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What Keeps Sales Managers from Coaching?

What prevents effective sales coaching? Brian Trautschold shares the main challenges sales leaders face.

"Two key flaws in the coaching-as-a-silver-bullet thing: Some managers don’t have time. Some aren't good at it." Lauren Bailey via Selling Power.

In this excerpt from The Winner's Guide to Effective Sales Coaching, Brian Trautschold profiles the key obstacles to effective sales coaching.

The Obstacles to Effective Sales Coaching

In its 2016 report, the Sales Executive Council discovered that top-end coaching led to a 7 percent uplift in sales numbers. The bad news: achieving ‘top-end’ coaching required a massive time investment. Three hours of coaching. Per rep. Per month.

As worked out by Factor 8 President Lauren Bailey, that amounts to 36 coaching hours per month for a 12-person team – essentially 25 percent of the manager’s time. The odds that a typical sales organization implements and adheres to the time commitment: Highly unlikely. “I’ve never seen a team pull this off for longer than two months.” Bailey affirms. “Ever.”

Aside from time investment, there’s another looming challenge plaguing the industry: many sales managers are not trained to coach their reps effectively. In 2016, the Sales Executive Council found that coaching was the #1 worst sales management skill. Two of the top three challenges in the Bridge Group's latest Sales Development Metrics and Compensation Benchmark Reports (2014 and 2016) were 'Productivity/Performance' and 'Coaching/Development'.

sales coaching

Source: ForEntrepreneurs.

Given these stats, it’s no wonder that an overwhelming 77% of firms don’t provide adequate coaching to their salespeople, per a recent study by the Sales Management Association.

And yet, the American Society for Training and Development has reported that U.S. companies still spend $20 billion a year on sales training, despite dubious returns on investment. Another report from ES Research Group found that 90% of all corporate sales training programs yielded only a 90-to-120-day increase in sales productivity before they returned to pre-training levels. Other studies showed uplift to last as little as a six-weeks.

Worst of all: Many sales managers report nearly double the coaching time their reps report. Or as Bailey rephrases it - even when managers think they are coaching, their reps may feel otherwise

Can Technology Save Sales Coaching?

According to a 2017 study published by Velocify and AA-ISP, sales coaching technology is the number one longer-term technology investment for inside sales organizations.

sales coaching technology

Source: Velocify.

In his opening presentation for the 2017 AA-ISP Leadership Summit, Velocify Vice-President of Marketing Matt Reid affirmed the reports findings. "Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtualization will continue to grow in impact and importance - transforming sales organizations at an exponential rate." Reid stated.

Indeed, the sales coaching technology space is already exploding. Emerging vendors like LearnCore, ExecVision,, and Ambition now grant sales teams instant access to learning management and training, recording and analytics for calls and meetings, real-time activity and efficiency metrics, and performance trends

The Winner's Guide to Sales Coaching

Companies need elite sales coaches more than ever. The Winner's Guide to Effective Sales Coaching sets forth everything companies need to reach the next level. 

sales coaching playbook

Visit the Academy Page to download the Winner's Guide and learn: the ROI of effective sales coaching, actionable coaching obstacles for today's sales managers, core coaching strategies and principles for modern teams, and our sales coaching playbook here at Ambition.

The Sales Coaching Experts

The Winner's Guide to Effective Sales Coaching features world-class insights from six featured experts: Jason R. Jordan. Mike Weinberg. John Barrows. Trish Bertuzzi. Lauren Bailey. Mike Kunkle. Tamara Schenk. â€‹Get to know them better below.

Featured Expert: Lauren Bailey. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

Sales Coaching

Featured Expert: John Barrows. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

Sales Coaching

Featured Expert: Trish Bertuzzi. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

sales coaching consultant

Featured Expert: Jason R. Jordan. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

sales coaching expert

Featured Expert: Mike Kunkle. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

sales coaching

Featured Expert: Tamara Schenk. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

coaching cso insights

Featured Expert: Mike Weinberg. WebsiteLinkedInTwitter.

new sales coach

Ambition: The Visual Sales Management Platform

Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization).  See why Salesforce clients like Wayfair, Outreach, Velocify and more use Ambition to assess and motivate their teams with real-time data analytics 

sales coaching platform

Contact us to schedule a demo of Ambition for your sales force today.

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About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.

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