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Should You Get a Sales Coach? What to Consider

RepVue Team
RepVue TeamMar 25, 2024

Sales is a highly competitive and constantly evolving field. And whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned professional, you may have considered getting a sales coach to help you improve your skills and achieve your goals. 

Whether you should work with a sales coach will depend on a variety of factors, including your experience level, your goals, and your budget. If you’re new to sales, a coach can help you learn the basics and develop a strong foundation of skills. If you’re a more experienced salesperson, a coach can help you refine your techniques and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Additionally, if you’re looking to take your career to the next level, a coach can help you set and achieve ambitious goals.

Let’s dive in and see whether working with a sales coach could benefit your career.

What is a Sales Coach?

A sales coach is a professional who works with you to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to help you reach your full potential.

But what, exactly, does that entail and what are the benefits?

What Does a Sales Coach Do?

What a sales coach will do really depends on your needs. A good sales coach works with you to help you improve your specific sales skills and achieve your sales goals. A sales coach can:

  • Provide feedback: A sales coach can provide feedback on your current sales performance and help you identify areas where you need improvement.
  • Teach you new strategies and tactics: Ideally, a sales coach will be strong in areas where you are weak. For example, if you struggle with cold calling, you should hire a coach that is highly experienced and successful in cold calling to help you improve.
  • Develop a sales plan: A sales coach can help you develop a sales plan that will help you achieve your sales goals.
  • Provide encouragement and accountability: A sales coach can provide support and encouragement as you work towards your sales goals. They can also give you an objective, third-party perspective on your performance and hold you accountable to your previously agreed-upon commitments.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to sales coaching — nor should there be. Each salesperson has different strengths and weaknesses, and so a good sales coach will tailor their feedback, guidance, planning, and support to fit the areas where you’d like to improve.

How does your salary compare to other sales pros. Find out here.

Mor Assouline on the Benefits of a Sales Coach

Mor Assouline is an experienced sales coach and founder of FDTC SaaS Sales Consulting & Training. FDTC (From Demo To Close) helps salespeople and early-stage SaaS startups grow revenue by improving their GTM sales playbooks, people, and processes. Here’s what Mor has to say about the benefits of a sales coach:

“There are three main benefits of sales coaching that have residual impact. 

The first is improving your sales skills (whatever that may be). The second is improving your confidence. The third is uncovering your blind spots.

If you think of sales coaching as an expense, then you are the liability.

You’re not paying a sales coach for their time. You’re paying for their experience — experience that you don’t have and need.

You can decide not to hire a sales coach and learn things on your own via free content available online. And you can find GREAT stuff online for free. 

But how long will it take you to:

  • know where to look to find the information?
  • curate the information?
  • adopt and learn it for your specific use case?
  • how would you know if the path you’re on is a correct one?

The only way is through trial and error. And when you’re not sure if you’re doing it right, that trial and error process can take years.

When you hire a coach, you’re shortening your learning curve.

What is it worth to you to know what to do, and how to do it, without having doubt? That’s the value of a coach.“

Determining the Need for a Sales Coach

If you’re wondering whether you need a sales coach, there are a few factors to consider. Sales coaches can help you improve your sales skills, close more deals, and increase revenue. However, they can also be expensive, so it’s important to determine whether the investment is worth it for you.

When to Consider Hiring a Sales Coach

Before hiring an external sales coach, you should first explore the resources available within your sales org. 

Training and support for skills such as prospecting, forecasting, cold calling, demos, negotiation, and deal closing are all critical sales activities that any good sales org with a decent RepVue score should provide in-house. Goal setting is something that should happen naturally on your sales team, and you should work with your manager or sales leader to break your goals down into the personal activities that will add up to a successful outcome.

If you feel that the standard training that is offered at your company doesn’t address these areas — or doesn’t address them adequately — then you should speak to your manager and ask for additional help. 

Don’t feel supported? See which sales orgs rank highest for Professional Development.

Another option is to get help in the form of mentorship. Many people will gladly provide help and guidance for colleagues. They’re happy to do so simply out of kindness and because they find it rewarding. Maybe they feel good about “paying forward” something that was done for them when they were in your shoes.

However, if you’ve explored these options and find them lacking, you should consider hiring a sales coach if you are in any of the following situations:

  • You’re new to sales: If you’re new to sales, a sales coach can help you learn the ropes and develop the skills you need to be successful.
  • You’re struggling to close deals: If you’re having trouble closing deals, a sales coach can help you identify the problem and develop strategies to overcome it.
  • You’re looking to take your sales to the next level: If you’re already successful in sales but want to take your skills to the next level, a sales coach can help you identify areas for improvement and develop a plan to get there.
  • You’re not getting enough leads: If you’re not getting enough leads, a sales coach can help you develop strategies to generate more leads and improve your conversion rate.
  • You’re struggling with objection handling: If you’re having trouble handling objections from prospects, a sales coach can help you develop effective responses and strategies to overcome objections.
  • You’re working in a new segment or industry: Oftentimes when a company expands to a new segment — such as moving from SMB/mid-market to enterprise — the tactics that worked in the previous scenario aren’t effective in the new one. In a situation like this, you may need to go outside of the company to get the advice and help that you need in order to be successful.

