Tim Chapman SalesShaker Speaker and Author

Sales coaching: What can we learn from the world of sport?

Great sales coaching positively impacts individual, team and organisational sales performance. As experienced sales professionals this is a statement we could probably all agree on and then find plenty of research to provide empirical evidence. However, our experience and research of over 1000 salespeople and coaches from business and sport, suggests is that sales coaching is not great.

Our experience of being coached, coaching and working with organisations to improve sales performance is that the reality of sales coaching can be average or poor, programmatic not cultural and infrequent in today’s results driven and time poor business world. As a result, the impact of coaching on performance can be marginal or in some cases negative. You can probably point to a time where you received some poor coaching that destroyed your motivation and confidence or when your boss returned from a development programme and said let’s do some coaching!

Company budgets and coaching

Organisations invest heavily in their sales teams with recruitment, salaries, bonuses and training. Companies in the US alone spent $2.6B (USD) on sales training in 2018, hoping that these programmes set people up and miraculously they will come back to work adopting all of their learnings and new habits. In contrast more than 76% of companies say the amount of coaching provided by their managers is too little according to The Sales Management Association. Would the owner of a sports team invest heavily on the team in isolation and then not invest in coaching?

This question led us to explore what we could learn for the world of sports and apply in the world of sales. How is it that in the world of sport, feedback and continual improvement is the norm for both the coach and player? Indeed feedback is proactively sought by many and yet we know this not to be true in the world of sales. Sport struck a chord in us in that there is an innate desire in those who enter this world to be better than their competitors, win more, be faster, open themselves up to criticism, operate in culture of public judgement and continuous improvement, even if a world record is broken there is a new target to achieve. In sport you are never the finished article, whereas in sales we have recognised this isn't always the case.

We realised very early on that we could learn many lessons, coaching approaches and best practices from sports professionals and translate this into sales coaching. Sports and sales have much in common - an individual and team dynamic, competitive and results driven and many of the beliefs and behaviours of high performing salespeople mirror those of sports.

Today's Reality

Looking at the reality of sales coaching today, Coaching Winning Sales Teams explores the how, what and why of sales coaching. Through extensive research into elite coaches in the world of business and sports the authors analyse the mindset, skills and behaviours required to be a top sales coach. Using the latest thinking in neuroleadership and psychology, the book outlines the nine key behaviours of a great coach and provides a range of practical sales coaching models, tools and techniques which can be easily integrated into a sales leaders every-day pressurised role.

"Don't demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well."

- Epictetus, The Enchiridion

Fale connosco. Vença connosco.

Até lá, venda com valor!

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02 Comments on this post

  • commentor at SalesShaker 2022
    Arista Williamson
    19th Mar 2022 Reply

    I loved watching and hearing Tim speak at SalesShaker, I wish he was on for longer!

  • commentor at SalesShaker 2021
    Alex Jemmi
    10th Dec 2021 Reply

    Very insightful book and a great speaker - Can't wait for the next SalesShaker event.

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