The What, Why, How, and When of Executive Sales Coaching
Executive coaching is estimated to be a $2-3 billion/year global industry. There has been dramatic growth in the number of people who are becoming coaches and leaders who are hiring coaches. The rapid pace of change, high levels of uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in business is forcing both executives and managers to look beyond training for their ongoing development needs. If you have direct reports, an executive coach can be a career catalyst, improving both your leadership and coaching/people management capabilities.
Traditionally, CEOs, presidents and business owners were the group that benefited the most from executive coaching. The higher up you go the more challenging it is to ask for help from your boss. It gets awfully lonely at the top. Senior executives and business owners continue to benefit from executive coaches as a sounding board and an objective advisor.
As companies look to develop their next generation of leaders, they need to look at carefully targeting their development efforts to ensure positive ROI. They need to determine which groups of leaders can benefit the most from executive coaching.
Why Executive Sales Coaching
The group that I have had the most experience with is sales leaders. Sales leaders are responsible for meeting the company’s revenue objectives. Performance improvements in sales executives and sales managers have a direct impact on revenue and profitability. As such, investing in developing sales leaders has the greatest ROI of any group of leaders in an organization.
I have been a sales manager and sales executive and have had executive coaches throughout my business career. I have chosen to be an executive coach and focus my efforts on sales leaders. For those leaders who have not experienced the power of working with an executive coach here are answers to many of your questions.
What is the Leadership Paradox?
The higher you move up in an organization, the harder it is to find honest feedback. You are expected to have the answers, yet how do you know you have the best solutions? An executive coach will help you break through the obstacles that stand between you and success.
What is Executive Sales Coaching?
Executive Coaching is a development process that helps sales leaders build capabilities and confidence to achieve their goals. It is conducted one on one with an experienced executive coach. The coach and executive work together to achieve goals set by the individual.
Executive Sales Coaches provide objective observations and reflections on your situation so you can clearly see your options and strategies for going forward. Executive Sales Coaches are passionate and positive people who more concerned with your dreams than your fears. The workplace often provides us with great stress and performance fears, an executive coach can help sales leaders thrive in highly demanding environments.
Why Executive Sales Coaching?
Champion athletes know that the best way to improve their performance, achieve greater success, and become the best they can be is by working with a coach. The question is why would a successful sales leader engage a coach?
My answer is how can a successful sales leader NOT benefit from coaching! Coaching helps successful sales leaders achieve greater success.
What is the Impact Executive Sales Coaching Can Have on a Sales Leader?
Executive sales coaching helps sales executives who want to improve their performance, leadership, and achieve their objectives.
Many sales leaders are dealing with unprecedented organizational change, they are dealing with high levels of stress as they are being asked to do more with less, as well as struggling to achieve their company’s objectives.
As a result, they find themselves overly stressed, frustrated, and not sure what to do. They begin to question their people instead of leading, engaging and inspiring them. Executive coaching helps sales leaders build a sales culture of accountability, performance, and engagement.
Over 25 years of research has proven that the best way to CRUSH Your Sales Numbers is not by implementing more sales training and certainly not by adding more technology, but by coaching executives and their team members one-on-one to improve leadership and focus. Executive sales coaching helps sales executives and managers focus on what is critical and to avoid constant distractions.
Which Sales Leaders Benefit the Most from Executive Sales Coaching?
Executive coaching will benefit high-potential fast-tracking executives and managers. Senior-level sales leaders or high potentials who are being considered for a senior role in the succession plan. Many leaders are over-extended dealing with everyday demands with little time to improve their leadership.
The truth is all sales managers can benefit from executive coaching. It only makes good business sense. A good executive coach helps them focus and remove obstacles that get in the way.
Executive coaching provides sales leaders with the focus that is not available from direct supervisors.
What Exactly Do Executive Sales Coaches Do?
Executive coaches work with clients to help them set and achieve their development goals. The executive coaches may use an assessment like a 360-degree feedback to provide their client with objective feedback. Helping them become aware of their strengths, weaknesses and potential blind spots. The executive coach uses effective questions to help their client discover solutions to their challenges, create a greater focus on what is important, provide resources and provide insights to help in the development process.
Executive coaches provide an objective and nonjudgmental approach to help sales leaders reach their true potential.
What Should You Look for in an Executive Sales Coach?
With the rapid growth of the coaching industry, anyone can call themselves a coach. There are many good coaching schools that provide a coaching certification program. To some companies coaching certification is important. Leadership experience in your industry is also highly valuable. When deciding on a coach, fit is critical. You need to like, trust and respect your coach. There needs to be a positive chemistry and a willingness to open up with your coach to have the best result.
Does Executive Sales Coaching Have to Be in Person?
The reality is that with technology such as Skype, Facetime and Google hangouts, coaching can be done virtually. Face-to-face coaching is ideal but not always feasible or cost-effective.
How Much Does Executive Sales Coaching Cost?
Studies show that coaching can range from a couple hundred dollars an hour to $3500 a month. The median cost of coaching is $500 an hour. Do you have access to your executive coach outside your scheduled time or outside business hours? Other considerations are the duration of the program and does your executive coach charge by the hour or on a monthly retainer.
Where Do You Find an Executive Sales Coach?
The best place for sales leaders to start when looking for an executive sales coach is their peers. Referrals and recommendations reduce risk. There are several coaching directories online or a google search may turn up potential executive coaches in your area. The HR department may have a list of qualified coaches they are presently using.