5 Sales Coaching Best Practices to Improve the Behavior of Your Salespeople

When sales teams aren’t performing up to standards or expectations, sales leaders are often puzzled as to why.

Sales leaders know the correct behaviors that will lead to sales – rapport building, discovery, creating the experience, closing, follow-up, etc., but they often don’t know how to get their sales people to perform those behaviors (or perform those behaviors up to acceptable standards).

Here are five sales coaching best practices to get your salespeople performing the behaviors you want.


Decide for yourself which selling behaviors are mandatory and which selling behaviors are merely suggestions. Until you get clear on what your own expectations are, how can you expect your salespeople to behave accordingly?

Tell Them

​Or better yet, sell it to them. Salespeople love to be sold. Once you’ve decided which behaviors are non-negotiable, you have to sell them on why the behaviors you are asking them to perform are actually in their best interest.​​​

Better behaviors = better results (i.e. more sales!). Selling it to them is the best way to get their buy-in, and we all know that willing followers are better than forced followers.

Show Them

​Show them how to accurately perform the behaviors you want from them. Oftentimes salespeople aren’t avoiding certain selling behaviors because they don’t want to do them, it’s often because they don’t know how to do them.

Simply saying to a salesperson, “hey, you need to start following up with your buyers” isn’t going to be effective. Until you give them the step-by-step how-to and model it for them, it’s unfair to expect them to perform appropriately.

Let Them Practice in a Safe Environment

​Most salespeople will tell you they hate role play, and quite honestly, most sales leaders don’t seem to like it much either. But role-play (or skill practice if you prefer) is the best way to build your salesperson’s confidence and competence in a new behavior.

After you’ve shown them (modeled) the behavior, have them do it. With you. Repeatedly. Get used to this phrase “Do it again. Good. Again. Good Again. Okay. Again.” Repetition is the key to mastery. Allow them to do it as many times as they need to until they can’t get it wrong.

Have Consequences

​Once you’ve established the non-negotiable behaviors that you expect from your salespeople, you’ve sold them on it and gotten some buy-in, you’ve modeled it for them and you’ve let them practice it with your feedback, now’s the time to hold them accountable to those behaviors. ​Crossing your fingers at this point and just hoping they follow through is not going to be effective.

​Be upfront and clear on the consequences that will now come from not performing the newly expected behaviors. Expectations without consequences are merely suggestions.

The path I’m suggesting to get your salespeople performing the behaviors you want isn’t going to be easy (or at least not at first). You will have to be bold, not only in your own mindset but also in your actions.

​You will have to make tough decisions that will sometimes be uncomfortable. And you might even end up letting some salespeople go. That’s fine.

​Over time you will grow more comfortable with the five steps as will your salespeople and you will all be the better for it.

Get BRAND-NEW episodes of Jeff’s 5 Minute Sales Training sent to your inbox every Saturday!

Sign up below.


About the Author: Amy O'Connor

Amy O’Connor brings a decade’s worth of industry experience and knowledge to her impactful and enlightening seminars. Working hand-in-hand with a majority of the top ten homebuilders in North America — as well as private and regional builders — Amy offers a wealth of real-world expertise managing, coaching and motivating new home sales professionals. Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Amy on Twitter.