Effective Sales Coaching Questions

Sales training and sales management. What questions should you ask during the coaching process. What is specific types of questions you could ask, because it really gets to the heart of what we would call the “coaching mindset”. Really thinking about coaching in the right way, when we approach sales coaching we like to talk about
the “three A”. What is the “three A”?

“A” number one: Asking Great Questions
I’m going to get into that a little bit more detail. Types of questions that you might want to ask divide by three categories.
The first is observation type questions.
So let’s say we just came out of a sales call. As a sales manager I was observing one of my sales professionals in that call. And the first type of questions I might want to ask or just to get an understanding. Have them participator conversation about, how they think it with. Tell me about that sales call? How do you think it went? What did you see? What did you hear? What was going on? And the purpose of this, we want to understand where they observing the same types of things that we were. What they take away and where they really listening and paying attention to the key concepts, during that call with the customer. So, that’s an observation type of questions that we might want to ask.

The second question is about reflection.
So we might ask; What did you like about that sales call? What went well for you and what might you do differently? So we’re getting them to reflect on the call. We might even ask in a specific situation; Tell me what happened? What were you thinking when the customer got confused? or When they brought up that objection? So we’re getting them to really reflect on what’s going on, how that what they were observing and are they taking away and drawing some conclusions. Also thoughts about what they might do going forward.

The third type of question that we might want to ask is around the application.
Now that we’ve reflected on the sales call, we thought about what went right, what we want to continue to do and and what we might want to do differently in the future. We want them to talk about and ask questions are on how they’re going to apply those concepts going forward, so for instance we might ask our questions like; What might you do to prepare differently in the future? What type of research might you want to do? or How might you improve that skill before the next sales call? what could we do to practice that skill before we go in front of a client? Again we wanted them to think about, how are they going to apply and follow up on those key skills, so they can actually continue to improve going forward and improve their conversations and and their performance of from the client.

“A” number two: Active listening
Active listening are really critical skills, whether it’s for sales or sales management. And that’s the idea of really leaning in, paying attention and focusing on the speaker. Not on what you’re going to say next, and employing those active listening techniques to really understand the intent, context and the meaning behind the words of the other speakers. I think active listening is really critical to coaching as well.

“A” number three: Assuming the best intentions
What we mean by “Assuming the best intentions” is, we should go into a coaching conversation assuming that the participant wants to get better, wants to do a good job. And they were there to help them get there, if we assume that they screwed up or they’re lazy or they didn’t mean to do well what we asked, I think it really changes and makes it more of a negative connotation as opposed to. Let’s assume that they’re trying to do well, until they prove us otherwise.

Getting your sales team to think about coaching them selves and continue to improve their skills much like a professional athlete, might reflect on their performance after a key game. As a way of setting up and creating a coaching mindset for the conversation. So again we want to ask great questions, we want to actively listen and assume the best intentions. And we want to ask questions to get them thinking about the observation of the sales call, the reflection of what was going on and ultimately how are they going to apply those key takeaways and concepts going forward.