coaching The good competitors in your space are coming after you. They think about you constantly and they are finding ways to take the business from you.

So what can you do quickly to ward off the competition and get better sales results?

It can be as simple as coaching your sales people.

Forget all the excuses: I don’t have time, They don’t want me to ride with them, They’re all over the country, They’re experienced sales people — they don’t need me to coach, I don’t want to take time away from selling and many more.

If you happen to be exceeding sales quotas by not coaching, good for you and all of the other sales managers out there would like to learn your secret sauce (me included!).

Because if you don’t coach, you can expect the same results you’ve been getting.  It takes action to drive sales and improved results.

Just asking your reps to sell more isn’t going to cut it.

Coaching is one of the best ways to make transitions that result in positive outcomes.

Since you may not be coaching, or coaching often enough, you may be hesitant or wonder how to start the conversation for it to be productive and not turn into a defensive or punitive experience.

Planning the coaching session is very much like modeling your preparation for a sales conversation.  Determine the objective of the conversation and prepare several opening questions.

These 20 Thought Starter Coaching Questions help launch an effective and efficient coaching conversation:

  1. What’s your vision of the ideal? What can you do in the next 30 days to move in that direction?
  2. What is one thing you could start, stop, or continue doing in the next 24 hours that will get you closer to your goal?
  3. What would have you jump out of bed in the morning excited about the day ahead of you?
  4. What would you like to be most proud of a year from now?
  5. What would be your one breakthrough goal that you can conceive of but do NOT believe you can achieve?
  6. What is getting in the way of making you successful?
  7. What are your aspirations for yourself in our organization?
  8. Talk to me about your pipeline/what opportunities should you be pursuing?
  9. What are the biggest obstacles to advancing sales and closing more deals?
  10. What do you think you do best to meet your goals? What areas if improved would help you meet goals easier and or sooner?
  11. Who is your toughest competitor — and what are they doing right?
  12. What are the top reasons a lead doesn’t close?
  13. What are you trying to achieve/ what would it mean to if you could achieve this?
  14. What are your short-term and daily activity goals?
  15. What stands in the way of achieving your goals?
  16. What are the top three things that you’ll need to make your number this quarter/year?
  17. In your typical week, what takes you away from sales opportunities?
  18. What else do you spend time on, how is your time divided?
  19. How can I, as your manager help you put a plan together to better utilize the resources available?
  20. What are you willing to commit to doing/trying/changing and by when?

Bonus Question

21. When you think of success, what does it look like?

Let me know how your coaching session goes and please – add any of your great questions to this list.

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