4 Reasons Your Sales Manager Make a Horrible Coach

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2023

4 Reasons Your Sales Manager Make a Horrible Coach...and it's not their fault.

Like athletes, salespeople are experiencing the benefits of one-one, individualized coaching. When employees are heard, attitudes improve, efficiencies gain, and results soar, goals accomplished. Just about every influencer, personal growth author or high performing individual talks about and/or attributes their success to the coaching they received. There is no doubt coaching performance works, on and off the field.

Coaching requires holding space, diving into limiting beliefs and exploring growth opportunities, encouraging shifts in tactics and mindset.

Is this how your manager shows up to your regular one-one meetings? I didn’t think so. From my experience managers are often harried and/or distracted, ill-equipped to hold space.

And then there are these four other issues:

  1. Compensation – In 99% of companies, your manager’s performance review and compensation are tied to your results. It’s human nature they have their best interest or results in mind while managing you. Hence, it’s darn near impossible for your manager to coach you objectively. Manage defined tasks yes but coach no.
  2. Objectivity – Due to their own fixed or limiting mindset, they may have already made up their mind what you can and can’t do. They’ve shutdown to the idea you can change, shift to a growth mindset and excel all because of that one time you didn’t get your work in on time or deliver the desired company results.
  3. Training – Very often managers are promoted from within especially in small business, under 500 employee companies. It’s a natural career progression in these businesses. An individual performer excels in a position so logically their next step is to manage other people in that position. The challenge is going from individual performer to manager without any formal management, leadership or coach training.
  4. Consistent Time – Managers are often pulled in many directions especially during shifting corporate direction due to an inconsistent economy or uncertain business climate. I can’t tell you how many times my manager would cancel our standing meeting 30 minutes prior to our scheduled time. I am sure I am not the only one. I believe since I was a consistent high performer, I was an easy push when my manager was thinking “I have fires to put out and she really doesn’t need me.”

In some ways, I didn’t need him. During a Seattle IT conference, I attended a breakout session presented by IT leaders and their personal coaches. The success stories were amazing, how they grew teams, made career moves and more money.  Each leader met regularly with a coach outside of their organization to bounce ideas, build confidence and shift limiting beliefs. 

Soon after, I hired my own coach. I was getting my coaching outside of the organization. It’s how I decided to solve my personal growth problem. I had been feeling stuck, a little under-appreciated and I wanted to break limits I had imposed on myself, see what was possible for me. And I did. I hit earning goals I didn’t think were possible a few years prior. I was in sales so it was a win for me and my company. Yes, I paid for coaching out of pocket but the return far exceeded the expense.

I am not sure my company would have paid for it. I’d ask for outside training that wasn’t perceived “specific” to my position and it was denied. So honestly, I didn’t even ask for them to pay for my coach.

But you could.

Or employers could hire or contract a performance coach for staff as an added benefit similar to the role Wendy Rhoades plays on the Showtime series Billions.  

Or the final solution is employers can send their managers to coaching training. It doesn’t solve the issue of compensation being tied but it does provide the skill of holding space and often that is all we really need to excel.

Particularly in sales, shifting your money mindset can unlock more opportunities leading you to greater financial gains.

If you'd like to explore 1:1 with certified Financial Life Coach, Liz Carroll, schedule a free sample session Financial Life Coach Mini Session.


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