Sales Coaching is Like Baseball - How do You Rate?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Aug 03, 2010 @ 08:08 AM

Pujols 2Where are you when it comes to the all important topic of Sales Coaching?

I'm in the middle of training several sales management teams on the finer points of coaching.

What's always fascinating for me is the transition that these teams go through on their way from point A to point B.


They start with: "I coach my salespeople all the time."

Then I hear: "Well, I don't coach them quite as often as you say we should."

And then: "Oh, that's much more often than I do it now.  I don't have time for that."

Then: "Wow, if I coached that frequently it would have quite the impact!"


They start with: "When I do coach, I'm pretty good at it."

Then I hear: "That's exactly how I coach!"

And then: "Well, I don't go that far."

Then: "That's much deeper and wider than I go."

Also: "I never get to those kinds of outcomes with my salespeople."

Finally: "If I could coach like that and do it that frequently, all of my salespeople would be awesome!"

Role Playing:

They start with:  "Those are how my coaching role plays sound."

Then I hear: "Well, I never have my salespeople play the prospect's part."

And then: "My role plays don't last 20 minutes."

Also: "I can't get them off price and onto the issues that really matter like you do."

Finally: "You do that so easily.  How can I learn to do that?"

Sales Coaching is like baseball. 

"Oh, I played baseball."

Really?  Whiffle Ball in the back yard? Sandlot?  Little League?  Babe Ruth? High School? American Legion? College? Cape Cod League?  Independent League? First Round Draft Pick?  Signed by a Major League Team?  High Minors? Cup of Coffee in the Bigs?  Utility Player on a Major League Team?  Every Day Player?  All Star? MVP?  Hall of Fame?

When it comes to coaching, most sales managers have done the baseball equivalent of Sandlot - they messed around at it and had some fun.

I want the sales management teams I work with to perform the baseball equivalent of at least All Star.  They excel at it every day and have a major impact on their team's ability to win.

Where are you or your sales managers when it comes to the all important topic of Sales Coaching?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, sales management functions

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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