If Your Sales Coaching Process Doesn’t Involve Follow-Ups, You’re Doing It All Wrong

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Part 5 Overview:

  • Commitments vs. Sales Coaching Conversations
  • Coaching vs. Conversations
  • When hiring salespeople, it’s important to find ones who are excited about their work. It is not enough just to tolerate them.
  • It’s important to use follow-up meetings with your reps to learn what they do best and how you can help them grow.
  • The Coachability Sales Quadrants
  • There are 8 types of salespeople in every B2B team. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • If the sales coaching process is what drives outcomes, then it would make sense to look at how process can be improved.
  • When you are coaching, time should be spent on the Quadrants in this order: ImprovementPersonal Development, Tactical Coaching and Strategic Planning.
  • The article talks about how to be a successful salesperson by developing your own model.
  • 1) A lot of time and energy will be spent on the sales coaching process, not just your results. 2) There will be a focus on performance metrics that affect business goals 3) You’ll get feedback from someone who’s seen it all before 4)

1) Commitments vs. Sales Coaching Conversations

One study found that 48.2% of sales reps said they do not receive coaching, even though it is a common practice for managers.

82.1% of sales managers claim to provide coaching for their reps, which is a huge difference than the rate at which they actually do so.

Coaching happens when leaders and reps move past conversations and make commitments to change.  Too often what leaders think is great coaching, a rep perceives as nothing more than a suggestion.

Why coaching 1:1s need to include commitments

No commitment, no change.

I was speaking with a high-performing rep of a team that recently started coaching program.  He said the biggest change for him is having someone to turn to when he’s struggling.

“Before, we would have one on ones and I’d be able to talk with my leader. They would suggest things for me to do and sometimes I did them better than others. The conversations were good but they didn’t make any difference in the end.”

I was really motivated to make a change after I signed up for coaching. It made me feel like I had more responsibility and that it would be my own fault if things didn’t go well.

The commitment to personal development made all the difference. I now know what she expects of me in these meetings.

2) Leverage Sales Coaching vs. Conversations

The study teaches us a lot of lessons.

  • Hiring new salespeople is getting more and more difficult. The incoming generation of sales people really wants coaching.
  • Most salespeople don’t understand when their boss is giving them feedback, so they often think it’s a reprimand.
  • 80% of the time, when people think they are getting coaching from me, they actually take my advice and follow through with their commitments.

Reps need to know when sales coaching process begins and high-level sales coaching conversations end

Every salesperson needs to understand their commitment to change.

Once they commit, 80% of the time people will keep it.

So what’s in a commitment?

The following are the commitments we made: Article: When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough sales motivation. There was no clear job description for this position but it is now my responsibility to interview candidates and find a balance between what they want from their career as well as aligning those goals with our company’s needs.

  • WHAT is going to change in the sales coaching process.
  • HOW it will be measured.
  • WHEN it will be reviewed and completed.

A one-to-one meeting should create that moment where the person sees a fork in the road, and they choose to take it.

It’s important to have a discussion about when this commitment will be reviewed and measured.

Sales goals vs. coaching goals

One of the main differences between a coaching goal and sales goals is that only the person who has to say “yes†can be involved in giving approval.  This is different from when you have other people, like your boss or co-workers, approving what you’re doing.

Sales goals require a customer to make the decision. They have to buy.

The coach and the salesperson set goals together. The rep is responsible for ensuring the success of these goals, but they are still guided by their coach.

The first part of every coaching session should be to review the goals that have been established.

The cycle of change seems to be: commit, execute, follow up and repeat.

3) Salespeople Remain Where They Are Not Tolerated, But Are Celebrated

Great leaders use meetings as a way to celebrate and thank their employees.

Before you meet with the salesperson, find out if they achieved their goal. If so, understand what it took for them to make that change and listen to how hard it was for them.

One of the best ways to motivate a salesperson is with unexpected rewards. The more you reward reps that are achieving their coaching goals, the better they will perform.

Simple ways to motivate reps are through shout-outs, commendations, discretionary awards and primo leads.

But don’t just check the box and thank them. Make sure you appreciate their efforts to make a difference.

