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Busting the myth – Manager doesn’t make a good sales coach

10 Min read

A good manager is someone that leads their team towards success and inspires others. So, when I came across this myth, “manager doesn’t make good sales coach,” it really surprised me. 

Sales managers have a lot on their plate; managing employees, sustaining the growth, bringing new customers, and much more. In fact, the majority of their time (32% of their day) is spent on managing people. 

But, do you think managers can be good sales coaches? Now, this myth has been surfacing on various platforms, which in result may influence the budding sales coaches. Therefore, it’s imperative to debunk such myths so managers also get a chance to recognize their potential and work towards becoming a good sales coach. 

In this article, we asked experts to share their opinion on this myth and we got some really exciting replies! Now, keep on reading to find out which expert is in favor of the myth or against it.  

Table of contents

1. Ruben Gamez

2. Malte Scholz

3. Joe Ingram 

4. David Bitton

5. Cliff Auerswald 

6. Rahul Vij 

7. Christian Velitchkov 

8. Tyler Garns

9. Eduard Klein 

10. David Marshall 

11. Vincent D’Eletto 

12. Jesse Thé 

13. David Attard 

14. Julian Goldie 

15. Richard Mews

16. Simon Elkjaer

The reality behind sales myth – Manager doesn’t make a good sales coach 

Let’s hear from the experts of the industry what they think about it.

1. Ruben Gamez

CEO, Docsketch 

Managers can make great sales coaches as long as they put sufficient time into it. This myth started propagating when certain managers started byte-sized inconsistent coaching, which ends up helping nobody. With a solid plan and proper structure, managers can be great sales coaches.  

2. Malte Scholz

CEO, Airfocus 

Being a manager often requires a very good understanding of the sales process so I don’t see this as an issue. Coaching may be a bit challenging if they are used to doing things on their own, but this can be practiced.

Sometimes specific business outcomes are not clearly defined so this impacts the coaching process because of the vagueness. However, when it comes to the skill itself, I believe managers can be excellent sales coaches.

3. Joe Ingram  

CEO, Ingram Interactive 

Of course, the safe answer is “it depends on the manager” but more often than not this myth is true.  

You can prove this to be true or make it false by reviewing 3 things- 

  • The proven sales ability of the manager that is coaching.  
  • The training the manager has received on coaching and training.  
  • The Team they are coaching (the personality make up of most salespeople prohibits learning)  

Most sales managers are made a manager because they were good in sales.  Their manager felt that if they gave this person a team of people then they could touch more prospects and then pass that expertise down to the sales team.  In theory, that allows for production to stay steady while information is shared, and then production increases.  This theory proves catastrophic in many situations.  The reasons that it fails are as follows-

  • Great sales people aren’t always sure why they are great, they just know that they can get people to do things others can’t. 
  • No one taught them how to teach or manage others 
  • Most salespeople believe they know better even if their personal results aren’t above average 
  • Salespeople become “deaf” to the constant coaching from their manager and can no longer hear what they are saying 

Outside trainers that explain similar strategies to the ones being taught by the manager are the easiest ways to pass credibility and ultimately coaching effectiveness to the manager. 

4. David Bitton

Co-founder & CMO, Doorloop 

While these managers’ tenure and selling abilities give them the legitimacy to train their team, they simply cannot due to a lack of availability and time.

Most managers do not have the time to coach their teams adequately since many deals with multiple teams. Furthermore, most managers were promoted because they were excellent salespeople, but just because someone was a successful seller does not automatically make them a good sales coach.

Coaching takes time, patience, and the proper technique, which doesn’t come naturally to some people. 

5. Cliff Auerswald

President, All Reverse Mortgage, Inc 

Insinuating that managers can never make good sales coaches is a sweeping generalization that I’ve rarely seen play out. In many cases, managers got to be managers because they were great salespeople. If you’re struggling with a specific aspect of the sales funnel, I’d definitely recommend going to your manager for some insight. 

6. Rahul Vij 

CEO, Webspero 

No doubt, the external expert sales coaches have a good hand at the concepts and tutoring, but it is still an ordinary line of thinking. Managers, on the other hand, can have a bigger impact on salespeople. After all, they are more familiar with the needs of the organization and the performance of the sales team.  

Besides, the bottom performers can enjoy more room for improvement by having access to their managers’ guidance anytime they want. The only rule is that managers need to be buff about the sales background. As long as they possess sufficient sales skills, they can promote ‘QUALITY COACHING’ in the sales department a way better than external coaches. 

