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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Increase Sales Performance with a Successful Field Coaching Day


  • No football coach helped his team win the championship by spending time with them in the locker room.
  • No driver’s ed instructor added another safe driver to the roads by showing demo videos in the classroom.
  • No sales manager helped her salesperson become an industry star by meeting with her weekly in the office. 

If you want to make a significant impact on performance, you need to be in the field where your people are engaging with prospects and clients and where the business happens. This means getting out in the field with your people on calls, joining them on shared-screen client calls (using GoToMeeting, joinme.com, etc.), and looking for other opportunities to be close to the action.

The key to successful field coaching is careful observation and good note-taking. tweet-button-1.jpg As a strong field coach, you need to focus your attention entirely on the person you are coaching rather than the account they are calling on. Remember, your salespeople might ask you to join them on calls to meet a new client, help close a deal, or defend your rate. These are all important calls as well, but they are not field coaching opportunities. Field coaching can only be effective if you are in observation mode.

You will be able to accomplish the following four things with field coaching:

  1. Giving positive recognition which is both timely and specific.
  2. Giving coaching in the context of specific real-life performance.
  3. Building productive relationships with your direct reports and increasing employee engagement.
  4. Setting clear expectations and establishing meaningful goals for improvement.

It is important to remember that field coaching is not just for newbies. Your veterans and top-performers deserve your one-on-one attention and coaching too! 

How to have a successful Field Coaching Day:

  • Block out time to go on these coaching calls and set a schedule so everyone knows what to expect and can plan their calls accordingly.
  • Think about the coaching strategies you have committed to doing with them and make sure you have those top-of-mind.
  • Make time for a pre-call discussion so your salesperson can provide you with a quick synopsis of the account and confirm the objective of this call.
  • Decide together whether this will be a “demo” call or a “coaching” call because it will not be effective to try to accomplish both.
  • Confirm how your presence will be explained to the client (meeting the customers, hearing needs first-hand, etc.)
  • Remain in observation mode throughout the call, watching and listening – but not participating.
  • Don’t let the salesperson pass it to you during the call. If that happens, gently pass it back right away.
  • Take thorough notes in order to provide strong feedback late. Follow this format:
    • This went well:
    • This went well:
    • This went well:
    • This went well:
    • This might have gone better:
    • I wish I had seen:

Take this opportunity get in the field with each of your salespeople so you can make a significant impact on performance!

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