Getting A Sales Coach? Here's How to Not Waste the Opportunity

BY Jessica Helinski
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Sellers are beginning to realize the incredible value they can get from a sales coach. SalesFuel reports that some sellers have even left a job due to the lack of meaningful coaching or professional development. And while other research shows the effectiveness of sales coaching, Salesforce found that only 26% of sellers get weekly one-​on-​one coaching with their managers. 

The value of having a sales coach is clear, and sellers are realizing the benefits of this kind of development. To make the most of the experience, reps can adjust their mindset and follow best practices when engaging with coaches. 

Tips from a sales coach

Sales coach Sarah Greer uses her professional experience as a coach to help sellers achieve the most from coaching relationships. She shares these tips with Sales Gravy, writing, “A coaching relationship can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth, but it’s important to approach it with the right mindset and expectations in order to get the most out of it.”

Greer highlights 10 keys to getting the most value from these relationships, and she begins with first deciding what outcomes you’d like to achieve from sales coaching. If you aren’t sure what you want to achieve, it will be hard for your coach to have any clear direction. Decide if you’d like to work on a specific skill or learn how to implement a new strategy. Maybe you’d like to brush up on your communication skills or go after a different type of client. Whatever it may be, make sure that you can clearly articulate it. This gives you the best chance of getting actual results. 

Communication is important

To have success with a sales coach, you must be able to communicate. While this may not be difficult with a client, it can be trickier when the focus is on you. This is especially true when discussing weakness or other not-​so-​comfortable topics. Honesty is incredibly important as well. You have to be honest with both yourself and your coach. Otherwise, there's no way to get truly impactful results.

Communication is also important in terms of feedback. It’s not easy to hear critiques or suggestions; but you must be open to it. “A coach is there to offer guidance and support, but also to provide honest feedback and hold you accountable for your actions,” Greer explains. “Be open to hearing constructive criticism and use it to improve yourself.”

Being receptive, and not making excuses or getting defensive, will determine just how successful your coaching sessions will be. 

For ways to make the most out of the feedback you receive, check out SalesFuel’s advice for guidance.

 Fully commit

Sales coaching isn’t about conversations with your coach when you have a moment. If you want to get the most benefit from your sales coach, you must commit your time and commit to taking action. As with anything else, consistency is key to improvement. Regular sessions are important, so make them a priority. And you need to be ready to adapt, evolve and try new things. Action is necessary for making change, and isn’t the desire for change the reason you sought coaching? 

As sales professional David J.P. Fisher suggests, “The most important thing you can do after your coaching session: something! You don’t need to completely transform what you are doing, but take action on the steps that you agreed to with your coach.”

Adopting a growth mindset can help; here’s how to do it.

As you go through the sales coaching experience, it’s important to simply “trust the process.” You aren’t going to achieve your goals after one or two sessions. Working with a sales coach is an investment, so treat it as such. There are so many benefits to being coached, but it’s up to you to put in the work and uncover them.

Photo by RODNAE Productions