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The most important factor for sales coaching success

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 6/18/15 8:00 AM

Sales coaching can be such a tricky and unpredictable task. It's both exasperating and exhilarating. Which is probably why it takes so much time. You are dealing with people on such a personal level. We talk about their goals, dreams, and even how they think about themselves and others around them.

It's a lot like therapy and relationship counseling.

Someone recently asked me what a sales coach looks for to determine if someone will be successful or not. My immediate answer was their incentive to change. Anyone who is willing to admit that they need to change and learn and do whatever it takes to make a personally compelling goal, will go far. They may not have the skills they need now, but they soon will.

What is the incentive to change?

Anthony Iannarino wrote "Are You Unwilling to Change." This article peaked my interest because I just had to force a long time client to fire me because he was unwilling to change. No matter what strategy we tried, he was unable to close leads. He was convinced that the leads were bad somehow, despite them being the right organizations and contacts who had a problem he could solve.

At first, he would say he was willing to do whatever he was told. But in the end, he didn't do what he was told. He defended his beliefs that he could sell to the end. He didn't want to change his belief despite the evidence. He wanted better results, but didn't want to have to change to get them. He didn't want to, or believe he needed to, change. Perspective is a powerful thing.

Can you measure the incentive to change?

The OMG entrepreneurial sales evaluation looks at 2 major (over 2/3) factors that determine the incentive to change; desire and commitment. 

Desire is whatever you want more than anything else. Commitment is the willingness to do whatever it takes to get. These two things together are what drive the incentive to change. Without an incentive to change, coaching is just nagging, training is boring, technology isn't perfect enough, and growth is impossible.

Can you create the incentive to change?

Have you ever seen the classic movie, 'The Network'? Or maybe you have just heard the phrase, "I'm mad as hell and I am just not going to take it anymore!" When the status quo becomes painful, then we will change. If someone can tick you off and get you emotionally involved, so can your prospects. 

Creating that incentive to change is also why having a written goal, that is personally compelling, is shared with others, and has system to track progress is so important. Reporting that progress to someone who will hold you accountable will continue to drive the change in behaviors necessary for sales success.

A coach can not create incentive to change for you. But a coach might be able to help you find it and use to to drive sales success.

What do you want more than anything? Are you mad as hell yet? 

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Topics: sales coaching