6 Benefits of Coaching in Sales (And Why It Should Be a Priority)

5 Jun 23

These 6 critical benefits of coaching present a compelling case for your organization to invest and develop a coaching culture in management.

Why do some sales managers hesitate to coach their teams? What's stopping them from embracing a practice that can transform sales performance? It all comes down to their approach. Shifting from telling to coaching can bring numerous benefits for both individuals and the team. Let's explore why managers avoid coaching and six reasons why sales coaching is so important.

Why Managers Avoid Coaching

Coaching is crucial to effective sales management, yet many managers shy away from this important responsibility. Understanding the reasons behind this reluctance can help organizations address the barriers and create a culture of coaching that drives sales team performance.

Here are four common reasons managers avoid coaching and how organizations can overcome them.

#1 They Don't Feel They Have the Time

One of the primary reasons managers avoid coaching is the perception that it requires a significant time commitment. With multiple responsibilities, managers may feel overwhelmed and prioritize other tasks over coaching. However, it is essential to recognize that coaching is an investment that yields long-term benefits. Although this may require more of the manager’s time as they develop coaching skills, in the long run it will save them time based on developing a more empowered sales team.

#2 They Don't Know How to Coach

Coaching is a skill that not all managers naturally possess or have been trained in. They may feel uncertain about approaching coaching conversations, providing constructive feedback, or developing action plans with their team members.

Organizations can provide comprehensive training programs to address this challenge by equipping managers with the necessary coaching techniques and frameworks. Managers will gain confidence and develop the skills needed to effectively guide their sales teams by building their coaching capabilities.

#3 They Aren't Sure What Skills to Coach

Managers may hesitate to coach because they are unsure which specific skills or areas to focus on. They might feel overwhelmed by the diverse range of competencies their sales team members need to excel in.

To overcome this obstacle, organizations can establish clear competency models that outline the key skills and behaviors required for success. These models can guide managers, enabling them to identify and prioritize the areas for improvement and provide targeted coaching support to their team members.

#4 No Consistent Coaching Process

Managers may find it challenging to approach coaching consistently without a structured coaching process. They might lack a framework or coaching tools to facilitate effective conversations.

Organizations can address this issue by implementing a standardized coaching process that provides a clear roadmap for managers to follow. This process can include goal setting, observation, feedback, action planning, and follow-up. By establishing a consistent coaching process, managers can feel more empowered and equipped to coach their team members regularly.

6 Benefits of Sales Coaching

Sales coaching is a transformative practice that can revolutionize sales teams' performance and sales managers' effectiveness. Managers can unlock many benefits that drive individual and team success by shifting from a directive approach to a coaching mindset.

Here are six key advantages of sales coaching that highlight why organizations should prioritize training their managers to become more effective coaches.

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#1 Creates Leverage

Sales managers typically have 3 to 10 direct reports. If they focus on telling them what to do, managers put themselves in a situation where their sales reps repeatedly look to them for answers. Over time, the sales manager becomes a "chief problem solver" instead of a sales enabler. This is a poor use of the manager's time and does little to help the sales rep build their skills and confidence.

In sharp contrast, coaching (instead of telling) teaches sales professionals to solve their problems by increasing their selling skills and knowledge. Over time, this results in a highly empowered team and creates 3x to 10x leverage, depending on the size of the team. It also allows the sales manager to focus on more strategic initiatives instead of running from problem to problem.

#2 Improves Selling Skills

Unlike sales training that focuses on the general development needs of the sales team, sales coaching is highly personalized and targets specific selling skills (skills coaching) for each sales team member. In the case of a new hire, targeted skill areas could include prospecting and call planning skills. For a more advanced rep, targeted skills could include presenting value and negotiation. The key point is that managers can work with each team member on a focused plan to improve specific skills.

Ideally, this would begin with a co-assessment of skills so that the coaching plan is collaborative and there is an agreement (creates buy-in) in the targeted skill areas. As skills improve, the plans can be updated (we recommend quarterly) to target other areas for improvement.

#3 Increases Win Rates

Another key benefit of sales coaching is that it can increase win rates by focusing on specific opportunities in the sales pipeline (opportunity coaching). This generally plays to sales managers' strengths, especially if the sales manager was promoted from the sales ranks and has a strong track record of closing business.

However, just as with skills coaching, the manager must avoid the temptation to tell the sales reps what to do. Instead, they should inquire about specific opportunities in the pipeline and ask a series of questions that help the sales professional think through the actions required to advance and eventually close the opportunity.

#4 Accelerates New-Hire Ramp-Up Time

Generally, new sales reps attend an onboarding program that includes a component on selling skills. While the sales training component is usually very good, sales reps typically leave the onboarding program on "overload" since they also learned about their role, performance expectations, industry, competitive landscape, and the products/solutions they will be selling.

To build on the selling skills component, sales managers should make the coaching of new hires a top priority. This will allow immediate reinforcement of the key skills they learned in the onboarding program. Unfortunately, this point gets lost on many sales managers, and newly hired sales reps are often left to figure things out on their own.

#5 Helps Sales Managers Grow & Develop

While we typically focus on the benefits coaching provides to the sales reps, it also profoundly impacts the manager. Managers who become great coaches take pride in their team's accomplishments and use this as a building block to becoming better sales leaders. This represents a key transformation in their mindset, especially if they were used to receiving recognition as a top performer (i.e., sales star).

Additionally, since the sales managers are no longer jumping from problem to problem, they can focus on how they can lead their teams to even greater success. This includes proactively addressing issues, communicating the sales vision, and motivating and inspiring their sales teams.

#6 Improves Sales Results

In our Sales Management Research Report, we found that sales managers at high-impact organizations (sales organizations where over 75% of sales reps achieve quota) spend significantly more time coaching than sales managers at average (25% - 75% achieve quota) and low (less than 25% achieve quota) performing organizations.

These benefits present a compelling case for sales organizations to develop a sales coaching culture and invest in sales coaching. While it takes time and patience, it will result in the development of more effective sales managers and more empowered sales teams.


Coaching is a vital component of successful sales management that should not be overlooked. Organizations can create a culture that prioritizes coaching and drives sales team performance by understanding and addressing the common challenges managers face regarding coaching.

Managers often avoid coaching because they feel they don't have the time, lack the necessary coaching skills, are unsure about which skills to focus on, or lack a consistent coaching process. However, these obstacles can be mitigated through efficient time management, comprehensive training programs, clear competency models, and a structured coaching process.

The benefits of sales coaching are substantial. It creates leverage by empowering sales professionals to solve their problems, improves selling skills through personalized and targeted coaching plans, increases win rates by focusing on specific opportunities, accelerates new-hire ramp-up time through immediate feedback on key selling skills, helps sales managers grow and develop as effective leaders, and ultimately improves overall sales results.

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