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Research Into Why So Many Sales People Fail: Part 2

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 4 articles over the next 8 weeks.


This is the second in the series (for a reminder of article 1, The Impact of Coaching )

Prosell Sales Training: When Performance Matters

This article covers the insights from the research into who to coach and the optimum amount of coaching needed.



Coaching Offers Greatest Leverage if Targeted


Relative Sales Performance Chart


This data makes a critical point. Our observations tell us that those managers who do coach are often misdirected. They spend a lot of time with poor performers (they are a cause for concern) and an inappropriate amount of time with high performers, because their contribution is so critical. This often means the middle 80% get little coaching, as they are doing OK.

The research shows us that moving this ‘middle majority’ in terms of skills and results delivers the highest pay off to the organisation. At the poor performer end, we have to be realistic about how much management time can be devoted to this group. The only exception to this is if the person is capable but inexperienced. High performers won’t change much, but coaching here is also critical, because coaching has a direct impact on attrition. This is because good coaching significantly improves the relationship between managers and sales person.

The diagram below illustrates how much coaching is needed for each salesperson in order to optimise performance.


Coaching Effectiveness Chart






hours of coaching pie chart


The lesson here is to make absolutely sure that you have in place a system that ensures all managers are coaching all sales people 3 – 5 hours per month.

Our next article takes us from the quantity of coaching required and looks at the quality needed. As previously stated, poor coaching is more harmful than no coaching.


  • 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 customised training, coaching, and program choices that cater to teams with expertise in sales, retail, corporate, call centres, and customer service. These options are specifically designed to meet the needs of clients and are accessible in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra, New Zealand, and the Asia Pacific area.

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