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Professional Sales Training Associates Inc. | Appleton, WI

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This makes up about 35% of the management function and is focused on identifying the person’s individual needs and the corresponding performance improvement steps.

Habit development as well as strengthening the internal belief system are critical elements of coaching as taught in Sandler’s sales and management programs. This method of coaching relies on empowering the salesperson to act by focusing on behavioral roadblocks rather than artificially boosting his outlook with trite motivational clichés.

Do you have a coaching process? 

What is your behavioral plan for coaching your people?

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1. Assess Current Status: In this initial step, the coach diagnoses the current business situation, evaluates the person’s competency, benchmarks the timeline for success and establishes the specific coaching structure to be utilized.

How do you assess members of your team and their situation during the coaching process?

2. Establish Growth Goals: During this step, the coach works with the salesperson to set expectations for the coaching process as well as create goals used in measuring success. The coaching contract is developed, and the rules of engagement are made clear to both the coach and person. Some of the coaching goals will be short-term to gain momentum and traction, while others will be long-term.

How do you establish growth goals?

3. Define New Behavior: This means working with the salesperson to better utilize existing skills in need of improvement. This focus on behavior modification is the result of awareness garnered from the assessment phase of coaching.

How can you identify the right behaviors to work on?

4. Execute New Behavior: This step involves the execution of the new behavior plan, as well as the corresponding skills, as part of the sales plan. This requires an implementation plan and commitment from the salesperson to work on the new behavior for 20 consecutive days in order to form a new habit.

The 20-day standard is not arbitrary. Many people lose momentum and develop a false sense of success around the 13th day, so they stop working on the new behavior and slide back into the bad behavior patterns that created problems. During this step, the person keeps a behavioral journal for the entire 20 days to track positive or negative patterns and record both successes and failures.

Do members of your team currently use behavioral journaling?


5. Review Progress: The manager must follow up with the person to maintain momentum since slippage is possible due to performance pressure. Role-play is a very effective tool in this phase. How will you review progress?


6. Modify Behavior: In many cases, the new behavior needs to be assessed and adjusted to better address the salesperson’s abilities. The sixth step is therefore designed to recalibrate behavior in order to pursue the goal more effectively. “More, better and different” are the three variables to be considered at this time.

Does the person have to perform more behavior to achieve the goal?

For this variable, the coach and person determine that the behavior is correct; however, the person is not performing enough of it so it should be increased.

Example: Make 25 cold calls per day instead of five.

Does the salesperson have to perform the new behavior in a better way than he currently is in order to accomplish the goal? For this variable, the salesperson and coach determine that the salesperson needs to improve on the quality of the behavior performed.

Example: The salesperson needs to set a stronger up-front contract with prospects instead of the weak one he is currently setting.

Lastly, does the coach have to create a totally different behavior model to accomplish the goal? For this variable, the salesperson needs to execute a completely different behavior from the current one he is utilizing.

Example: Instead of relying on cold calling, the salesperson should focus on networking, referrals and business introductions to be more effective at prospecting.

What are some examples of “more, better, different” questions you could ask the person?


7. Evaluate Success: The last step of the Sandler coaching methodology is focused on gauging whether or not coaching is achieving sustainable success.

This step is referred to as “success mapping,” since it establishes a behavioral map designed to be utilized by the salesperson to achieve the coaching goal and prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future. The person must maintain behavioral momentum for the next 90 days in order to imprint success and anchor growth.

How have you evaluated success in the past? What do you think is the best way to evaluate it going forward?