Stop Selling – Start Coaching: Top Salespeople Coach Customers to Succeed – Part 1

Your customers have evolved. So have your salespeople. That’s why top salespeople are great coaches. Instead of training salespeople with outdated techniques your competitors use, developing a top-performing sales team requires transforming salespeople into a Selling Coach. To become a sales champion, attain market dominance and outsell your competition, becoming a Consultative Sales Coach enables you to attract more business and loyal customers by coaching customers to succeed. You’re also preparing salespeople for their promotion into management. Here are 15 characteristics of The Consultative Sales Coach.

Learn how to coach your customers to succeed. Subscribe here to get more updates and resources to become a Selling Coach or find out more here about the first program of its kind to develop salespeople into consultative sales coaches.

The Evolution of Selling – The Consultative Sales Coach                                                        

Transforming Salespeople Into Selling Coaches who Coach Customers to Succeed

The question every company wants answered when it comes to accelerating growth, revenue, employee development, productivity and success is, “How can we maintain our competitive edge, build our brand, outsell our competition and consistently achieve our sales goals?”

Top Performers Sell with Questions – Not Answers

Being the innovator and the first to create a program that specifically focuses on developing sales leaders and all people managers into world-class coaches, I continually noticed the parallel between sales leadership coaching and professional selling.

And years ago, my clients stared recognizing it too. In practically every sales leadership coaching program that I delivered, I would hear from at least one of the participants, “Keith, when reading your book, Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions, this model can really apply to sales. If the art of coaching is to create possibilities, and always make it about the coachee, then the same model can apply to selling.” Ironically, this is exactly how I sell. Well, I don’t sell. Instead, I coach prospects, which is why the definition of coaching and the definition of selling are the same.

Selling is the art of creating new possibilities.

The more I worked with sales leaders, the more I refined my leadership coach transformation program to apply to salespeople as well. Not only did the salespeople notice an immediate improvement in performance and enjoyed this coaching approach to selling, but their customers were embracing it as well! That’s why sales training isn’t dead, it’s evolved.

As a serial innovator, rather than looking for what’s next, I create it. That’s why after coaching hundreds of thousands of salespeople all over the world for over 30 years, I identified what the next high-performing salesperson looks like – a coach. Since I’ve created this new model of selling and pioneered this transformation in professional selling, this is the first time anyone has written on this, so you’re hearing this from me before anyone else, which means you can be the first to drive this sales evolution.

This is what will transform how companies train, develop and coach their salespeople forever. Developing your sales team into high-performing, selling coaches enables any salesperson to coach their customers to succeed, while maximizing the value of your brand, product and service.

Top Leaders Coach – So Do Top Salespeople

While my coaching model remains the same, the only thing that really changes is the conversation. Now, instead of a conversation between a manager and a direct report, it’s a coaching conversation between the salesperson and prospect or customer.

Now, every salesperson can coach their customers in a way that empowers them find their own solution; one they would have greater ownership of, rather than being told what to buy.

Eliminating the Timeless Struggle When a Salesperson Becomes a Manager

Have you ever promoted a great salesperson into a management position, only to watch them struggle with managing, developing & coaching their team? To solve this age-old, universal conundrum, prepare your future managers for their next position.

Sales training isn’t the answer. To build a bench of next-gen successful leaders, start developing your salespeople into Consultative Sales Coaches. Now, when promoted they will already possess the most important skill for every leader – coaching.

The New Language of Selling is Coaching

Leadership is a language, mindset and skill set. This holds true for selling as well. If you only focus on the skill, process, language and messaging or strategy of selling (the outer game) and not the attitude or way of thinking (the inner game), then you’re only developing half of the sales champion you can be. This is why most sales training fails to generate long-term, measurable results or become embedded in your company culture.

The Manager Coach + The Selling Coach = High-Performance Coaching Culture

The best salespeople are the most effective communicators. And just like every manager needs to learn the language of coaching when coaching salespeople, every salesperson needs to learn and leverage the new language of selling – and that is the language of coaching. When everyone in your organization speaks one language, and, regardless of tenure, title, department or position gets coached by one another effectively and consistently, the results are extraordinary, and a coaching culture will emerge.

This is how you create, embed and sustain a top-performing culture and get your peers, team and company focused on one unified vision, strategy and shared goal.

Top Characteristics of The Consultative Sales Coach

Of course, there are universal, timeless best practices when it comes to professional selling. And when building a house, while every foundation is virtually made the same, it’s what is built upon that foundation that makes each home unique.

Here’s a list of 15 characteristics of The Selling Coach. If you emulate some of these characteristics, then congratulations! You’re the 1%’ers. Use this as a checklist to identify areas to work on so that you can coach your customers to succeed.

  1. Instead of selling with answers, you sell with questions.
  2. The Selling Coach also teaches their customers how they can coach their employees and customers, so they can deliver the value of coaching to them, as well.
  3. Rather than being future based, result driven, and fearful, you are process driven and live in the moment, so you can detach from the outcome. Now, better outcomes are created, while simultaneously being mindful of your goals and enhancing your quality of life. Life happens now, not next.
  4. Instead of overcoming people’s objections, you coach customers to overcome their own.
  5. Rather than living from a place of reaction, you live with intention by mastering time management, life balance, personal productivity and get off the adrenaline train.
  6. Instead of focusing on the sale, you honor the fundamental principle of leadership; to make your people more valuable, including your customers.
  7. Instead of being the Chief Problem Solver, you coach customers to arrive at their own solutions through the strategic use of deeper, open-ended questions.
  8. Instead of pitching or pushing your solution/agenda, you’re having a conversation focused on them; their agenda, culture, who, why and motivations, not just what they want.
  9. Instead of making damaging assumptions about the customer, company, needs, buying process and level of service, you seek to understand their point of view by assessing, not assuming the facts.
  10. Instead of solely focusing on your activity, pipeline and sales goals, you also focus on how many lives you can positively impact.
  11. Instead of closing customers, you’re coaching them to create new and better possibilities so the sale becomes the natural byproduct.
  12. The Selling Coach knows what people hear they resist but what they say they believe. This is why the question is always more important than the answer and the answer you get is only as good as the question you ask.
  13. Instead of making the sales process about you and what you can gain, you make it about the customer and the value you can give.
  14. Instead of pushing the sales process forward, you first determine if there’s a fit worth pursuing.
  15. Instead of focusing on the results you want, you’re focused on the outcome and relationship your customers want.

This is the evolution of the sales champion and your growth strategy to exceed your business objectives and outsell your competition. Part two is an interview with the Top 1% Sellers Academy. I’ll be sending you the link to this podcast to reinforce how you can transform into a Consultative Sales Coach!