Sales management coaching – the power of questions

Sales Coaching

Sales Coaching

Asking questions is an underpinning of successful selling.  The notion – ask, listen, and then talk is a powerful principle in the science of successful selling.

Asking questions is also an underpinning of successful interactions between salespeople and their sales managers.

Consider this …

Effective coaching is not so much about teaching people, as it is about helping them to learn – that’s why top coaches ask more than tell.  The problem is too many times when coaching, managers do it the other way around.  They don’t ask enough questions and they talk more than the sales rep.

Given all that we thought it would be a good idea to provide some specific questions that could be used to get the sales coaching session on the right track.  While there are no silver bullets, here is a starter list of 11 questions that could be used when coaching after a sales call.

  • How do you think the call went?
  • What do you think was the customer’s major walk-away from the call?
  • What specific piece of value did the customer gain from the call?
  • How did we differentiate ourselves from the competition?
  • If you could do the call again what would you consider doing differently?
  • What happen that you did not anticipate – how could you have prepared differently?
  • Which part of the call didn’t go so well? How would you improve on it?
  • What did you plan to do that you didn’t do – why?
  • Who did the most talking?
  • Did you leave the call with one of the advances you planned?
  • What did you learn from the sales call that will impact your future sales calls on this customer?

Obviously the sales coaching questions that you would use would depend on the specific sales rep and the type of sales call.  So your list of questions would be unique for each call.  However, when coaching it is always a good idea to plan some coaching questions before the sales call and then modify the list as the sales call progresses.

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©2015 Sales Momentum, LLC

About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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