an internal manager provides coaching, a sales person will be fairly reluctant to be completely open.  Of course there will be a good amount of information around wins and challenges that the sales person will freely put out there.  But there will likely be a good amount of details that a sales rep will not want to share with someone that is above them in the reporting structure.

When sales coaching is provided by an external resource, there will be a more open line of communication.  This is due to the fact that not only is there usually a confidential agreement between coach and client, but also because the coach is not part of the management structure that the employee reports into.


2.  Lack of shared goals

Another challenge with a sales manager providing sales coaching is that a manager will bring shared goals with the sales person to the coaching session since they both want and need the sales person to reach their targets.  And while this may sound like a good thing, it is actually a significant challenge for effective coaching as the manager will have a difficult time being objective and unbiased during the coaching session.

The result of this challenge is that when a manger performs coaching, they are likely to directly correct the sales person and tell them exactly what to do.  A big component of coaching is to refrain from being directive and let the client, or the sales person, find the answers and direction through their own internal exploration and discovery.  It can often be difficult for a manager to coach in this way with their role of manager and the chain of command that comes with that.

3.  Core expertise in coaching

A typical sales manager will have many areas of core expertise.  They will likely have expertise in the area of sales as they likely have a large amount of experience.  They will have expertise in managing a team of sales people.  And they will likely have a deep knowledge of company information like products, policies, processes, etc.

But one area where they might have knowledge but not a tremendous amount of expertise is the area of sales coaching.  Even if they have been trained in the area of coaching, it is likely that they just simply do not deliver a tremendous amount of coaching as part of their daily routine and as a result, they may not have core expertise in the area of coaching.

By using an external coach, a company will likely be using a resource that does nothing but coaching and as a result, they are much more of an expert at coaching individuals and driving results.

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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros to improve results.

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This article was published on Sunday 18 December, 2011.
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