Sales Engineers: This is Why You Need a Sales Coach
Sales engineers: Ever thought about hiring a sales coach to help you reach your full potential? In this post, I’ll examine the differences between managing and coaching - and explain why sales engineers need both to truly excel.
The Difference Between a Manager and a Sales Coach
Your manager is a busy person. Their plate is full with setting and achieving ambitious goals, keeping your team accountable to a high level of performance, and communicating with their boss and other stakeholders in the company. If you’re lucky, you get to meet one on one with your manager to discuss your individual goals and opportunities for improvement. But if you’re like most sales engineers, it’s likely that your busy schedule prevents you from getting the face time you need to discuss your development.
You need this time - and this coaching - in order to truly grow in your career. In order to grow, we have to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses , establish plans for improvement, and then hold ourselves accountable to those improvement efforts. This is very difficult to do between discovery calls, demos, and meetings - which is why most SEs struggle to make time for it. Part of a sales coach’s role is to help provide the structure you need to keep momentum moving on your path to improvement.
Here are some of the fundamental differences between the roles of a sales manager and a sales coach.
- Making the numbers
- Team performance
- Meeting company goals
- Short-term results
- Celebrating wins
- Planning and delegating new tasks and responsibilities
- Providing resources for learning
- Being responsible for hiring and other HR duties
- Being the expert
- Owning opportunities
- Managing rather than leading
- Transferring wisdom or knowledge i.e. being trainer/mentor
- Helping individuals grow while helping meet organization goals
- Listening actively
- Acknowledging individual development
- Driving towards long term results while working on the short term
- Finding solutions that work for you vs. sharing what has worked for them
- Guiding vs. telling you what to do
- Accepting where people are in their journey
Does Your Manager Want to Be a Sales Coach?
You can see how managers and coaches have different goals - and it’s possible that your manager does not want to take on the role of coaching in addition to their responsibilities as a manager.
They probably understand the value of coaching, but may not feel that they are the right person for the job. If that’s the case - your manager will probably be willing to invest in a professional sales coach.
The Benefits of Hiring a Sales Coach
Hiring a professional coach doesn’t only help the individual being coached - it can actually elevate the sales skills within your organization. When managers and team members are being coached, they experience a new type of communication that they can then apply in their own teams. Coaching helps people learn how to ask more insightful questions and develop better listening skills. Hiring a sales coach can breathe new life into a sales organization that might be stuck practicing poor habits.
Hiring a sales coach for your entire team will improve communication between team members as well as with prospects - which can have a direct positive impact on your performance.
The Relationship Between Coaching and Sales
Coaching and sales go hand in hand. It’s not only about the development of your team members. It’s about the impact those team members can have when they learn more to listen better, ask smarter questions, and develop stronger relationships with your customers. And isn’t that what we’re always preaching to our sales teams? Aren't we asking them to make the connection, and make the prospect feel important and heard? This is what coaching can do for your team.
To learn more about individual and team sales coaching, please visit this page.