Summary and Review of Coaching Sales People Into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives by Keith Rosen
This summary and review of the book, Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives, was prepared by Lyndsey Acosta while a Human Resource Management student in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Keith Rosen is a successful executive sales coach who has coached more sales people and managers than anyone comparable in his field. He decides to use his expertise in order to guide others on how to be a successful sales coach.
Executive sales coaching is primarily about having conversations that are process driven in order to create behaviors that produce results. In Rosen’s books he lays out the step by step process to the sales coaching model, which also giving insight to common barriers and mistakes.
Rosen begins the novel by discussing the reason’s sales coaching should be invested in the sales force. He discusses the definition of sales coaching, the sales coach’s role, and the differences between sales coaching, mentoring, and training. He focuses on the importance of having conversations with salespeople in order for them to be self-sufficient, self-guiding, and self-motivated.
He then begins to discuss the nine barriers to coaching, the core characteristics of a successful sales coaching, the principles of masterful coaching, the mistakes made by coaches and how to correct them. He follows that be incorporating tactical coaching, the different types of sales managers, the push versus pull methods of motivation, the assumptive coaching and dangerous listening, facilitating and effective coaching conversations.
After giving all of the details about the coaching process he switches his focus to developing an internal coaching program by identifying the turnaround opportunity, holding people accountable, and a week by week guideline for beginning this process.
He discusses what the coaching sessions should look like, who you can coach, why coaching is important to sales people, and how managers can make a positive impact on their employees.
This tactical book for managers and executives will act as playbook from start to finish on having a successful coaching program that will in turn have more observant, respondent, and productive salespeople by having open communication with management and better conversations with current and potential customers.
Rosen’s most important point he gets across in Coaching Salespeople into Sale Champions is becoming process drive rather than results driven.
The Ten Things Managers Need to Know from Coaching Sales People into Sales Champions
1. Losing talented salespeople and an atmosphere providing for mediocrity not because managers lack the effort but because they lack a productive coaching system to assist those talented salespeople in reaching consistent and worthwhile results.
2. It is important for managers to develop a coaching system that puts leadership principles into actionable, measurable steps.
3. A sales coach must go through ongoing training and study in order to be proficient at coaching.
4. The sales coach model discussed by Keith Rose fills the void between management philosophies and execution. The model translates theory into tactical, measurable actions.
5. It is important for a manager to distinguish between a consultant, a trainer, and a coach.
6. “We often live, listen, and react from the past or are pushing for something to happen in the future. And we do so at the expense of the present and the quality of our life” (pg 37)
7. The importance of coaching is creating possibilities and opportunities that did not exist before.
8. “Coaches deliver value while challenging their clients to achieve more through utilization and development of their natural skills and talents so they can live up to their potential” (pg 63)
9. Ask the right questions whether then provide the answer. By providing the solution rather than presenting the question you take away the power of your salespeople; instead of making your salespeople more self sufficient you are making them more dependent on you to solve their problems.
10. Focus on the process, not the outcome. By being process driven, the desired outcome will be achieved.
Interview with the author:
Full Summary of Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions
A. The following are challenges faced by management that Rosen addresses in this book.
1. How can I get my salespeople to follow the system so they can start achieving their monthly sales goals on a consistent basis?
2. How do I turn around an under-performer or make the decision to let someone go?
3. How do I attract and retain top talent, especially new hires?
4. How do I get and keeps salespeople motivated without using consequences or threats?
5. How do I continually leverage their strengths to maximize their productivity?
6. How do I handle difficult or toxic salespeople?
7. How do I get them to self-generate solutions to their problems so they don’t have to be dependent on me as the primary problem solver?
8. How do I create buy in from my staff on what they need me to do?
9. How do I free up more time to focus on the activities that desperately need my attention?
B. In order to address these challenges, Rosen writes on the coaching model that is a proven, long term solution that can continually develop and retain top talent while pursuing new opportunities that has evolved into this new kind of management.
C. This process will protect, maximize, and retain every companies greatest asset; their people.
II. Death of Management
A. What is coaching?
1. The coaching model is based on the belief that the question is the answer.
2. Coaching uses a process of inquiry so that people can access their own strengths to reach a level of awareness.
3. Coaching builds accountability.
4. Coaching is collaborative as well as interactive.
5. The shared experience, insights, and solutions generated during coaching sessions helps the person grown professionally.