7. Christian Velitchkov 

Co-founder, Twiz LLC 

Managers can be excellent sales coaches because :  

  • Managers know the strengths & weaknesses of their employees. They know how to create an understanding of any situation in any employee’s mind.  
  • Managers are critical thinkers & think about various aspects. A salesperson needs to take into consideration the different scenarios that may pan out while selling. Managers can train their employees by teaching them the critical thinking trait that selling requires. 

8. Tyler Garns

CEO, Box Out Marketing 

We encounter myths everywhere, even in the workplace. As a CEO who is in business, my take on this myth is that it is not valid. Managers have a different performance at work. It varies every day according to their motivations, skills, or even in leadership. I know that every manager fulfills their responsibilities in their company accordingly. 

9. Eduard Klein 

Entrepreneur, Eduard Klein 

As a business owner and manager, I believe that managers like me can be great sales coaches because there is something in common between being a manager and a sales coach. As for me, both of them want to make their employees better at what they are doing and both share the same passion for what they do in their specific profession. That’s why for me, managers can actually be great sales coaches. 

10. David Marshall 

Founder, Performio 

While managers and sales coaches each have a unique set of responsibilities, there are certain overlaps that make it possible for managers to become capable sales coaches. The primary difference between a manager and a sales coach can be distilled into one word: performance.  

Managers are concerned with every facet of production, ranging from sales volume and client-facing issues all the way to onboarding and delegation.  

Coaches, however, have a one-track mind. They focus solely on helping their team achieve the best possible performance when it comes to maximizing sales. These responsibilities are notably different.  

However, managers can make great sales coaches if they understand exactly what they’re trying to achieve and pivot their role when necessary. 

11. Vincent D’Eletto 

CEO, WordAgents 

Managers do not always make good sales coaches.  

The two roles are inherently different, each with unique responsibilities that demand separate qualities. A good manager can delegate effectively, sets clear goals with their team, and focuses on building a workplace culture of mutual trust.  

An effective sales coach is far more concerned with assessing strengths and areas of improvement to optimize selling. They focus on providing helpful feedback, upskilling their team, and helping them develop into capable salespeople.  

While these positions are both concerned with leadership, they fundamentally differ because of what they seek to accomplish within their respective teams. 

12. Jesse Thé 

CEO, Tauria 

Managing employees and managing sales are two different jobs, so in a sense, the statement holds true. However, there are actually a lot of transferable skills between the two that can help improve the manager’s chances at success with sales.

For one, a manager’s people skills can be a really important asset at making sales. Pinning pain points, managing expectations, and understanding the customer’s needs are some of the great contributions of managers to the sales process.

13. David Attard 

Consultant, CollectiveRay 

Most of the qualities required for a good manager and a good sales coach are absolutely the same. Good communication, the ability to build relationships and good listening skills are possessed by both and are crucial for success in either of their fields.

Management in a way is to coach and guide the employees. Hence, even though it might always be true but a good manager can definitely make a good sales coach. 

14. Julian Goldie

CEO, Goldie Agency 

Managers Are Indeed the Best Sales Coaches 

Apart from hiring a specifically-trained sales coach or marketing expert, managers are perhaps the best sales coach a company/business already have at their hands. 

Managers can help boost sales rep’s skills and overall productivity by being attentive, supportive, and encouraging to the entire sales team.  

Plus, they have the most direct and intimate relations with the actual working staff, which is the sales team in our case. So, this myth should be laid to rest, finally! 

15. Richard Mews 

CEO, Sell With Richard 

Many sales managers progressed through the ranks to become the company’s top salesman. Their natural tendencies are to close the major sales transactions. They’ve never been taught the sales management skills required to build a top-performing sales team. 

So, they do what they know how to do and what they’ve honed their skills at: selling and closing. If they notice anything is amiss with a sale they intervene to “”fix”” it for their sales rep. 

16. Simon Elkjaer 

CMO, avXperten 

As long as they’re skilled and trained properly, I believe the despite the possibly difficult transition, managers have the potential to be great sales coaches.

In order to properly nurture this, they need to be supported by their company and be equipped with the right mentors and tools to help them throughout the process.

Keeping tabs on one’s progress, being properly equipped, and having a lot of determination can help managers start their journey to becoming great coaches. 

Conclusion 

The myths are born from people, so it’s up to us to bust them and make it easier for the people in the sales industry. If you ask me, I certainly disagree with the myth. Managers do have a lot of potential to become good sales coaches. 

They’re already managing so much with such ease. When they are given the role of sales coach, handling tasks comes easy to them. Moreover, they also possess substantial knowledge into the industry so they’re perfect for coaching others. 

Being an ardent reader and content editor, Jainy draws inspiration from every situation and story. She spends her time developing creative content to invoke the reader's interest. An ambivert with an interest in art, when she's not writing, you'll find her reading or occupied in a creative project.

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