Why most salespeople wouldn’t pay $1/hour for coaching from their manager?
“Most salespeople would not even pay 1 usd/h for sales coaching from their manager,” says Pattie Grimm (She/Her), ex-Senior Director Sales Enablement Center of Excellence at VMware. Her opinion is supported by research from Harvard Business Review.
But coaching is not just about spending time with reps. As Phil Gerbyshak, Sales Enablement Consultant at BambooHR, emphasizes, managers need to prioritize coaching and prepare for each session as if it were a customer call. “You have to prepare for each of them as you would for a customer call because, for your reps, it’s a more important meeting than any of their customer calls. You have to prioritize coaching, then prepare, and then do it right.”
Kieran Smith, Sr. Revenue Enablement Manager, emphasizes that sales coaching should not be confused with feedback. “You do not rise to the occasion,” he explains. “You fall back to the level of your training.” This means that consistent and effective coaching delivered by sales leaders is essential for building a strong sales team.
Additionally, “managers often think salespeople are motivated by money, but they do not ask them what they need the money for or whether their team members just need more respect and appreciation,” says Jessica Hendricks, Global Director of Sales Enablement at Diligent. “The biggest skills gaps of sales managers are EQ skills.”
Sarah Filipiak 💚, Head of Revenue Enablement at Bamboo Rose, also emphasizes the importance of measuring qualitative behavior in addition to sales data. “Sales leaders often only coach to quota,” she notes. “They end up grinding on their ICs to the point where we start to churn people out of the organization.”
How do you start creating the right coaching culture? Bill Parry, former Director of sales enablement at Privitar, likes to pick the number 3 sales leader with the right attitude and coach only him/her to elevate their skills and become the number one coach so others start asking: how did you achieve that?” When other sales leaders see the success of the coached individual, they will become open to mastering sales coaching and that builds a learning culture as a result.
“A learning culture is about the buy-in of leaders.” Adds Benjamin Roach, Global sales operations manager at Ardoq.
When sales leaders prioritize coaching, it sets the tone for the rest of the revenue organization to follow suit.