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What Tiger Woods & Your Top Sales Reps Have in Common

What does Tiger Woods have in common with your top sales reps? Both need ongoing coaching to stay at the top of their game. 

However, in the sales industry, there is a common trap that sales management falls into over and over: the assumption that top sales reps don’t want sales coaching. So in an effort to avoid ruffling the feathers of their top performers, sales managers skip coaching the most valuable members of their team.

What Do You Really Think About Sales Coaching?

If most of your time as a sales manager is taken up coaching and managing underperforming reps, it may be that you are the one who thinks of sales coaching as uncomfortable, negative, or (at its worst) confrontational. If that’s the case, you are likely projecting your own negative attitude about coaching onto your top performers.

Of course, you don’t want these sales drivers to be uncomfortable or feel “picked on,” so instead you check the sales coaching box with these folks by shooting the breeze or gossiping about customers.  

If this sounds familiar, check your attitude about sales coaching at the office door. 

It’s important to make and keep your top performers happy, and you certainly don’t want them to feel micromanaged. But you’re not doing them any favors by skipping out on coaching sessions, and you may be giving them a reason to head for the door.

“The natural perception of many sales leaders is that the rep doesn’t want coaching. This is the biggest myth in selling.” – Brett Trainor, Vice President of Marketing, Sciolytix.

Think Your Top Performers Don’t Want Sales Coaching? Think Again.

One of the biggest mistakes a sales leader can make is assuming that top performers aren’t interested in coaching. Yes, sales coaching can be time devoted to addressing difficult situations, including going head-to-head on performance issues. But that type of sales coaching is a far cry from the coaching sessions you should be having with your top performers. 

In fact, your sales coaching sessions should vary in content, tone, and goal – depending on whether you are working with an underperformer, top seller, highly tenured team member, or sales newbie. 

Coaching sessions for high-performing sales reps need to be tailored to their individual strengths and weaknesses. Like coaching a top athlete or actor, sales coaching is a time for individualized top-tier instruction and feedback. The more personalized, the better. 

This is their time to get your assistance to further their development as sales professionals. Don’t waste it shooting the breeze.Everyone has room for improvement and the best people know they need coaching to stay on top of their game.

Have you found success coaching your top performers, or do you struggle with developing impactful sales coaching sessions? Let us know on Linkedin.

Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.


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