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Research into Why So Many Sales People Fail: Part 3

Prosell wishes to stay in touch with its clients and business colleagues and we believe the best way of doing this is to send out brief, insightful and interesting articles that we believe will make a difference to sales performance.


Research into Why So Many Sales People Fail: 3

New, independent research (Source: SEC Solutions research, Sales Executive Council Research) has recently been published on the impact of good, consistent coaching on sales effectiveness.  In the spirit of our articles – insightful and brief – we wanted to share this research with you in a series of 3 articles over the next 4/5 weeks.

This is the third and final article in the series (for reminders of articles 1 and 2, The Impact of Coaching, and Who to Coach and How Much, click on the links below)

This article covers the critical importance of coaching being delivered skillfully.  Much of the ‘coaching’ we observe is not coaching at all, but simply feedback.  What is worse, this feedback is usually one way and only focuses on where the salesperson needs to improve.

The diagram below shows the negative impact of poor quality coaching:

david brent effect

david brent effect chart

The diagram has been labeled the ‘David Brent Effect’, by the researchers, based on the character in the hit UK TV series, The Office.  It makes the point that poor quality coaching has a significant negative impact on both attrition and performance of top salespeople.  The is no surprise when you consider that an Exit Interview Survey, conducted in Europe in 2009, showed that the number one reason for top performers leaving a sales role was dissatisfaction with the way they were managed and developed.

Poor quality coaching, or the negative feedback we described earlier, causes the following problems;

  • It constantly reinforces that the person is not meeting management expectations
  • It shows the manager as both arrogant and unhelpful
  • It is resented
  • It doesn’t help people get better

Good coaching, on the other hand, helps a person uncover their performance capability and maximises their potential, and is both motivational and welcomed.

For coaching to be used as a tool to drive performance it needs to be consistent, skillful, and measurably change the skills of others.

Prosell’s Licence to Coach™ program achieves all of this, as it focuses on developing coaches in the workplace, to the point where they are measurably changing the performance and motivation of others.


  • Prosell offers a program that combines sales training and sales coaching.  It is based on recognised research, which tells us that training alone has limited impact and that when supported by skilful coaching, has 74% more chance of being implemented.
  • Prosell has resources to deliver these programs across Australia, covering Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.


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Prosell provides training and coaching for call centre, customer service and sales management teams in retail and corporate sales across Australia - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, New Zealand & Asia Pacific.

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