How to Coach Salespeople

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Coaching Salespeople up to the next level is more complicated than many Sales Managers realize.

The most common approach is to focus exclusively on selling skills such as:

  • Prospecting and securing more appointments
  • Improve qualification through asking better questions
  • Articulating value and proving claims
  • Getting to decision makers
  • Improving follow up and closing

Although the above skills are critical to success they represent roughly half of what is needed for a Salesperson to consistently perform at a higher level.

The Objective Management Group has researched and verified a number of additional key areas that support, or detract from, sales success. Here are 3 of them that are referred to as Sales DNA:

  • Doesn’t Need Approval. The Salesperson does not have the self-limiting need to be liked. Salespeople that have a high need for approval are not capable of having “business conversations” with prospects and articulating why their price is what it is. In other words they are very uncomfortable justifying “value”. They are also unable to discuss and explain why the delay of making a decision is detrimental to the prospect’s organization. A Salesperson who suffers from the need for approval is constantly concerned that they will upset the prospect and as a result loses control of the sales process.

  • Controls Their Emotions. Top performing Salespeople are able to keep their emotions under control when facing rejection and when handling objections. As a result of this control they create a higher level of credibility in the eyes of the buyer which results in their ability to become the trusted advisor and a consultative seller.

  • Supportive Beliefs. Supportive beliefs are a collection of a Salesperson’s beliefs that either supports or sabotages sales success. Some common unsupportive beliefs are: “I understand when my prospects want to comparison shop, it’s OK”, “I need to have the lowest price to get the deal”, “I can’t call on top decision makers they will never take my call”.

To effectively coach a Salesperson up to a higher level of sustained performance it is necessary to gain insight and understanding of their Sales DNA in addition to providing sales skills coaching.

When you uncover how they think, what they believe and how they feel you can then help them better understand themselves and how they are reacting to selling pressures and prospect demands.

This mutual understanding between the Sales Manager and Salesperson puts them on the same sheet of music and enables them to focus together on what will move the needle on sales and true progress can be made.

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