The truth is most sales training has a brief and small effect on actual sales performance or results. A pleasant day or two spent reviewing the basics, learning how to read customers “like a book” or practicing the phrase “you’ll have to do better!” seldom bring returns that warrant the investment. But what’s a sales organization to do when market pressures, corporate earnings projections and senior management clamor for a larger share of the market and better margins?

How about coaching? Which is not to be mistaken for kibitzing, second guessing, war story telling, taking over sales discussions or de-briefing after a long day of joint calls. Coaching, perhaps the most important function of a sales manager, is an ongoing improvement process that involves preparation, discomfort, expertise, patience, observation skills and follow through. But if it’s done right, coaching is the best way for an informed sales manager to help sales reps get better.

Excerpt From: Paul B. Williams. “Sales Coaching Quick Guide”