4) Utilize Follow-Up Meetings to Assess Your Representative’s Strengths

Your follow-up meeting with the salesperson is very important. It’s when you will find out how they reacted to your feedback and whether or not they are committed to change.

Calibrate impact

It’s important to set a goal for the reps that they can measure. The change should result in something measurable at some point during their sales coaching process.

There are four key points in the sales coaching process that can be used to generate more business.

These four things are the key to growth: 1. Innovation, 2. Participation in markets with high potential for profitable returns 3. Creating new products 4.

  • Number of new opportunities
  • Revenue per customer
  • Win rate
  • Sales cycle time

If the coach is achieving his or her goal, it’s important to evaluate if that change has led to an improvement in the sales coaching process.

If I see no change in one of these metrics, it means that the coaching did not work.

Calibrate coachability

The more specific the coaching goal, the better. If a rep doesn’t want to improve and they don’t meet their goals, then you know that it wasn’t worth your time.

This way, every coaching goal can help you measure whether the rep responded to your feedback. If they keep their commitment after making it, then they get a positive score. But if not keeping their commitment is done by them, then that would be negative.

5) The Coachability Sales Quadrants

In Part 3 of this series, we’ll talk about how to measure the strength of a sales coaching process. We can also use history and evaluation in order to see if someone is willing or not for change.

The +- system helps you to quickly see how coachable a rep is.

As in the earlier quadrant, this graph shows each rep’s year-to-date progress to their goal.  If they are above the line, then it means that they have beaten their goal and if you’re below your target, then it means that you’ve missed your quota.

The rep’s coachability is measured on a leftright axis. If they are in the middle of the two, then that means they will be neutral and not try or work to achieve coaching goals.

There are four new types, or quadrants:

sales coaching process

Outcomes weak, coachability weak: Toxic

These reps are not hitting their goal and they don’t want to change anything about what is going on.

The expectations need to be clear, and you can’t rely on just one 1:1 meeting.

Some reps are so toxic to the team that they can cause bigger problems than just missing their numbers.

Outcomes weak, coachability strong: Future star

These reps are not hitting their goals, but they respond well to coaching. 1:1s with these reps should be focused on what is going wrong and how it can be fixed.

Generally, this means either creating more pipeline or getting the opportunity to close deals faster.

Keep in touch with these reps because they are willing to work on their skills and appreciate feedback.

Outcomes strong, coachability weak: Independent

Reps in this quadrant are doing well but they don’t want to change their approach.

It’s important to see what category they fall into, lucky or earned. If the rep is in the “lucky” category and given a promotion without any effort on their part, it might be more difficult for them to succeed.

When I talk to reps in this category, they respond well when my goal is for them to work hard and be the best that they can.

Making changes to small things can have a big impact. It’s important to think about what people aspire for, and tap into that.

You need to talk with these reps about what they want and make sure that you’re meeting their needs. This is something I’ll discuss in more detail later on.

Outcomes strong, coachability strong: Star

These reps are meeting their goals and they like to change things up.

To be the best salespeople and managers, you must always be prepared for change.

They see the “what if†conversation as a way to dream and think about their future. Provide them with context and insight so they can chart out what course of action is best for them.

This chart helps reps understand how they respond to coaching.


When a leader has the sales coaching process and coachability quadrants side by side, they can see how each employee is doing on all four metrics.

sales coaching process

Different types of salespeople are needed in every organization.

  • When the sales coaching process is poor, and you’re not willing to change it. The outcome will always be bad.
  • It’s hard to improve when you don’t know what needs improving.
  • Even with strong processes, this is a toxic workplace environment. It has high turnover rates and poor outcomes.
  • If you want to be successful, it’s important to focus on the sales coaching process and not just outcomes.
  • The company has been successful, but is now struggling to keep up with the changing times.
  • Lucky and Star had good results, but they didn’t have a clear sales coaching process. They were constantly adjusting to change.
  • The process was strong but not responsive to the changing market.
  • The first part of the equation is a measure of performance, and the second two are processes to help ensure success.

The 1:1s for each of these reps will be different. You’ll have to adjust your strategy based on the needs and goals of that individual.

There are different coaching goals that can be tailored to your expectations.

