Adam Rubenstein, Traq.ai CEO, and Dr. Willy Bolander of The Sales Lab podcast return for episode 2 of 3: Coaching with a Blindfold.In this episode, Adam and Willy discuss matters like: is sales an art, a science, or both? How can sales people improve? How can coaches do better? Read on to learn more, then get a link to the full episode below.

“Coaching with a Blindfold”

In so many fields from art to math and every subject in between, there is a misconception that you either “have it” or you don’t – i.e., you are either naturally good at something or not. This applies to sales as well.

The search for knowledge

While natural aptitudes like being friendly, talkative, and “good with people” are certainly useful, there are many other skills necessary for success. And the fastest way to realize a salesperson’s potential is to know precisely what can be improved upon.

Know more to win more

Just like a baseball coach needs to observe the small details and mistakes that a team member is making on the field, a sales coach should be able to review a play-by-play of the sales rep’s performance during a sales conversation.

Removing the blindfold with data

In the context of sales, it’s very useful to review recorded sales conversations. Here, both the salesperson and sales coach can plainly see which details are influencing performance in positive and negative ways.

Why doing more isn’t usually the answer

Without conversation data, the question of how to improve is usually answered with a series of “best practices”: call more prospects, talk less and listen more, apply the methodology better, and especially “work harder”.

Better than best practices: data

The best coaching is individualized. Basic guidelines aside, there are many ways for a salesperson to sell, and what works for Mary may not work for Jim. Instead of relying on the “tried and true” it’s much more efficient to learn from the conversation.

Reveal the blind spots

Reality is often different from perception, and it’s not easy to self-critique, especially when working from memory. You may remember a call as successful or unsuccessful, but only by reviewing it you can actually know how right you are. By having the team’s calls easily accessible, coaches can quickly review and find coaching opportunities.

Keep learning and improving

Success is by its nature temporary, and this applies to sales too. To keep winning, continuous learning is a must. As programs like the one at Florida State University are educating more and more sales professionals, it has become clear that a great salesperson isn’t born, they are made.

Also, conversation intelligence tools let existing sales professionals gain the knowledge to keep improving.

Listen to the full 27-minute episode of The Sales Lab Podcast to hear more about the sales profession, entrepreneurship, and using technology to stay ahead of the game.

Dr. Willy Bolander is a business professor at Florida State University and podcast host inspiring a new generation of sales pros. Connect with Willy on LinkedIn or check out his website – thesaleslab.org.