Why Sales Managers Aren’t Coaching

“What happens if we train them and they leave; what happens if we don’t and they stay?”  We have all heard that one before and it is just as true today as it was when it was first uttered.  

Many organizations believe that if they hire someone with experience they won’t require much coaching or training.  It is especially true in sales.   Few organizations have in house training and even fewer provide training exclusively for the sales team.  Therefore, in many cases, coaching is left to the sales manager. 

But sales managers struggle with these four obstacles:

Demanding Work Environments

Sales managers operate in demanding environments.  They spend their day working on the hottest deals, pricing, closing, and dealing with staff (expense reports, commission checks, HR issues).  In many organizations, the sales manager is often required to push reports to executives or other corporate departments. 

Far down the list in their job description is coaching and training.  There are no measurable goals or compensation for them to train, only whether you hit your revenue goal.

Inadequate Skill Set

Most sales managers have matriculated into the role by first being a sales rep and approach the job with that mindset.  However, sales coaching is an entirely different skill set than being a sales rep.  Once past onboarding and orientation, there is usually little curriculum available.  Frankly, through no fault of their own, they do not know what to teach.  There are no college degrees in Sales Management.  

Meeting Fail

Some sales managers have the mindset that meetings fulfill coaching and training needs.  But that is often not the case. 

  • Group meeting fail:  Meetings that could include coaching and training are focused on pipeline metrics, hot deals, and corporate announcements. 
  • One-on-one meeting fail:  Some sales managers think they are conducting training when they are merely providing feedback. Feedback is reactive and occurs after events.  Coaching is proactive and occurs before events. 


The sales manager will face resistance.   Sales people, especially the seasoned ones, dislike things like coaching, training and role playing.   They think they can merely rely upon their relationships.        

With 2021 rapidly coming upon us, companies are preparing for something completely different.  Sales managers will likely have less availability, less resources and less support to provide the team with the coaching it requires for success.   Outsourcing is the most viable alternative and engaging an organization virtually during their kickoff meeting is an inexpensive and efficient way to drive revenue for 2021.