In a small sales team, the leader might have to watch over a variety of tasks, from training and coaching to broad management. These activities may, at first glance, even seem to go hand-in-hand – leaders manage people, who need to be trained and coached to perform their jobs. However, the fact of the matter is that these different responsibilities are not the same thing, and in prosperous sales departments, they may not even be handled by the same person.
As SalesIntegrity notes, leaders manage operations, train for tasks and coach people to develop their personal skills. While the ideal manager would be able to tackle all of these tasks effectively, that is asking a lot from one person, particularly in a growing and expanding sales environment.
To further define these tasks, think of it this way: Training tends to be a one-time series of events. When employees are new to a job, they need to be trained in how to perform duties. This is the case regardless of whether they are selling products or operating machinery.
"Sales Coaching, on the other hand, is personalized and is delivered at the individual level," the website adds. "It tends to be one-on-one in nature, behind closed doors so a sales rep can open up and the entire discussion is centered on helping the individual personally develop skills to develop the right behaviors, habits and routines necessary to achieve their sales and income goals."
Management develops training and coaching initiatives that will help accomplish business objectives. It's a metrics-based activity, designed to drive revenue, engage more leads, improve the value of transactions, etc. Coaching and training can help accomplish these operations and initiatives may be designed around these metrics.
Sales coaching has always been a critical tool for maximizing the value of a sales team. In fact, data from the Sales Executive Council highlights how important it is, suggesting that sales coaching is the single most surefire way of improving sales performance.
That said, it's important that sales coaching is handled correctly. There is a difference between training, coaching and managing. Businesses need to be able to do each effectively, and if they can't, they may want to consider hiring a third-party expert or consultant to help them with coaching.