What’s a Sales Coach, and Why Do You Need One?

In the business world, sales coaching has grown in popularity, but with such growth there comes questions. Questions like: What exactly does a sales coach do? What’re the benefits of hiring one? And most pertinent to the individual asking the questions: Do I need one?

The fact is globalization and the ease of online shopping has made selling today harder than ever. Buyers routinely dismiss emails and phone calls while salespeople tend to cling to old techniques that might’ve been successful twenty years ago, but simply aren’t today. And the numbers tend to back this up with some research showing a dismal three out of four salespeople are ineffective.

If you find yourself not getting ahead, but also not knowing why not, then a sales coach might just be the person you want to critique your techniques and offer a change of perspective.

What is a Sales Coach?

The first big distinction to make is that sales coaching isn’t the same as sales training. Whereas sales training generally takes place in a classroom setting with an instructor lecturing from an established syllabus, sales coaching is one-on-one relationship that generally takes place over the course of a few months or even a year.

A sales coach is part-teacher, part-counselor, part-guide, part-cheerleader, and part-facilitator. They work with an individual to develop a strategy on that person’s motivations, assessing their strengths and weaknesses with the purpose of adopting a unique approach that will allow them to thrive and achieve even greater success in their environment. Sales coaches exist to encourage and inspire their recruits to achieve greater results than was previously possible.

So when you hire a sales coach, you’ll be in phone and person contact with them. During your calls, you’ll receive personalized advice from everything ranging from how to better make a cold call to understanding the more nuanced, and sometimes even psychological aspects of working in sales. Stressed about blowing that big deal at the end of the year? Your sales coach will walk you through the process, coach you on how to react in a number of given scenarios, and help you gain the confidence needed to land it no matter what curveballs are thrown your way.

Is a Sales Coach right for me?

If you’re still questioning whether or not you could benefit from hiring a personal coach, here are three reasons many people cite for going this route:

  • You have a poor or plateaued sales record. If you can’t seem to boost your sales no matter what you do, then hiring an outside expert as for you. An individual’s sales performance can often be compared to being unable to see the forest because of the trees. Coaches have an outsider’s advantage and the necessary experience to gauge your performance and determine why such setbacks are occurring and what you can do to remedy the situations.
  • You have problems networking and getting ahead. Networking is a major part of the industry. But even sales personnel can find it a hard skill to master.  Your coach will help give you pointers on how you can best approach new contacts and widen your network. Plus, as a major player themselves, they can act as a great referral.
  • You have poor organization. Plenty of people of goal ideals, but have no understanding on how to reach them. A sales coach will identify your strengths and skills and teach you how to improve upon them so that you can get from point A to point B. You tell them the destination and they’ll work with you to draft the best map possible.

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