How To Start & Grow Your Business

3 Ways Sales Coaching Differs For High Performers

From the Editor's Desk
Sep 15th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Get inside their heads and improve their thinking. 2Sometimes "negative" feedback is the best. 3Salespeople think quickly. Help them fill in the gaps.
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Sales Management

Defying obstacles/female kayaker in rough water Photo Credit: Oleg Zabyelin

Sales managers often see top performers as a double edged sword—on one hand, they are highly valued employees who generate company revenue; on the other hand, they can drive managers crazy by acting like “lone wolves” and primadonnas. Because top performers can be difficult to coach, managers often resort to ignoring them, and this strategy can backfire.

Peri Shawn, award-winning author of Sell More with Sales Coaching, says that top performers need a different type of coaching.

“Traditional coaching methods often don’t work with high performers which can cause sales managers of high performers to avoid coaching. The result is their coaching relationship can dwindle and, in many cases, cease. Beware of this as it becomes a fertile environment for headhunters [to recruit your best talent]”, says Shawn.

Tips on Coaching Top Performers:

1. Get “quick thinkers” to be more thorough. Although being quick on their feet makes them charming and effective in a sales interaction, ensure they are clear communicators and that they don’t glaze over the fine print—this can help them to avoid misunderstandings that lead to dissatisfied customers.


2. Coach their thinking. It is more helpful to focus on the rationale behind their sales behaviors, not the behaviors themselves. By helping them think through their processes, they will naturally improve their sales conversations.


3. Critique them more. Understand when to give “negative” feedback. It’s human nature to love praise, but there are times when it’s not productive. Once salespeople attain a certain level of mastery, they actually prefer feedback suggesting how they could improve, because they know it is much more helpful than flattery.


Retaining superstars in any field can be challenging, but the right kind of coaching can dramatically reduce turnover rates in salespeople. They’re most satisfied with their jobs when they are increasing their sales numbers with the help of coaching.

Take the time to get to know what makes them tick, to help them fine-tune the thinking behind their behavior and to give them pointed feedback, Shawn concludes.

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From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: