Professional Sales Coaching Vs. Training: What’s The Difference?

When sales leaders are looking to generate sales, they inevitably look to sales training in order to get their team in good selling shape. But, even today, a lot of managers still don’t quite understand the difference between training and professional sales coaching. While the two can be interchanged, the benefits provided by coaching are unbeatable.

There’s no doubt that quality sales management training is vital to the success of any sales team. For this reason, leaders can look at sales team coaching as excessive and unnecessary to their goals if they feel that their training is to a high standard. Training can, of course, lead to a phenomenal increase in net sales per employee of 50%. Yet studies have shown that if no follow-up professional sales coaching is offered in the wake of a training program, then up to nearly 90% of knowledge gained from such training will not be properly utilised. That means that nearly 90% of the money that your organisation is spending on such training could be contributing to absolutely nothing. Coaching can help your sales team retain the knowledge from a training programme by encouraging staff members to use the newly learned behaviours and knowledge, and by also improving overall performance. Additionally, this will ensure your training money is not wasted. A lot of business can avoid introducing coaching because they view it as unnecessary or because it is seen as a thing that is purely for businesses that are in trouble. Neither of these claims are actually true.

More and more businesses across the world are releasing the incredibly importance and potentially transformative role of coaching. Research and data analysts have demonstrated in studies that the amount of sales reps meeting sales quotas who have also received sales coaching is 94%. So why on earth are so many sales leaders still ignoring the clear benefits of coaching? Well, there are a number of reasons that could contribute to this problem. Firstly, some leaders just really struggle with coaching sales people. This could be because they do not have much experience in this field and don’t feel comfortable and confident enough to deal with this scenario. It is absolutely fine if your sales leaders are in this category – everyone can struggle when it comes to coaching and this is a specialised role that should be performed by an experienced coach. After all, coaching and leading are two connected, yet separate, disciplines. On the other hand, however, a lack of coaching could be due to leaders just not having the time to be able to ensure that the necessary coaching required to be successful is actually in place.

Instead of having a dedicated coaching position within your organisation, it can be far more effective to find a third-party coach instead. Professional sales coaching from outside of your organisation can allow for an honest appraisal of your sales teams. So in the argument of coaching versus training, both are equally important. But all too often, there is an under-investment in coaching. Plug this gap and the impact will be easily measurable.

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