How to help your team members coach their customers

This is a HUGELY significant idea and much harder to achieve than most people realise!

Hello Sales Reset Leader

One of the biggest changes we recommend at Sales Reset is that salespeople learn how to coach their customers.

This is a HUGELY significant idea and much harder to achieve than most people realise!

In this week’s Weekly Sales Reset, we introduce the key ideas and basic skills required to coach customers.

In this edition of Sales Reset Leaders, we’ll help you support your team members who want to develop these hugely valuable skills.

Our recommendations are based on a fundamental assumption. Most customers have not considered all the implications of a potential purchase.

Your team members can use their market and product knowledge to coach their customers. This coaching aims to help customers improve their understanding of the outcomes they seek.

This massive shift requires significantly greater communication skills and commercial sophistication than conventional selling approaches. Converting typical salespeople into customer success coaches will require sustained effort from you and your team over a sufficiently long period.

How to improve your team's results this week

Evidence of your team coaching their customers

Great coaching starts with evidence of the current situation.

What evidence is available about how effectively your team members coach customers? Before you coach your team members, here are two types of evidence you can seek:

  1. You can gain evidence about how effectively your team members are coaching their customers from call recordings or meetings where you accompany your team members. Here are some pointers:

    • How effective were your team members’ coaching questions?

    • What new insights did customers develop for themselves because of your team members’ coaching?

    • What percentage of time is your team member talking compared to their customer? Great coaches talk a lot less than the person they’re coaching!

  2. Another key source of evidence about your team members' coaching their customers is whether or not you see bespoke outcomes for each customer in proposals, emails, and meeting notes.

    • After customer meetings, are your team members referring to generic outcomes or outcomes specific to each customer?

    • Do you see your team members using words specific to each customer or simply using the words they always use?

    • For bonus points, are the outcomes SMART? (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).

Before coaching sessions on this week’s theme, ask your team members to review the current edition of Weekly Sales Reset, which focuses on coaching customers.

Give yourself time to reflect on WIIFM, “What’s in for me,” and empathise with your team members about how they might be sufficiently motivated to become more skilled in coaching their customers.

Here’s this week’s recommended coaching session agenda:

  1. Start with a brief review of their experience and results from their previous coaching session.

  2. Ask this team member for their observations about coaching customers to enable them to define outcomes more effectively.

  3. Together, review the evidence you found in your preparation with each team member.

  4. Identify and prioritise a small range of specific practical things that this team member can do differently and better to become a better coach with their customers.

  5. Spend some time role-playing (working with these guidelines).

  6. Finish the coaching session with agreed and specific action conclusions.

Expected pushback about coaching customers

So you know what to expect and can be prepared, here are three areas of possible pushback from your team members on the theme of coaching their customers:

  1. Time - Team members might resist because coaching customers about their needs typically takes longer than advising them and making recommendations.

  2. Agreed Sales Process - It’s possible that your team’s current sales process requirements make it hard for them to spend their time coaching customers.

  3. Insufficient Customer Engagement - Customers might not want to be coached and cannot respond effectively to the most demanding coaching questions.

What are your best responses now that you know these potential pushback areas?

Role Play Recommendations

  1. Preparing for a scheduled meeting: Look at your team member’s calendar and pick a meeting scheduled for some time this week. Role-play the part of the meeting where your team member can take the opportunity to coach this customer.

  2. Review a recent meeting with the benefit of hindsight and role-play the part of the meeting where outcomes were discussed.

  3. Develop a chosen area of skill in coaching customers - Based on the evidence you found, identify the highest-priority area of skill your team member needs to develop and role-play with relevant examples.

Leadership Reflective Practice

At the end of this week, ask yourself these key questions:

As I reflect on how I developed my team this week, how effectively did I help them to become more effective coaches with their customers?

As I look at their emails, call recordings and proposals, what is the evidence of more effective coaching of customers by my team members?

We hope you’ve found this edition of Sales Reset Leaders valuable.

Have a great week!

The Sales Reset Team

Sales Reset Founder & Leader

Sales Leadership Coach

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Community of Practice

Ask Questions, Share Your Experience

If you have any questions or experience to share:

Do your team members subscribe to our companion weekly newsletter, Weekly Sales Reset?

Should you give each of your team members access to Weekly Sales Reset?

This is a terrific way for your team members to come to every coaching session with you fully prepared! 😃

Subscribers to this week’s Weekly Sales Reset will learn how to coach their customers more effectively.

Make sure to get time in your calendars for coaching this week!


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