Sales Training vs Sales Coaching

Sales Training vs. Sales Coaching: What’s the Difference? 

Sales isn’t just a buzzword, but the heartbeat of your business success. Here at Tony Meredith Coaching (TMC), we’ve been turning the wheels of businesses like yours since 2018, not just pushing them forward, but propelling them into new realms of success. But let’s cut to the chase – you’re here for the details on two power players in the sales arena: Sales Training and Sales Coaching.

Now, you might be thinking, “Aren’t they just two peas in a pod?” Well, not quite. It’s like comparing a Swiss Army knife to a samurai sword – both are sharp, but they serve different purposes. We’re here to unravel the threads that distinctly separate these two approaches.

You see, in this ever-evolving business landscape, knowing the difference between training that hones your skills and coaching that tailors strategies to your unique sales personality is not just smart – it’s essential. 

What’s Sales Training?

Sales training is a structured program designed to teach sales professionals the fundamental skills and knowledge they need to sell effectively.

The Power of Structure in Learning

Think of sales training as a well-oiled machine. It’s systematic, it’s thorough, and it’s all about equipping you or your team with the necessary tools of the trade. We’re talking about the basics here – how to approach a sale, understanding the sales cycle, and mastering communication techniques. It’s the kind of training that ensures everyone’s on the same page, speaking the same sales language. This structured approach can be a game-changer, especially for those new to the sales world or teams that need to recalibrate their strategies.

But Wait, There’s a Catch

Now, don’t get us wrong – sales training has its perks, but it’s not without its limitations. The most glaring one? The one-size-fits-all approach. Imagine giving the same size shoes to everyone in a marathon; it doesn’t work that way, right? Sales training can sometimes overlook the unique strengths and weaknesses of individual salespeople. It’s great for foundational skills, but when it comes to catering to individual needs, it might fall short.

Here’s something you might find surprising – despite its limitations, traditional sales training can still pack a punch. Did you know that according to a study, companies that invest in comprehensive sales training programs have witnessed a whopping 50% jump in sales productivity? That’s nothing to sneeze at. It goes to show that even with its one-size-fits-all nature, the structured learning and skill development from sales training can significantly impact a team’s performance.

What’s Sales Coaching? 

Think of sales coaching not as a one-size-fits-all raincoat but as a tailor-made suit, perfectly fitting every contour of your business persona. It’s about getting up close and personal with your sales style, not just skimming the surface like a stone over water.

Imagine your favourite sports coach – only this time, the game is sales, and you’re the star player. Sales coaching is that essential behind-the-scenes work, where someone knowledgeable guides you through the sales techniques, adapting and tweaking strategies to fit you like a glove. It’s about identifying your unique strengths and polishing them until they shine brighter than a diamond in a jeweller’s window.

But sales coaching is not just a pep talk before the big game; it’s a continuous journey of growth and learning. It’s the difference between a gardener who just waters the plants and one who knows exactly when to prune, fertilize, and water, ensuring each plant thrives. In sales coaching, you’re the plant, and your coach is the gardener, helping you blossom in the competitive world of sales.

Studies have shown that sales coaching can increase performance by up to 20%. That’s right, not 5%, not 10%, but a whopping 20%! This is a significant leap towards achieving your sales goals. It’s like finding a secret weapon that your competitors might not even know exists.

Training vs. Coaching

You’re probably wondering, “What sets sales training apart from coaching?” Think of it this way: sales training is your intensive boot camp, while sales coaching is more like having a personal fitness trainer. Both get you fit, but in different ways.

The Breakdown: Sales Training

  • What it is: Sales training is like the textbook of sales. It’s structured, it’s informative, and it’s all about giving you the basic to advanced know-how.
  • Best for: Perfect if you’re new to the sales game or looking to brush up on the latest techniques and strategies. It’s the one-size-fits-all T-shirt of the sales world – great for general purposes.

Picture a company rolling out a new product. They need their sales team to understand this product inside out, pronto. Sales training swoops in to save the day, providing the whole team with uniform knowledge and skills.

Remember, sales training isn’t just about learning; it’s about applying. It’s great for learning the ‘what’ and ‘how’, but not always the ‘why’.

