It’s well known that sales coaching can have a positive effect on the results a sales team garners. However, you have two different options when it comes to delivering on that coaching need. Either the management team can offer one-on-one coaching sessions in-house, or it can look outside the organization to outsource a sales coach to work one-on-one with each sales person. You’ll see below why the latter could be an advantageous option for your company.
1. Open Communication
In order to have effective coaching, you must maintain an open line of communication between client and coach. If the sales person feels uncomfortable opening up to the coach, the results will not be as positive and the effectiveness of making improvements will diminish. This often happens when an internal manager and sales person are paired together for coaching, as the sales rep may not want to divulge all his vulnerabilities to that in-house manager.
When you provide external sales coaching, the lines of communication typically open up because there is no fear of retribution or competitive drive. It also helps that there’s usually a confidential agreement signed between coach and client to keep everyone honest and willing to open up freely.
2. Internal Exploration
More challenges exist when you have a sales manager providing sales coaching, as a sales manager and a sales person will usually share the same goals – generate more business, close more deals, etc. This share-goal element makes it difficult for the sales manager to be objective throughout the duration of the coaching session.
For example, it natural for a sales managers to often feel the need to correct the sales person when they are doing something wrong. And this desire can easily and frequently arise during a coaching session. But it’s important to hold back on the direction and instead let the sales person use self-reflection to learn what’s the best course of action. With the specter of the chain of command looming over their heads, this can be challenging when an internal manager is providing coaching.
3. Coaching Expertise
Most sales managers have several areas of knowledge they are proficient in, mostly due to many years of experience in managing sales teams. They also typically possess deep knowledge of the products, policies and processes of the company.
However, even though there knowledge and experience is likely impressive, it can be very possible that they may not have a lot of knowledge and experience in the field of sales coaching. Coaching is a skill and this may be one that might not have been taught or developed by the sales manager.
To perform powerful and productive coaching, there can be elements of discovery, active listening, brainstorming, action planning, progress tracking, etc. This can be difficult for someone that has not deep knowledge about sales coaching. Even is a sales manager has been trained on coaching, they still might not get in enough practice in that area to become really effective in breaking into the minds of the people he or she is coaching.
Going External for a Sales Coach
When you look at those three factor, you can see how the utilization of an external sales coach can have some positive benefits. By having someone that is an expert in coaching with that being all they do, and having the ability to bring down the walls around a sales person and establish very powerful and productive discussions, you can create a coaching program that is better positioned for noticeable performance improvements.