Remember, hiring a sales coach is an investment in yourself and your career. If you’re serious about improving your sales skills and achieving your goals, a sales coach can be a valuable asset.

Your Company May Pay for Sales Coaching!

Before paying out of pocket, you should ask your current organization whether they will pay for your sales coaching. After all, the company will benefit directly if your sales skills improve. 

At many companies, there’s an allowance for professional development that many people don’t take advantage of. This budget may be meant primarily for conferences and other formal training, but you may be able to spend it on sales coaching. It can’t hurt to ask!

Selecting the Right Sales Coach

If you have decided to hire a sales coach, it is important to select the right one. A good sales coach can help you improve your sales skills, increase your productivity, and achieve your goals. But how do you know which coach is right for you? 

Here are some criteria to consider when choosing a sales coach:

Criteria for Choosing a Coach

  1. Experience: Look for a coach who has experience in your industry and has worked with salespeople at your level. A coach who has experience working with salespeople in your industry will have a better understanding of your challenges and can provide more relevant advice.
  2. Approach: Consider the coach’s approach to coaching. Some coaches take a hands-on approach, while others take a more hands-off approach. Some coaches focus on specific skills or techniques, while others take a more holistic approach. Choose a coach whose approach matches your learning style and goals.
  3. Reputation: Look for a coach with a good reputation. Ask for references and check online reviews. A coach with a good reputation is more likely to provide high-quality coaching.
  4. Availability: Consider the coach’s availability. Make sure the coach has enough time to devote to your coaching sessions and is available when you need them.

Krysten Conner Shares Tips for Choosing a Sales Coach

Krysten Conner  is an experienced Account Executive, sales strategist and sales coach. Offering sales resources and coaching services through her website, krystenconner.com, she works with reps to help them boost their win rates and deal sizes.

When choosing a sales coach, she offered the following tips:

  • Checking out their LinkedIn content can be a good way to see if their expertise lines up with areas where you want some coaching.
  • Generally, experience in your industry and with your buyer can be a good starting point. References from other folks the coach has worked with are always a great idea.
  • To avoid a bad fit on either side, most coaches offer a consultation session so you can get a feel for things. If your confidence and results are improve, they’re a good coach for you.

Evaluating Potential Coaches

Once you have identified potential coaches, evaluate them using the following criteria:

  1. Track record: Ask potential coaches about their track record. Look for coaches who have a history of success and can provide references or case studies.
  2. Compatibility: Choose a coach who you feel comfortable working with. You should be able to communicate openly and honestly with your coach and feel that they understand your goals and challenges.
  3. Cost: Consider the cost of coaching. While you should not choose a coach based solely on price, you should choose a coach whose fees are within your budget.

By selecting the right sales coach, you can improve your sales skills, increase your productivity, and achieve your goals. Use these criteria to choose a coach who is right for you.

Brandon Fluharty on How to Know if a Sales Coach Isn’t a Good Fit

Brandon Fluharty is a seven-figure earning Strategic Account Seller, sales coach, and author. He offers resources on brandonfluharty.com and helps reps trade hustle for strategy to earn more and prevent burnout. Here’s what he has to say about knowing if/when a sales coach isn’t a good fit:

“Not all sales coaches are created equal. For instance, if a sales coach specializes in highly transactional sales motions in SMB or Mid-Market environments, their methods and approach will not work well in Enterprise or Strategic Accounts. It’s important to identify a sales coach who specializes in the segment you sell in so that you can reap the maximum rewards.

It’s also important to test the waters before overcommitting to a costly or lengthy coaching engagement. The best sales coaches offer performance-based programs where they are motivated and held accountable for delivering results and improvement.

Maximizing the Relationship with Your Sales Coach

To get the most out of your sales coaching sessions, it’s important to be prepared and to implement the feedback and strategies provided by your coach. Here are our recommendations for maximizing your relationship with your sales coach.

Preparing for Coaching Sessions

Before each coaching session, take some time to prepare. Review your goals and the progress you’ve made since your last session. Be ready to discuss any challenges you’ve encountered and any successes you’ve had. Consider bringing a list of questions or topics you’d like to cover during the session.

During the session, be open and honest with your coach. Share your thoughts and feelings, and be willing to receive feedback. Take notes on the advice and strategies provided by your coach, and ask for clarification if needed.

Implementing Feedback and Strategies

After each coaching session, take time to reflect on what you’ve learned and how you can apply it to your sales practice. Create an action plan with specific steps you can take to implement the feedback and strategies provided by your coach. Set goals and deadlines for yourself, and hold yourself accountable for making progress.

Be willing to try new approaches and take risks. Remember that change takes time, and be patient with yourself as you work to improve your skills. Celebrate your successes along the way, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional support or guidance from your coach if needed.

By preparing for coaching sessions and implementing the feedback and strategies provided by your coach, you can maximize the benefits of your coaching relationship and achieve your sales goals.

More from Mor: What Makes a *Great* Sales Coach?

“A good sales coach tells you what to do. A GREAT sales coach teaches you how to think.

A great sales coach doesn’t spoon feed you the answers. (You’ll never learn that way.) They force you to think for yourself and execute on those thoughts. Then they can help you course correct.

This is the way you build self confidence and can take massive action.”

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