Hiring a sales coach has the potential to boost the performance of individual sales associates and dramatically improve the bottom line for the entire sales team. However, one of the common pitfalls organizations face when searching for a sales coach is understanding the difference between sales coaching and sales training. Our team at Search Solution Group (SSG) consults with clients to assist them in understanding how the role of sales coach differs from that of sales trainer and then sources the best talent to fill the position.
Sales Coach vs. Sales Trainer
Sales trainers typically show sales associates how to increase sales by teaching techniques and strategies for the salesperson to implement. Training is often standardized and does not necessarily involve two-way communication or customization for individual salespeople. Sales coaches, on the other hand, help individuals refine their skills and improve sales performance. Coaching is a customized and time-intensive process, involves extensive feedback, and requires one-on-one time on a regular basis with each salesperson. The focus of coaching is continuously developing skills, setting and achieving goals, and establishing relationships with each salesperson to better assist them in achieving success. Understanding the difference between the two job roles is critical for sourcing top talent to meet an organization’s needs.
One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when hiring a sales coach is assuming that top sales associates are qualified to serve in a coaching capacity. Because sales training focuses on sharing experience and teaching strategies and tactics that work in the field, a top-performing salesperson may potentially transition easily to the role of sales trainer. However, coaching is a much different skill than selling. To effectively perform in a coaching role, candidates must have specific coaching experience.
The Search Solution Group Recruiting Process
Josh Mangum, Director of Strategy, discusses recruiting for sales coaches in the video below:
The first step in the recruiting process is for the SSG team to consult with clients and determine whether a sales trainer or a sales coach is the best fit. Once the client’s needs are assessed, our recruiters begin the talent sourcing process. When recruiting for a sales coach position, our team looks for a proven track record and develops a complete profile of each candidate. We consider the individual’s ability to break down the sales process, experience conducting ride alongs and client visits with sales associates, hands-on experience observing salespeople in action and providing constructive feedback, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) indicative of success as a sales coach. Only after each candidate has been fully vetted will they be presented to hiring managers.
The team at SSG is unequaled in our ability to identify each client’s distinctive needs and sourcing the best talent to meet those needs. Over the last 16 years, our recruiters have developed a nationwide network of sales coaches and sales trainers which we leverage for both candidate placement and maintaining the highest level of industry knowledge. As a result of our teams’ efforts to engage with active job seekers and source passive candidates, we are able to provide the highest level of service to each client and place only the best candidates in open positions.