As a sales coach, you have an opportunity to give and receive support and grow as an individual. Use this outline to help you get good coaching training. The outline defines both roles of coach and “coachee.”
I believe that a peer-to-peer coaching model more positively impacts sales growth than a top-down management structure. This means that people take turns coaching and be coached. Participants engage in open communication, listening, and discovery. And if you have a Sales PlayBook, use it as a driver of this process.
The Coaching Process
As a coach, you build relationships with your team and a big part of your coaching training is learning when to challenge and when to support others. Thus, you discover your preferred coaching style, analyze ways to increase trust, and encourage people to take initiative.
Practice the skills of effective communications under difficult circumstances. Learn what to do when you “get stuck” in the coaching process and how to handle the more difficult and challenging situations. A coach should bring up topics that might enable a team member to move to the next level of growth and development.
The coach typically meets with their team of coachees as a group once a week but may also occasionally meet with them individually. The primary responsibility of the coach is to help their teammates execute best practices. Learning how to facilitate these interactions is a key part of sales coaching training.
Each coach commits to:
- Ensuring that notes are posted in the company Sales PlayBook (or equivalent) after each coaching discussion.
- Meeting with your own coach on a monthly basis (each coach also has a coach).
Coaching should be a nurturing and empowering process for the coach and the person being coached. The coachee commits to meeting on a weekly basis with their coach and brings topics for discussion. Of course, the coach can also introduce topics of his or her own.
Coach and Coachee Commit to:
- Completing and documenting a sales action plan on a monthly basis.
- Completing and documenting weekly goals in support of the monthly plan.
- Applying what’s been learned and agreed to in the coaching sessions.
Coaching Training Part 1: The Coaching Meeting
Meeting attendees prepare for and participate in coaching conversations. They provide each other with progress on agreements made, and the coach holds the coachees accountable to executing the sales plan and associated goals.
Here are some examples of a coaching discussion:
- The coach and coachee reference notes from prior coaching meeting.
- Next, the coach and coachees discuss execution of monthly sales plans or work on developing new ones.
- Then, the coach and coachees commit to specific goals they will achieve before the next meeting.
- The coach and coachee discuss barriers and challenges and brainstorm potential solutions.
- One or more coachees provide an issue he or she wants coaching on, such as identifying new targets or finding ways to reach a known target.
- Discuss background on the issue.
- Ask and answer clarifying questions.
- Give and receive coaching.
- Provide feedback to each other, including specific follow-up actions each person commits to and provide updates, as agreed.
The coach enters notes in a Coaching Journal for themselves as well as for their review with their own coach. Your Sales PlayBook is a great place for the Coaching Journal! Again, this is a vital part of sales coaching training.
Coaching Training Part 2: The PLAYBACK Coaching Process
If you want to coach effectively, remember this simple tool: PLAYBACK.
Each letter of this acronym stands for a word that represents the steps you can use as a guide to successful coaching:
P – Permission to coach.
Before beginning the coaching dialog, ask permission. It might sound something like, “would it be OK to offer you some coaching?”
L – Listen to the other person.
Listen carefully and verify that the coachee is genuinely open for coaching.
A – Ask what they think.
For example, “I’d like to get your thoughts on how you did on that sales call.” Ask if they’d like to cover something about this issue.
Y – Your desired purpose.
Give a purpose for your coaching and get their agreement to be coached on it.
B – Back to them and their desired purpose.
Find out if they have a purpose in mind. For example, “I’d like to learn how to discuss pricing more effectively with new prospects.”
A – Ask clarifying questions.
For example, “how do you typically discuss pricing?”
C – Coach.
Coach away after you’ve received permission, identified the specific areas for coaching, and understood their issue.
K – Key takeaways and agreements.
Agree on key follow up actions both of you will take between coaching sessions.
The PLAYBACK acronym has been a great help in my own coaching training.
Coaching the Coaches is the Final Part of Coaching Training
Every coach needs coaching, typically in a group setting. Use the same coaching training in this article to help you if you are a coach of coaches.
Include Certification in Your Coaching Training
“Coachees” should survey each coach and vice versa.
Certificates of completion are given to each person (coach and coachee) who has successfully completed the program. Success is based on:
- Peer reviews
- Survey results
- Key indicators such as revenue, profit, pipeline activity, lead generation, lead to opportunity ratios, and opportunity to closed business ratios.
What ideas do you have for sales coaching training?