Sales Coaching Can Be So Bad (But It Doesn’t Have to Hurt)

Sales Coaching Can Be So Bad (But It Doesn’t Have to Hurt)

Sales Coaching Can Be So Bad (But It Doesn’t Have to Hurt) Sales coaching doesn't have to be a bad experience.


Sales coaching, like any endeavor, is a work in progress that can (and should) be continuously improved upon. But even the most finely-tuned, well-thought-out sales coaching strategy can go south. Instead of focusing on what your boss or supervisor did wrong, work on course correcting, as Forbes contributor Jack Zenger advises. Here, we examine some of his top-notch sales coaching tips.

React wisely

Expressing strong emotions has no place when you’re trying to recover from bad sales coaching. Of course, it’s easier said than done; finger pointing and blaming are easy to do when the coaching has gone poorly. Instead, react, but try to get calm and cool before you do. “Don’t react immediately,” Zenger suggests. “Assume there will be a follow-up meeting for which you’ll be fully prepared (or perhaps you can set one), but don’t even think about reacting at this moment. Act as calmly and respectfully as you can.”

Ask questions, then ask some more

If you feel like you’re received bad sales coaching, first take a pause, then take action by asking questions. Where do you and your boss or team member see eye to eye, and where don’t you? Can you try to find out what their motives are, or how they expect or want you to apply the information they’ve provided to you (no matter how bad it seems)? Remember, your boss or supervisor probably had good intentions, even if the end result wasn’t ideal. Communication gives you distance from the hard feelings and clarity to move forward.

Appreciate, don’t reciprocate

Instead of lashing out, appreciate your boss for his or her sales coaching, and see if you can agree on actionable targets for you—so that when the next round of coaching comes in, you’re ready. And if it’s bad, you have a paper trail to rely on to show that it was your boss, not you, who fell off course.

How do you cope with bad sales coaching? Hit us up in the comments.

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Patrick Hogan

Patrick is a Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Tenfold.