Same Old Story? Integrity Solutions Finds Sales Coaching Talk Still Not Backed Up With Action
Despite clear data that shows the value and impact of consistently coaching sales teams, polling conducted by Integrity Solutions during the recent AA-ISP Leadership Summit and discussions with attendees show just how much organizations continue to struggle with bringing their good intentions around sales coaching into practice.
The overwhelming majority (61%) of those polled at this annual meeting of inside sales leaders said the biggest challenge in sales leadership today is the fact that, even though sales managers know coaching is important, it’s still not happening. The reasons cited for this gap included managers not knowing how to coach and managers complaining that they have “no time” to do it.
These findings echoed the findings from research that Integrity Solutions conducted a few years ago with The Sales Management Association. In that study, 76% of sales leaders responded that coaching was critical to their team’s success. However, the same percentage indicated that too little (and in some cases no) coaching was actually happening. The study also found that 63% of companies lacked a common definition of coaching and only 50% of sales leaders received any training on coaching.
“Time and again, we see that while organizations and their managers recognize the value of sales coaching, that’s not enough to make it happen”
“Time and again, we see that while organizations and their managers recognize the value of sales coaching, that’s not enough to make it happen,” says Mike Esterday, CEO of Integrity Solutions. “The big question is, why? Contrary to what managers might say, our studies repeatedly confirm that the real reason they don’t coach isn’t about a lack of time. The sales managers who are coaching their teams consistently and effectively are no less busy than other managers. The difference is that they have the confidence, commitment and comfort level with coaching to make it a priority.”
Until organizations emphasize building up both the mindset and skillset for coaching, however, the efforts will continue to be more talk than impact. As AA-ISP Founder and President Bob Perkins observed on a recent episode of Mental Selling: The Sales Performance Podcast, “It’s just not getting any better. We’re still not doing enough [sales coaching]. We still have leaders that want to tell, they want to talk, instead of guiding a sales rep to their own discovery of gaps or areas to improve. A good coach supports that whole process.”
Integrity Solutions’ Chief Sales Officer, Bruce Wedderburn, and Vice President of Marketing, Will Milano, will explore these and related sales performance issues in an AA-ISP virtual workshop: How to Bring the Human Touch Back to Digital Selling, on Tuesday, May 17th. All registrants will receive a copy of the Integrity Solutions ebook, Who Will Your Superstars Be in a Year? Your Coaching Gameplan.