Five ‘Don’ts’ of Effective Sales Coaching

In my last post I discussed the ‘DO’S’ for effective coaching of salespeople. Here I want to share five short ‘DONTS’ for sales leaders or sales managers. There are more than these five but these are a good place to start.

1.  DON’T accept excuses from salespeople. Excuse-making allows a salesperson to avoid responsibility for their results that don’t meet your expectations. Performance and results will not improve until excuse-making stops.

2.  DON’T end a coaching session focused on specific customer opportunities without a commitment from the salesperson to execute the next necessary sales step properly and promptly.

3.  DON’T begin a sales debriefing by asking the salesperson “What happened with your sales call on ABC Company?” Rather, ask how the call ended and work backward from there to determine how the salesperson arrived at the outcome they did. Doing this saves time and will get the real sales issues on the table quicker.

4.  DON’T accuse or point fingers. This causes defensiveness by the salesperson. Instead, begin a questioning process to help the salesperson discover their errors that prevented them from getting a better result. 

5.  DON’T allow the salesperson go off on tangents during the discussion. Keep them focused and use the allotted time productively. Doing so sets a good template for future sessions.

Companies who are looking to grow sales and profitability will see quicker improvement by implementing on using stronger, more effective sales coaching before investing in any training for their salespeople.


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