6. Coaching helps people become more observant so their responses to events, problems, or situations are more positive.
7. Coaching is a motivational tool that helps create new opportunities and possibilities.
B. What defines the coach’s role?
1. Focuses on strengths.
2. Coaches bring out the best in people by supporting, assisting, and maximizing people’s strengths.
3. Coaches request change and growth as well as guide their people.
4. Coaches have the right questions, not necessarily all of the answers.
5. Coaching empowers people to be accountable for their own successes and failures.
C. What is the difference between a coach and a mentor?
1. A coach is an expert on people and personal development. A coach’s role is to provide structure, foundation, and support in order for people to begin to self-generate the results they desire. An important part about coaching is learning and growth. A coach focuses on the whole individual.
2. A mentor is an expert in a field or company who usually acts as an advisor. Mentors typically share their own approach to a particular activity because it is what they are comfortable with and what works best for them. A mentor’s guidance is often based on a working knowledge of the position and their own personal experience.
D. There are nine barriers to coaching a sales team.
1. Barrier one is not having a coach the coach program in place.
Without a coach training program to develop coaching skills and competencies, you cannot change your manager’s essence, thinking, or skills.
2. The second barrier to coaching is treating coaching as an obligation rather than a choice.
Managers have to choose to create an environment conducive to having these coaching conversations. If they treat it as an obligation, rather than a collaborative partnership, the sales people are not going to get the motivations, the new way of thinking, and the other positive reinforcements out of the coaching process.
3. The third barrier is to surrender your agenda while coaching.
During a coaching session if the coach is taking phone calls, answering questions for other employees, or otherwise seemingly distracted, the sale person does not find the significance in participating in the coaching session.
4. The fourth barrier is that the coach’s responsibility is to coach people, not change them.
During the coaching session, the coach is responsible for allowing the sales person to find a new or different way of doing something that remains in their realm of personality. If the coach tries to change the sales person, they are going to feel uncomfortable in the conversations they are having with potential customers and the conversation with not be a successful one.
5. The fifth barrier is that the connection has to be the real thing
Managers need to take the time to connect with their sales people during coaching sessions in order to create a non judgmental environment that allows for honesty, learning, and growth
6. The next barrier is that the session must be confidential and contain no judgments.
7. The seventh barrier is that anyone can manage, not everyone can coach.
It is important to the process to have someone who has all of the qualities of a good coach. It is important to find someone who wants to be a coach, who can extract themselves from the outcome and focus on the process. A successful coach must have the desire, attitude, ability, and skill.
8. The eight barriers is full accountability.
Coaches and managers must be prepared to be one hundred percent accountable for the success and failures of their team.
9. Finally, the last barrier to coaching is competitive managers.
Highly competitive managers tend to remain results driven rather than process driven. However, if they concentrate on being exceptional coaches and teaching the process, the results will be even better than before long term.
E. There are five core characteristics of great sales coaches.
1. You cannot take someone where you have not been yourself.
2. A top coach is a model of what is possible to achieve
3. Sometimes they really need the answer and it is important to distinguish between when to ask a question and when to provide an answer.
4. Coach from your heart, not from your head.
5. Develop a personal style of coaching.
F. There is nothing more important managers can do that will have both a direct and measurable impact on their results than investing times every day by coaching their salespeople.
III. Six Universal Principles of Masterful Coaching
A. The first universal principle of masterful coaching is to make you’re your ally in order to tap into a healthier energy source to drive results.
B. The second universal principle is to be present.
It is important to master each moment in time. Though we often like to plan for having a great month, quarter, or year would it not be easier to focus on having a great day?
C. It is important to detach from the outcome.
When you are attached to the outcome, the following undesired results may occur:
a. It limits the ability to recognize or create a new solution
b. It creates a barrier to listening
c. It invalidates the other person by not respecting his feelings of point of view
d. It prevents the coach from adjusting their approach or strategy.
e. It inhibits flexibility and adaptability
f. Most importantly, it diminishes the impact of the coaching session.
g. “A possibility is something that may exist or what could happen, whereas an expectation is a rigid agenda or an attachment to a specific outcome” (pg 43)
D. The coach must become process driven.
1. The result is the process. If you shifted most of your attention away for your goal or the end result and to the process.
2. If you consistently execute the process that produces the result, the result is an automatic by product of the effort.
E. The fifth universal principle of masterful coaching is to be creative.
1. The most effective coaches and managers realize that the objective of coaching is to create possibilities and opportunities that did not exist before.
F. The final universal principle of coaching is to become fully accountable
IV. Coaches must avoid the six fatal coaching mistakes that will prevent any coaching program from being successful.
A. The first coaching mistake is to believe the S.C.A.M.M
S.C.A.M.M. stands for stories, cons, assumptions, meaning, and mindset. It is an action, excuse, or belief to hide behind in order to justify circumstances, behaviors, and performance.