The Breakdown: Sales Coaching

  • What it is: Sales coaching, on the other hand, is all about the personal touch. It’s customized, ongoing, and dives deep into your unique sales style.
  • Best for: Ideal when you’re looking to refine your individual sales approach. Think of it as tailoring your sales suit – it’s made to fit just you.

Let’s say you’re a sales veteran, but lately, your numbers aren’t hitting the mark. A sales coach steps in, works with you one-on-one, helps you pinpoint your challenges, and crafts strategies tailored just for you.

Coaching is a two-way street. It’s not just about being guided; it’s about being willing to explore and change. The magic happens in the interaction and the personalized feedback.

Making the Right Choice: Sales Training or Sales Coaching?

First off, understand this: Your choice between sales training and coaching isn’t a coin toss at a wishing well. It’s a strategic decision that hinges on your specific needs and circumstances. You’re the captain of your ship, and we’re just here to provide the navigation chart.

Your Personalised Checklist

  1. Scale of Your Operations: Are you running a solo show or leading a team?
    • If you’re a lone wolf in the sales world, coaching might be your golden ticket.
    • Leading a pack? Training could be the way to rally the troops.
  2. Current Skill Level: Be honest, where do you (or your team) stand in terms of sales expertise?
    • If you’re just dipping your toes in the sales pool, training can be like those floaties that keep you buoyant.
    • Already a decent swimmer? Coaching can be the push to help you swim like Phelps.
  3. Your Sales Goals: What’s on your sales vision board?
    • Chasing a big, hairy, audacious sales goal? Individualized coaching might be the jet fuel you need.
    • If it’s about broadening the base skills of your team, training sessions can be your bread and butter.
  4. Budget and Resources: Ah, the inevitable ‘B’ word.
    • Got more budget constraints than a tightrope walker? Group training can be more cost-effective.
    • If you’ve got some wiggle room in the budget, investing in personalized coaching can bring in dividends.
  5. Time and Commitment: How much time can you dedicate?
    • If you’re looking for a quick skills upgrade, training sessions are like those express elevators – quick and efficient.
    • If you’re in it for the long haul and can commit time, coaching is like a scenic road trip – takes longer, but the views (read: results) are worth it.
  6. Flexibility and Customisation: Do you follow the beat of your drum?
    • Love structure? Training programs often have a set curriculum, much like a well-oiled machine.
    • If customization is your jam, coaching allows for more flexibility, like a jazz improvisation.

The TMC Difference: A Unique Blend of Sales Training and Coaching

At Tony Meredith Coaching (TMC), we’ve crafted a unique approach since 2018 that intertwines the robust structure of sales training with the personalized finesse of sales coaching. It’s not about choosing one over the other; it’s about blending them to create a powerhouse of sales effectiveness tailor-made for you and your business.

How We Integrate Both Methods

Imagine a world where sales training and coaching are like two different spices. At TMC, we don’t just toss them separately into the pot; we expertly blend them. Our approach starts with the foundational strength of sales training. This is where you’ll grasp the essential skills, the tried-and-tested techniques that form the backbone of effective selling. But we don’t stop there.

We then infuse this with the personalized touch of sales coaching. You know, the kind that looks at your unique challenges, goals, and strengths. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s a tailored suit, fitting you perfectly in all the right places. Through this coaching, we address the individual quirks and nuances of your sales style, fine-tuning strategies to align with your personal and business objectives.

The Secret Ingredient

Here’s something you might not hear every day: At TMC, we believe the magic happens at the intersection of training and coaching. It’s our ‘secret sauce’, so to speak. Our unique insight is recognizing that sales skills aren’t just about the ‘how-to’s; they’re also about the ‘why’s and the ‘what if’s.

We delve deep into understanding not just how you sell, but why your customers buy. This involves leveraging psychological insights and market trends to give you an edge that goes beyond traditional methods. It’s about equipping you with the skills and then coaching you on how to adapt them to real-world scenarios – your scenarios.

So, while we take pride in our expertise and the success we’ve nurtured since 2018, our biggest triumph is seeing you succeed. It’s not just about giving you the tools; it’s about coaching you on how to wield them effectively in the ever-changing marketplace.