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Don’t Just Coach the Numbers

When coaching your sales team, always put the focus on what your team members did to achieve great sales results, rather than purely on the numbers.

Are You Guilty of This Common Coaching Mistake?

Sales managers, who make the biggest sales coaching mistake when using their CRMs, walk into their sales coaching sessions and talk only about their CRM numbers as if talking about the numbers will somehow improve the numbers.

During sales coaching sessions, these sales managers talk with their salespeople about last week’s or last month’s numbers. They talk about pipelines and sales forecasts.

They talk about the numbers that are trending up and trending down. And, they incentivize the results they want to improve.

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

The biggest sales coaching mistake sales managers make using their CRM during sales coaching is that they “coach the numbers,” not their people. Many corporations are guilty of this.

The issue with “coaching the numbers” is that it makes ongoing incremental sales improvement a monumental challenge. When sales managers only “coach the numbers,” it reduces their sales coaching conversations to conversations of hope for sales improvement.

Integrate your CRM into your sales coaching in such a way that you are using your CRM as a tool to improve your team members’ sales behaviors. It’s not a conversation about numbers.

It’s a conversation about helping your team members better understand that their numbers are a reflection of the sales behaviors they engage in.

Use Your CRM as a Springboard

One way to do this is to use your CRM as a springboard into your sales coaching conversations. When team members’ numbers indicate there has been a change in their results from one recording period to another, your CRM numbers can serve as a valuable springboard to launch into a valuable sales coaching conversation.

Instead of coaching the numbers, ask your team members to compare and contrast the numbers they got and what they did differently to get those results.

Compare and Contrast Numbers

For example, let’s say you have a team member, Samir, who has just finished a month during which his sales were up 19% from the previous month.

To avoid “coaching the numbers,” you would ask Samir questions to compare and contrast what he did or didn’t do differently last month, versus the previous month. You’ll find when you do this, most of your team members will be able to determine what they did that got them the better sales results.

By coaching your salespeople this way, you put the focus on what your team members did to achieve the numbers, rather than purely on the numbers themselves.

When you use your CRM as a springboard for your sales coaching conversations, you provide your salespeople with the opportunity to know exactly what sales behaviors they engaged in that got them their numbers. This allows them to continually improve their sales.


Long term sales success comes down to more than just the numbers. Learn how to make better sales hiring decisions that ultimately lead to the development of a high performance sales team with our FREE Sales Manager’s Ultimate Interview Guide.

About the author

Peri Shawn

Peri Shawn

Peri Shawn is an award-winning sales and leadership author. She helps sales executives get…

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