Why sales coaching can make you a better sales leader

Why sales coaching can make you a better sales leader

SPIN Selling is a proven method of sales training, and at Huthwaite we conduct regular observational research into what effective sales coaching looks like. Our research shows that:

  • adapting your coaching style
  • listening with empathy
  • applying appropriate verbal behaviours during a coaching conversation with a sales rep.

will make a huge impact on the seller's:

  • motivation for learning
  • skill development
  • the customer experience delivered, and not least
  • the sales results.

Studies show also that 20-40% growth rates can be achieved in sales when coaching is done effectively. Additionally seller retention rates appear to benefit from the presence of a strong sales manager with outstanding coaching skills.

Motivated sales people can do wonders, if they want to!

Sales people need a safe learning environment that will grow their motivation, knowledge and skills. This is sales management at its best. An outstanding sales manager also has the potential to become an outstanding coach, by nurturing the sales rep to reflect and seek their own commitment for the ongoing practice of skills and strategies, enabling them to stand out in their conversations with customers. SPIN training helps sales managers become outstanding coaches too. 

Are you preparing a case for SPIN Selling? Download our free guide to learn more

Are you preparing a business case for SPIN Selling?

So as a sales manager, what can you do to improve your coaching skills?

At Huthwaite we have identified the following four coaching styles that will help you create a motivational learning environment, all of which are included in SPIN training:

  • Directing style
  • Guiding style
  • Enabling style
  • Empowering style

Our latest observational research shows that using the appropriate coaching style and related verbal behaviours, applied in a timely manner, are crucial factors for motivating sellers.

Practice is needed to master these coaching styles from setting clear boundaries and direction, then teach if needed, mentor if wanted and coach sales skills and strategies on the fly.

Why does coaching style matter?

If your coaching style and related verbal behaviours do not meet the competence and consciousness of your individual sales reps, then you risk demotivating them at best and losing them at worst. Your reputation as a sales leader is at stake.

The one coaching challenge all sales managers experience

Most sales managers have never been trained to coach, nor had the chance to practice. They jump from a being a successful seller directly into the management role without the necessary management or coaching skill.

It’s no surprise therefore that they fail to master the behavioural skill sets, or the strategies and structures that accompany an effective sales coach.

Finding the time to coach is an objection we hear a lot, perhaps unsurprisingly. Many factors compete for the sale manager’s time and attention. Meeting departmental targets being the biggest.  But you can’t achieve that without a motivated sales team committed to life long learning, growth and success. And that’s the role of coaching.

Coaching is not a tick in a box. Consider it a vitamin injection in your daily conversations with your sales people.

Coaching is an ongoing task. And coaching skills and strategies are a language you master that underpins every interaction in some form.

If you're preparing a case for SPIN selling and want to learn more, download our free guide below;

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About the Author
Anders Hjort

Written by Anders Hjort

As Regional Development Director and Behaviour Change Expert at Huthwaite International Anders leads multinational and global behaviour change projects as a behavioural expert, trainer and coach. With a strong track record in industries like IT, telecomms, manufacturing, engineering, healthcare and logistics he is instrumental in Huthwaite's ongoing observational behavioural research projects, new instructional designs and digital learning innovations. Anders is a highly endorsed global expert with hundreds of personal recommendations on LinkedIn and is ranked amongst the top sales performance experts in the world.