The Sales Coaching Dilemma

The Sales Coaching Dilemma

What is Coaching? Well, coaching is intended to guide, lead, direct, and teach someone. However, like training and management, Coaching is unregulated; therefore, anyone can address themselves as coaches, and many do. However, there are four distinguished levels in Coaching; and as you progress from one level to another, the need for skill and experience increases to correspond with the complexity of the coaching process.

  • Career coach and life-skills coach

This coaching level is classified by the coaching process of being in the hand of the person being coached or being subject to the person being coached. This means the individual being coached (Client) drives the coaching agenda rather than the coach. This is where most of the coaches operate, as the focus of this coaching program centers on life issues, skills, and careers. There is a large and significant gap in knowledge, experience, and skills between coaches operating at this level and other coaches.

  • Life skill coaches

Life Skills Coaches will have arrived in the coaching role from various routes, some from training and some from their experiences. Just about anyone from anywhere can become a life skill coach. They do not need any qualification, certification, degree, or experience. Some will have been trained; a few will qualify; most will have picked up their Coaching knowledge and skills from novels or attending a short course.

Some of these life coaches can provide dangerous coaching services because, being self-taught psychoanalysts, they tend to explore people’s deep routed emotional issues without the capability or experience of knowing when to stop or how to manage situations when they get out of hand. They seek to coach people on being healthy, prosperous, and happy, where most will certainly not be wealthy; others might be healthy. Significant numbers are blissfully happy to have anyone to listen to them. They represent 90% of the Coaching population at Level 1. You will encounter them at every event in increasing numbers.

  • Career coaches:

Career Coaches are usually found in organizations, sometimes employed from external sources, often in the Human Resources Department. That said, many internal career coaches will have undergone various levels of formal training. Some will use career-preference inventories to help them add a form of credibility to their efforts.

  • Sales coach

The coaching process at Level 2 is focused on business outcomes and is driven by the coach. This is why many coaching initiatives in companies have failed, and continue to fail. The reason is that the people involved in career coaching are either only being trained at Level 1 –  which is not a lot, or not trained at all.

Sales Coaches should have some experience in sales, not from the perspective of specific knowledge of the product and service being sold, but of the emotional pressures associated with being in a sales role. Salespeople are very skeptical of coaches who do not have sales experience, whether this is right or wrong is immaterial. 

You will get on better with the target audience if you understand selling from practical experience, and getting on with the salesperson is crucial. Sales Coaching in this form works because the coaching relationship is built on trust, where the trust criteria range on trust from the salesperson in the coach; and the belief that performance short-falls and experimentation to improve will not be criticized. There’s also trust from the coach in the salesperson that the latter is trying to improve and not just pretending.

  • Should sales coaching be short-term or long-term? 

When asked, “is sales coaching short-term or long-term?” many people will opt for long-term. The correct answer is short-term; by this, I mean that each coaching session focuses on a short-term activity. In football, you often hear the saying – “we take it one game at a time,” and so it is with sales coaching. The football coach may have a long-term goal to win the league, but a slavish focus on winning the league is fraught with failure without the focused activity of working out what it will take to win the next game. In this way, Sales Coaches work on one thing at a time, taking one piece out of the entire sales process and working with it until it is improved. It is called whole-part-whole because the sales coach takes a small part of the whole process, improves it, and the knock-on effect improves the whole.

  •  Meta coach:

If you have heard of the coach, the Meta coach is that coach. In a sales or business environment, this should be the line manager. Still, it can also work by using either internal trainers as the Meta coach or external trainers, provided there is a significant level of interaction between the Meta coach and senior management. If the Meta coach is not the line manager, then the Meta coach must have direct and regular access to the senior line manager, preferably the manager above them.

  • Executive Coaching

External coaches almost exclusively provide Executive Coaching to senior management as either a development tool, a career advancement process, or sometimes simply as a way of spending an allocated budget without any particular end game. It should provide an opportunity to engender some blue-sky thinking on the part of the senior manager being coached, and in some environments, it does work. It depends on how experienced the executive coach is, why they were engaged in the first place, and where the outcomes of the coaching sessions are reported.

Executive coaches work with senior managers helping them develop leadership skills and behaviors. However, you must understand that instance of Executive Coaching being provided by internal coaches is rare. In any event, the best coaches are often frustrated by how Coaching is viewed by the organization and the constant introduction of the latest training fad; and they leave to set up their coaching consultancies.


The most effective form of Coaching in business is sales coaching. Still, the budget for developing line sales managers as actual sales coaches must be agreed upon by senior managers, and senior managers must become involved in regularly supporting their sales coaches. They can show support through the provision of Meta coaching. 

Unfortunately, the increasing population of life skills coaches in professional coaching means many businesses are not aware of the various coaching options available to them Hence, their bad choice for a coach is because of their ignorance. This ignorance is also noticed through the budget, as many businesses either opt for Level-1 coaches because they are mainly low budget or the Level-4 coaches, which are expensive, as it is reserved for seniors. Regrettably, that belief means that many sales organizations miss out on the significant positive impact that sales coaching can have on revenue improvement.


In conclusion, different coaches vary in their respective occupations. The most effective type of Coaching is sale coaching, they are focused on building and enhancing the status of businesses or organizations. This article hopes to convince and educate you on the dilemma of sales Coaching that many organizations and businesses fall prey to.

tony meredith business coach

Bio of Tony Meredith

Tony Meredith Coaching focuses on helping business owners Grow Sales, Increase Profits, and Regain Time. 

Tony Meredith Coaching started in 2018 and works with hundreds of small-medium businesses across Australia, in the areas of Services, Franchising, Retail, Manufacturing, and Trades.

Tony has over 25 years of experience working for some of the world’s largest corporations in a variety of senior sales and leadership roles.

Tony and his team provide a range of specialist business coaching sessions, including individual business coachinggroup business coaching, and online business coaching.

Contact Tony and his team if you want to grow an outstanding business.

Contact Details


Phone:            07 3394 8221