Coach to Performance

Your sales managers work exceptionally hard to move business forward. All things considered, the sales results are good, but somewhere along the way, you’ve lost a few good managers to burnout, you’ve lost some good reps who fell through the cracks and consequently you know that business and customers have suffered.

In the increased pace of change, complexity and pressure to perform, we’ve lost a few really important parts of selling that generate job satisfaction, improve relationships with customers and enhance the business.

Put simply, we’ve lost the ability to coach.

According to CSO Insights “Managers overworked and Underwhelmed”, sales managers spend very little time coaching and very rarely receive training on how to coach [data]. Quite often, good sales reps are promoted into sales management – a role requiring vastly different skills than an individual contributor. And yet, they aren’t typically given all of the resources they need to be successful.

In the healthcare environment, we find managers are quite often trying to coach and manage the team virtually as the team is geographically dispersed. Research supports, for the greatest impact, integration of dynamic sales coaching it key. (**Source: CSO Insights – Sales enablement, 2018). Yet managers face numerous constraints, from cost of sale to limited technology enablement. Then add in administrative burden, internal plan and review meetings and firefighting further reducing the manager’s ability to focus on coaching with their team.

Let’s say we do find some time to coach consistently, very quickly the question becomes, “what exactly do we coach *on*?” and then, “How exactly should I coach” and “Whom should I coach?”.

The challenge is that, up until recently, getting good data has been nearly impossible on identifying:

  • The critical behaviors to which we should coach
  • The reps with whom I should spend time coaching; and
  • The coaching methods that generate the desired results

Sales Managers are hard pressed on time to give Reps Coaching.


49.2% of sales managers spend less than 60 minutes per week coaching to specific leads and opportunities.


66.1% spend less than 60 minutes per week coaching to skills and behaviors.**

Sales Coaching Approach vs. Win Rate

Study’s average win rate: 49.5%

(Source: CSO Insights – 4th Annual Sales Enablement Report 2018)

With the data supporting the fact that good coaching impacts win rates, it’s unfortunate that in so many sales organizations, the data points are only focused on things traditionally easy to measure – activity, sales results and various other lagging indicators – or in other words, results of good behaviors.

The Shift is from Activity to Behavior

Unfortunately, the reality is that, on average, sales performance has been declining (**Source: CSO Insights, World Class Sales Practices Report, 2017).

What this all means is that, more than ever, sales managers need exceptionally precise, timely and simple detail into how to optimize the limited coaching time they have.

Up until now, it has been very challenging to get good behavioral data and serve it up to managers on the fly. With the increase and improvement of mobile computing, cloud-based solutions and increase in the use and forms of A.I., we now have the potential to accomplish this with relative ease.

Imagine a world where these capabilities could be delivered to your managers on their cell phone and for instance, accessed between calls with a rep, enabling very-focused, efficient and consistent coaching conversations.

Then take this data, correlate it to both the performance of the rep and the sales manager and create a culture of high-performance coaching based on the development of your own best practices or perhaps at a minimum, optimize the use of an existing sales methodology.

This requires that the coaching take place within a larger framework that pulls together corporate objectives down to measurable, coachable behaviors, leverages sales methodologies for common language and process and also trains managers on the fundamental skills of having coaching conversations.


Miller Heiman Professional Sales Coaching