When it comes to coaching salespeople, there are both good and bad questions that sales managers can ask to get the conversation started. Here are some examples:
Bad: How did it go?
Better: How did the call end?
Bad: How was your week?
Better: How many new opportunities did you add to the pipeline?
Bad: What have you closed?
Better: What opportunities can I help you move forward?
Bad: What do you have going on?
Better: What can I help you with?
And then there's this from the salesperson you're coaching: "I'm all set - I'm good"
Bad: Great - talk with you later!
Better: Well, that's not consistent with what the numbers say...so if I could, what could I help you with?
The biggest difference between the bad and good questions is clarity. Broad strokes are for painting. Clear, concise, concrete questions are required to begin a sales coaching conversation.
By the way, I'll be conducting sessions on sales coaching at EcSell Institute's Sales Management Coaching Summit on April 7 in Scottsdale Arizona, where the Science and Art come together to help you become better at coaching. I believe there are still some seats available.