B. The next coaching mistake is wanting more for others than for they want for themselves.
Coaches can want too much for their salespeople and be too quick to push a goal onto their salespeople. It is important that through communication with your salespeople realistic goals are set for both the coach and the salesperson.
C. Are you coaching your salespeople or judging them?
A coach needs to suspend judgment that comes from ego. In conversations, judgments take on the form of should (i.e they should be farther along). In order to prevent resistance from salespeople, judgments should not be brought into coaching conversations.
D. Coaches should share ideas, not expectations.
The focus is changing from results to process; therefore discussion should be placed on ways to better perform the process not on how to achieve results.
E. Finally, managers should prepare the team for change.
By not preparing the team for change, the team might show unnecessary resistance and may not be open minded to the coaching process. Management should make employees aware of the changes, why the changes are taking place and be open to all questions about the process.
V. Tactical Coaching
A. Who do you coach?
1. It is important to understand that not everyone is coachable.
2. The following six qualities need to be present in the person and the coaching relationship in order for the coaching experience to have an impact.
a. Actionability – a combination of both action and ability. This is used to determine the person’s actual proficiency and aptitude and well as the actions that drive success.
b. Gap – the space between where the person is now and where they want to be.
c. Responsibility and ownership – If the person you are coaching is unwilling to take full responsibility for their career or the outcomes produced throughout the coaching process, the coaching will be ineffective.
d. Willingness – How badly does the salesperson want to achieve the goals she has laid out?
e. Trust – In order for any coaching conversation to be effective, trust must exist between the salesperson and the coach.
f. Honesty – refers to the ability of the person you are coaching to be open and vulnerable.
B. What can you coach?
1. You can coach “the who”. The who are the values, passions, standards, boundaries, and integrities.
2. You can coach the attitude. The attitudes are the beliefs, mindsets, philosophies, outlooks, and assumptions.
3. You can coach the lesson. The lesson is what they have learned and are they getting it?
4. You can coach the ideal characteristics. Examples are extroverted, actionable, honest, strong communicator, process driven, etc.
5. You can coach the skill, the activity the strategy, and the commitment.
6. You can coach communication. Communication is the language, dialogue, delivery, presence, and disposition.
7. Finally, you can coach the relationships they have with intangible concepts and feelings as well as their stories and s.c.a.m.ms discussed earlier.
VI. The Question is the Answer
A. Questions raise awareness when people stop to rethink something and challenge current perceptions, assumptions or behaviors.
B. Questions encourage ownership by empowering someone to come up with his own solutions that fit him rather than being told what to do.
C. Questions create a pressure free environment and motivate people to share information and ideas while creating a more meaningful relationship between managers and coworkers.
D. Questions help people clarify their thoughts, while uncovering their needs, goals, problems, fears, values, and objectives.
E. Questions encourage people to clarify the truth on their own.
F. Questions encourage discipline and active listening which will increase their development and the effectiveness of coaching sessions.
G. Questions enroll, convince, and persuade people to do something they may normally be resistant to doing.
H. Rosen provides examples of solution orientated questions.
1. What is the lesson here?
2. What did you do well?
3. How can you handle this better next time?
4. What needs to change?
5. What strategy or solution can we put in place to achieve the results you want?
6. What resource might help you?
7. How can you change your thinking around the way you manage your time that will make you a master of your day?
VII. Assumptive Coaching and Dangerous Listening
A. The most important part of coaching is being able to listen and interpret what the salesperson is saying in order to effectively provide guidance to the salesperson.
B. Rosen discusses eight barriers to listening.
1. Are you doing something else while the person is talking?
2. During your conversation with someone, do you wait for a pause so you can say something?
3. How difficult is it for you to stay quiet?
4. Are you faking your listening just so you can say your own comments?
5. Do you practice selective listening?
6. Are you aware of the message the person talking is trying to get across?
7. Do you allow background noise or your environment to inhibit your ability to listen?
8. Do you listen through filters?
VIII. Facilitating an Effective Coaching Conversation
A. Rosen lays out the anatomy of a coaching session in his book.
1. The opening consists of small talk, casual conversation about the week or how they are feeling.
2. Confirming expectations is the next step. Here, verbally set the expectation of the coaching session. What do they expect from you and what do they want to walk away with or learn?
3. Next, review the prep form and discuss weekly progress.
4. Then use the LEADS coaching model. These are the five steps to facilitating a coaching conversation.
a. Listen for what the person is saying and not saying instead of filling in the gaps with assumptions. Effective listening enhances relationship, improves credibility¸ gives you more confidence, and increases the level of trust.
b. Evoke or ask questions to gain more information or to clarify something. Asking the right questions is one of the most important aspects of coaching.
c. Answer or respond to gain further clarity of a situation and what people are saying and feeling. Even though the coach may have uncovered several ways to fix the current situation, it is important to reconfirm the actual source of the problem or specific result they are seeking.
d. Discuss the intended message and the situation. This step allows the coach to go into more detail and to get more information in order to better coach the salesperson to reach their goals.
e. After the expectations and the action plans have been determined, provide support to the salesperson.
