In B2B Selling, What is a Coach?

Sometimes with years of experience under our belt, I forget there are many new rookies to the world of B2B Sales. These “newbies” may lack a true understanding of some the fundamentals of common terminology.

One area I was recently reminded the new b2b sales people were not informed or savvy about was the role of a coach in the b2b sales process.

So, here are some the things you will need to know about a coach.

First, the true definition of what is a coach? 

A coach is someone who genuinely wants you to win. That is correct. They actually want you to win and will actively work to help you win.

So how do you recognize a coach or what traits are you typically looking for when identifying a possible coach in a potential customer account.

Here is a list of traits to help you identify a coach within an organization…

  • Knowledgeable
    There are two areas of knowledge – their company and the players within the company. You need an insider who knows the in’s and out’s of the company. They can share details relative to internal politics, power players, and how the sales process works in their organization. Remember, you are an outsider and the coach can bring you up to speed much faster than you attempting to learn by your self.
  • Credible
    A critical piece if you want to position yourself properly within the organization. If a coach is credible within the organization, the assistance you get will be extremely valuable as their credibility will transfer to you. Likewise, a person with little to no credibility will actually hurt your chances of winning in the company. Pick your coaches carefully.
  • Willing to Help You
    The sign of a good coach is they actually talk openly about helping you get the account business. They will openly advise you as to what will work and what will not work. And, I have seen a good coach actually tell a decision maker they should listen to you since they have a better solution for everyone.
  • Wants You to Win
    A coach who wants you to win their business will do more than actively campaign for you within the walls of their company – they will actively attempt to discredit the competition. Again, I have seen a coach tell a decision maker things which raise doubts about the successful implementation of the competitor’s solution. Remember, if you are dealing with a corporate executive their big issue is safety and security without taking any risks. Therefore, any doubt in their minds swings the business back to you based upon the coach’s recommendation.
  • Coach Wins when You Win or the classic Win-Win
    Seldom does anyone do things without a personal agenda. So, when a coach wants you to win – they are also looking to win. This win-win is expected by the coach. One point to be clear upon – this is a legal and ethical win with no other gains such as kickbacks, etc. Wins can be based upon a different level of personal satisfaction.
  • Proactive
    A reactive coach is a losing coach in most cases. You want to find a coach who has a sense of urgency about getting you into their organization. They are actively looking or seeking out ways to introduce you to other decision makers. One of the best ways a proactive coach wins is by introducing you to his boss or one the top people in their organization – whom the coach feels will help to accelerate the sales process.

Okay, now you know what to look for in a coach. Get out there and find them. They are looking for good solutions and good people to present ideas matching their vision and direction for the organization. And, do not get in the way of their winning when you win. It is all part of the game of b2b selling.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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