Proven One Minute Manager Methods for Better Sales Coaching

Use our free Sales Club resources for coaching sales people.

Coaching Sales People

Perhaps you remember the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard. It is an excellent book that advocates catching people doing things right. It was referred to as managing in the book yet Ken was writing about effective, in the moment, coaching practices. His principles and advice is ideally suited to coaching sales people.

For those on your team who are smashing the numbers every month or quarter, you probably don't need to intervene in any way.

As a sales manager, the hard part is getting all the others to achieve like your top performers. If you are one of the chasers, the challenge is to figure out what the top people are doing differently. If you are one of the elite, you can increase your contribution by coaching peers.

Coaches can be assigned like they are in a football team. What sports person would not avail themselves of a coach if they could? There are a few exceptions yet almost all of the top performers have a coach or even a coaching team.

The coach must have credibility unless . . . we don't call it coaching.

How about helping sales people find better ways to do things?

A simple way to start a conversation is to ask, how do you do . . .

How do you find new sales prospects? How do you deal with the rejection? What's the best way you have found to . . .

How do you get introduced to the people who can start a buying process? How do you get them to discuss their problems?

You can pick any of a dozen or so difficult aspects of selling and start a conversation amongst team members or peers.

So coming back to using the Sales Club resources as coaching tools, simply look through the resources for a topic. Refrain from offering solutions unless asked. Coaching sales people or any adults is mainly about getting what is inside, out - rather than putting something in.

If you want to discuss attitudes, use the sales aptitude assessment as a prompt. Repeat one of the aptitude statements and then ask those listening how they think most top performers would respond.

Use the statements in the sales skills assessment to prompt discussion of methods and skills in any of the ten aspects examined:

  • Expertise – offering, customers, market, and the organisation represented
  • Advocacy – speaking, writing, and communicating value
  • Communication – listening, questioning, and cold reading skills
  • Mentalist – awareness, observation, and control of non-verbal signals
  • Persuasion – ability to change people’s minds and prompt action
  • Door opening – networking, obtaining enough leads, and engaging buyers
  • Qualification – pre qualification, qualifying for value, and quantifying qualification
  • Deal maker – recognising preferred choice, competitive strategy, closing, and negotiation
  • Organisation – planning, contingency, and using a process
  • Problem solving – Foreknowledge, difficult problems, and solving methods
The on-the-job actions in the 'Skills Gap Solutions' section are aligned with ten aspects of the sales skills assessment. Select something relevant and ask team members or colleagues if they have tried it or if they think it would work or what they do in similar situations.
Coaching sales people doesn't have to be formal. It doesn't have to be called coaching. All it takes to start a discussion that reveals opportunities for improvement is a thoughtful prompt.

Article by Clive Miller


If you need to change sales behaviour through coaching sales people, we can help, telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to discuss your needs or talk through some options. Alternatively Send email to for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.