5. Following the LEADS model, the sales coach should identify the value and the take away by confirming what expectations have been met, ask what new insight the person has, a skill that needs further development, or a problem that has been solved.
6. Conduct a brief recap regarding their feelings so far. What do they want to do more of or less of during the next meeting?
7. Determine that action steps they are committing to taking, tasks they are willing to complete, and conversations they are going to have.
8. Set the time and length for the next coaching session.
9. Wrap up the call or meeting with any final thoughts or additional areas of opportunity to coach during the next coaching session.
IX. Ultimate Goal of Sales Coaching
A. Creating Highly Effective Sales People
B. Top 10 Characteristics of Highly Effective Sales People
1. Are constantly learning and continually invest in themselves and their professional lives
2. Are masterful communicators
3. Are creative
4. Develop a positive and healthy attitude
5. Are passionate
6. Responsive, proactive, highly adaptable, and flexible
7. Exemplify what their customers want
8. Are process driven
9. Create an experience that allows for sales to occur
10. Are masters of time management and organization
X. In Conclusion
Rosen uses all of these tools and techniques in order to courage companies and managers to input a coaching model into their every day management duties. By spending time with our salespeople, companies will reach, maybe even exceed, their goals.
With business conditions today, what the author wrote is a helpful tool for managers. In today’s economy where sales are not always where managers would like them to be, managers have to find creative ways to increase their sales and motivate their employees. Rosen introduces this sales coaching model that allows for open communication between management and employees in order to guide salespeople through positive conversations they can have with potential customers in order to increase their sales. This tool focuses on following a process and developing behaviors that provide an environment conducive to creating sales.
If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:
1. Rosen uses many examples to support what he is saying. Had he used the same example throughout the entire book, the reader could get a better idea of the process from start to finish and what the indicators of a successful coaching program would look like.
2. Rosen has a lot of information in this book. It is almost overwhelming. Managers may be hesitant to input the program because of the amount of information to be learned and the cost involved.
3. Rosen could have made it more interesting. The information is good information however it is a hard book to stay motivated to read.
Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:
1. Where I work, we use a form of a coaching model. Prior to reading the book I was unsure the point of the concept. However, I now understand that by having consistent coaching sessions, managers are encouraging open communication in order to assist employees in reaching goals by becoming committed to a process.
2. My mom is an executive sales coach. I now understand her role as a coach and the “Coach the Coach program” mentioned in Rosen’s book.
3. Coaching is not about what people are doing wrong, it is how they can do something differently in order to create more productive conversations and create new opportunities.
I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:
1. During my coaching sessions I will be more proactive with my manager in order to reach my potential and have better conversations with potential customers in order to increase productivity.
2. If I am ever in the position to coach employees underneath me I will have the knowledge required to make these coaching sessions a positive experience for employees and the organization.
3. After reading Rosen’s perspective on coaching, I understand the importance of asking questions rather than just providing answers.
The overall consensus of opinions on this book is that it is a very useful tool for management to use while working with their salespeople.
From the book:
“This is a book that will take an entire sales organization to the next level. Keith is spot on, and his approach to accountability in the coaching process is what so many sales people and sales managers are missing”
–Tom Ziglar, CEO of Ziglar, Inc.
“I heartily recommend this book for your library. The author’s one-on-one coaching style makes it an easy to read, yet highly informative text. A “must read” for the career sales person, whether you’re the manager looking for help or on the front line of sales working those opportunities. Keith Rosen outlines a framework for successful coaching, including key tips, the “Fatal Mistakes” a coach makes, and how to establish a long term coaching environment. The nuggets of wisdom I found in the chapter titled “Nine Barriers to Coaching a Sales Team” were immeasurable. This is not rehashed material – it’s fresh, easy to read, and packed with insight you will use every day.”
From the website:
“Winning in sales is no different than winning in life. As someone who has done a lot of personal and professional coaching over the years, I see tremendous value for anyone who reads this book. If the reader will embrace Keith’s philosophy around coaching, they can certainly expect to win in all areas of their life, while making a profound and measurable impact on their salespeople’s performance and attitude.” Dr. Denis Waitley, Best Selling Author of The Seeds of Greatness and The Psychology of Winning
David C. Wyld (email@example.com) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/.