Need Sales Coaching? Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Sales Coach
Well, I’m going to tell you right now that there are many sales coaches in the field and it is hard to know where to start, or what to look for when hiring a coach. There are highly qualified sales coaches like myself – and then there are others who just jumped on the sales coaching bandwagon so they can profit from you even though they have not proven themselves to be worthy of getting you as a client.
Knowing this, how can you find the best sales coach for you and your organization? Simply ask the 10 questions below….
Here Are My Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Sales Coach So You Can Achieve Breakthrough Results:
1. What is your personal track record of success in sales?
I was ranked #1 sales performer in the U.S. for 4 years at two global Fortune 500 Companies. I generated over $135 Million in Sales Revenue. I know what it takes to become a top sales professional.
This is not true for many sales coaches as they do not have the credentials of being a #1 performer in a large organization multiple times. And, many sales coaches do not have extensive experience building, developing and managing sales forces.
But what if those are your goals? See the concern? If they have not walked the walk, and proven they know what it takes to achieve great sales results, how can you expect them to know what it takes to achieve extraordinary results?
Now, it can be hard to find a sales coach’s past sales performance on his or her website or on LinkedIn, so be sure to ask or do your own online research and find out.
2. Will you customize your sales coaching programs around my particular needs and goals?
Many sales coaching programs simply place all individuals and businesses into the exact same sales coaching process. In effect, each business or individual is taught in a training format that starts with certain skills or techniques and moves on to the next set of techniques. They do not take into consideration the immediate challenges at hand, nor do they focus on customizing the program around the strengths of the individual or organization, while identifying and addressing weaknesses.
Before you hire a sales coach, ask how they customize their sales coaching program. If they don’t have some good examples to share, run fast, or face receiving cookie-cutter coaching which will greatly impede your results.
3. What is your general sales philosophy?
Sales coaches often have a very traditional perspective when it comes to sales and selling. This results in the coach teaching you to persuade, push, be very aggressive, and to forcefully change the mind of others. This will make both you and the prospective client feel uncomfortable. This will automatically lead to lost sales.
Many of the old persuasive selling techniques really are a thing of the past. They don’t work. Yet, many sales coaches are still teaching the same stuff. If you want to increase your sales potential then you need a sales coach who understands how to create a genuine, natural, customized sales philosophy for each individual they coach. If they don’t, watch out.
4. What professional coach training do you have?
You may find a sales coach who has a respectful sales background like me. But, in many cases they’ll have very little, if any professional coaching training. There is a big difference between calling oneself a coach, and having 100’s of hours of face-to-face coaching training. If they do not have this training, you may not receive all the support you need around motivation, focus, changing your mind set, accountability, and being able to support you towards success in your entire life. If you hire a sales coach who does not have professional training, do not expect the same results. You will not be supported holistically around all the intangibles that help people reach extraordinary results.
5. Do you offer monthly programs?
Many sales coaching programs involve a 6 month or longer commitment or a large upfront investment just to get started. Be careful, because if you don’t see the results you want with your sales coach, you are stuck. Look for a coach who offers flexibility. Including, month-to-month programs or packages that enable you to minimize your upfront risk as you initiate your partnership with the sales coach. When working with a top-level expert sales coach, you should quickly see results. Then you make the decision to invest in the coaching, versus being trapped in a long-term agreement with a coach who is not an ideal fit for you.
6. What experience do you have managing or leading a sales force?
Often a sales coach may have experience selling, but they will have little or no experience actually managing, developing and leading sales teams. If you are a business owner who is focused on building and developing your sale team, then you need a sales coach who has something of value to offer.
7. How did you end up becoming a sales coach?
Find out if the sales coach made the conscious choice to become a coach for the right reasons, or if they burned out of corporate America or fell into the position as a back up because they lost a job. You want a coach who loves coaching, sales and changing lives. Look for a coach with whom you connect with. Look for a sales coach who truly cares about your success and loves the work he or she does. If you do not sense a great deal of passion in their voice when they describe how they became a sales coach, talk to another coach.
8. How else can you support me to achieve my goals?
The sales coach you are thinking about hiring may know how to sell, but does this sales coach lack the necessary skills to provide the support you need when it comes to mindset, motivation, focus, productivity, effectiveness, and discipline. Teaching and sharing new skills is just one small piece of effective sales coaching. When an expert sales coach can support a client with all the intangibles, far greater results are possible. Pay attention to how they answer this question and ask for examples.
9. Can you show me new and innovative ways to increase sales?
If the sales coach is not aware of how to use social media, blogs, website marketing, SEO, AdWords, effective article writing and publication, LinkedIn and other similar tools to grow their own business, how can they help you to grow yours?
Technology is always changing and there are ways to use it to increase your sales results. Find a sales coach who is using these tools on a daily basis to grow their sales coaching business. Find a sales coach who can show you how to generate leads, contact new prospects and network effectively in the modern era of sales. If they don’t use these tools, keep on looking.
10. Do you have a coach?
I don’t know if I have ever been asked this by a prospective sales coaching client, but I share the information freely. I work with a coach. I get a tremendous amount out of it and I am convinced of the value of coaching. How can you be a coach, but say you don’t need a coach yourself?
Even the most successful people in the world have coaches to stay on top and reach even higher levels of success. As soon as you stop learning, growing, improving and developing, what kind of an example are you showing for your own clients? Find a sales coach who has a coach, believes in coaching, uses coaching to continue to become a better coach, a better entrepreneur, and a better person. Find someone who inspires you to do more and doesn’t just coach you, but leads by example. If they don’t have a coach, just ask them why. This is an important question to ask and I’m guessing you will decide to move on pretty fast after they say they don’t need a coach or don’t have one.
Find a sales coach who is right for you by asking these questions. Look for a sales coach who truly cares about you and your success. Make sure the sales coach you select takes the time to get to know you, your sales goals and challenges. Follow these tips and you will ensure you partner up with the right sales coach for you to achieve amazing sales results.
About the Author:
Sales Coaching & Business Coaching Expert, Jeremy J. Ulmer, has helped hundreds of sales professionals, sales leaders, businesses and entrepreneurs overcome sales challenges and achieve breakthrough results. If you are ready to dramatically increase your sales results then subscribe for your Free Tips or request a Free Coaching Consultation.
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