Some reps will be motivated by specific, activity-oriented goals. Others are driven to work towards the bigger picture.

7) If Process Is the Engine of Outcomes, What Is the Engine of Process?

So many managers don’t recognize the importance of coaching. It’s a sales coaching process that leads to results, and it is well understood.

If the process needs to change then a rep should be able to learn and adapt. Markets, customers, companies and products all change over time.

Outcomes are driven by Process, Process is driven by Coachability.

Few sales leaders measure how coachable their employees are.

It is important to measure your salespeople so you know what they are doing. It’s one of the most valuable tools that many leaders never use.

8) How to Schedule Time According to the Coaching Quadrants

sales coaching process

If you want to avoid the “time trap” and make sure each salesperson is coached equally, measure coachability.

Who should I spend my time with? Who are the best salespeople on our team?

The obvious answer: FUTURE.

The majority of time is spent coaching reps that are missing their goals. The next most amount of time goes to STARS.

Many mistakenly prioritize the toxic category simply because they are under-performing. By measuring coachability you can see the reps that value your time as a coach. You should maximize every minute you can with the reps that value and respond to coaching.

Toxic people get one to one coaching and not much more.

Once a Toxic teammate starts hitting their goals, they will be less of an issue. You can then give them more attention.

You want to label a rep as “toxic” when they are not performing well and won’t change their ways. You don’t want it to be politically correct or you will end up with someone who is under-performing AND unwilling to change.

9) Sales Coaching: Creating Your Own Model

There are 5 key factors that make coaching successful: understanding the client, identifying what they need to do and how best for them to get there, finding out their beliefs about change (resistance), establishing a collaborative relationship with your client; clarifying expectations; and providing feedback.

sales coaching process

  • Coaching is a mindset, and it’s important to have the right one.
  • Using data like a pro
  • My job is to help salespeople improve their skills and overcome obstacles that are preventing them from being successful.
  • It’s important to set the right sales goals for your reps. It can be helpful to create a system where they know what you want and how it will help them.
  • In the last few articles, we’ve been talking about how to follow up with sales prospects. In this article, I’m going to talk a little bit more about time management and some of the other things that you can do during your day for better future results.

The most successful sales coaches have a set of drivers that they implement consistently, and this creates intentional improvement with each rep willing to commit themselves.

Utilizing a Proven Sales Coaching Model

This financial institution was already high-performing, but they wanted to take it even further.

The team met their goal by 20% which is a huge accomplishment for most companies.

The team did better than they wanted to; it was only 22% of their salespeople that met the goal.

The team was made up of five people.

sales coaching process

There were only 8 reps that reached their quota and out of those, 59% fell into the “poor” category.

The coaching system we implemented helped us make a complete transformation in 90 days.

sales coaching process

In the end, ten of them were in a lower income bracket.

5 of the stars became 17.

20% ahead of goal became 191%

They started achieving their goals.

In 90 days.

We don’t hire new salespeople or do any training, just segment-based coaching.

But the real success is in changing lives. Yes, there’s a business case for investing in coaching because it might be one of the most ROI-positive decisions leaders can make.

10) What to Expect from Top-Notch Sales Coaching

With great coaching, we have found that 5 predictable outcomes happen:

sales coaching process

  • The company saw an increase of 30% in production.
  • The productivity of people who are working on the sales floor increases by over 20% after they start using this new strategy.
  • Salesforce (CRM) is used by 95% of companies.
  • When I started hiring salespeople, my turnover rates went down by over 20%.
  • Win rates went up by 25%.

Coaching is the most important tool a sales organization has to grow and improve.

You can send me an email or call to discuss coaching principles and best practices.

Other Guides in This Sales Coaching Process Series

In this series, we will go through 5 different topics about sales coaching. They are: Part 1 – The Basics of Sales Coaching Part 2 – How to Coach a Struggling Team Member or Individual

  • The Right Mindset
  • Data-Driven Sales Coaching
  • Sales performance coaching can help prioritize with a sales manager.
  • Once you’ve hired and trained your salespeople, it’s time to set goals for them. You should make sure they know what success looks like.
  • Coaching for Sales Success

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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