In sports, coaches play a critical role in developing players’ skills.

That’s why Celtics GM Danny Ainge brought coach Brad Stevens to Boston – to help young players make drastic improvements.

And it’s working. Last season, he took one of the youngest teams in the league to the playoffs, when everybody expected them to tank for a high draft pick.

Sales coaching can have a similar impact, especially on teams filled with sales reps fresh out of college. When done properly, sales coaching can go a long way.

So, what is the right approach to sales coaching?

Sales expert Jason Jordan recommends an execution sales coaching model.

This type of model compensates for the weaknesses of alignment coaching models, which fail to address the most critical detriment of sales performance and what executives want most: consistent execution in the field.

Alignment models are designed for periodic intervention and planning. But in reality, sales coaching is most effective when it’s part of a sales rep’s natural routine.

That’s where the execution sales coaching model comes in.

The Execution Sales Coaching Model

The ultimate goal of the execution sales coaching model is to create a process for having regular conversations with reps, and for making these conversations as specific, data-driven, and actionable as possible, so that reps make tangible improvements in their sales execution.

Execution models take sales activities and bring them to life through targeted coaching conversations that seek to drive an increase in quota attainment and sales results. This contrasts with the nature of alignment models, which work backwards from business results to pinpoint the specific activities that produce them.

The execution model can be boiled down to a 3-step process:

  1. Monitor the chosen activities
  2. Within a management rhythm
  3. Using structured conversions

The best sales coaches deliberately block off time in their schedules to have in-depth conversations with reps about their sales activities and execution.

The Integrated Sales Coaching Model

It’s important to note that you don’t have to choose between an alignment model and an execution model – you can apply both using an integrated approach, which looks something like this:

By combining these two sales coaching models, sales managers can ensure that the activities they regularly discuss with reps are the same activities that are driving business results.

The integrated sales coaching model can also be broken down to a 3-step process:

  1. Identifying primary business results (e.g. revenue goal)
  2. Working backwards to pinpoint the activities required to achieve these results
  3. Creating and carrying out a coaching rhythm that ensures execution in the field

Identifying Your Reps’ Weaknesses

Sales reps need targeted coaching in different areas – one-size-fits-all coaching is simply ineffective. But how do sales managers know which activities to coach their reps on?

They need to look at each rep individually to find out exactly which activities are in the most need of improvement.

To understand how sales managers can leverage data to identify the one skill each rep needs to improve and develop a tailored coaching plan accordingly, read our FREE eBook: Creating a Metrics-Based Coaching Model.

Read more: Principles of Effective Sales Coaching and Reinforcement