What Makes A Winning Sales Coach? 11 Traits of Great Sales Coaches

Traits of Great Sales Coaches

When it comes to improving sales performance and efforts, sales coaching and sales training are the necessary tools for ensuring businesses can grow their team’s sales skills and techniques. However, not all sales coaches are created equal, so when determining how to best upskill your sales team, whether you’re training in house or externally, you should be aware of the traits that all great sales coaches (should) have! Let’s explore them in greater detail below:

Also read:

What does a sales coach do?

Sales coaches are usually managers or leaders who use data to monitor their sales reps’ performance to identify areas for improvement and reinforce profitable techniques and behaviours. In turn, sales coaches help their sales reps become more confident in their ability to succeed.

Also read: 7 Popular Sales Coaching Models All Managers Need To Know & Use

What makes a good sales coach?

A good sales coach knows that a one-size-fits-all training mentality doesn’t work. Instead, they understand that the heart of sales coaching is helping a staff member find ways to use their abilities to the fullest, with the ultimate goal of assisting each team member in creating and defining their goals, guiding how to reach these personalised goals, and finally, offering support and motivation when the person falls short of these goals. But what type of characteristics and qualities should a great sales coach have? Discover the 11 essential traits below!

11 Traits Of Great Sales Coaches

Infographic showing the 11 Traits Of Great Sales Coaches

While every sales coach’s style, personality and methodologies will differ, these are the 11 traits all great sales coaches should have:

1. Top performers

Sales Coaches are the “go-to” for sales reps when they have questions about the sales process; that’s why they’re usually top performers who can develop their sales reps by driving them back to the basic principles and techniques of the businesses sales process. All great sales coaches have a wealth of experience, as it allows their team and organisation to naturally trust their instinct and authority.

2. Compassionate

Sales is a demanding profession, so much so that generally two in five sales reps struggle with mental health, double that of the “general workforce”. Even more so these days, as sales become focused on virtual interactions, sales teams are at a greater risk of experiencing severe mental and emotional strain. That’s why all great sales coaches are compassionate and empathising with their sales coachees. They pay attention to the emotions exhibited during coaching and use this to earn sales reps respect. As a result, sales coaches who understand reps personally will be more successful at aligning the reps goals and motivations.

3. Expects accountability

Not only do all great sales coaches expect accountability, but they also lead an example to their sales team. That’s because accountability starts at the top – and then trickles down; as a result, accountability usually breeds responsibility. Whether individual sales reps need a stronger or more relaxed approach to accountability, great sales coaches set the bar and then make it their focus.

4. Effective communicators

Great sales coaches never cut corners on communication. They understand the value of not being misunderstood, especially when time is critical. By possessing excellent communication skills, sales coaches avoid common communication pitfalls that hurt feelings, projects or team relations.

5. Skillful motivators

The hallmark of a great sales coach is inspiring the people they help to uncover opportunities in challenges and push them to reach new heights. More so, it’s about understanding the individual motivators of the sales reps alongside the team as a whole to ensure that they have the best strategy for success.

6. Prepared

All great sales coaches understand that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective. Instead, they prepare for coaching sessions by researching sales reps specific needs and goals to best craft their subsequent training around the primary motivators.

7. Collaborators

At their centre, great sales coaches are collaborators and leaders in being partners to sales reps, not managers. That’s why they’re fully conscious and employ an open, flexible, and confident style to encourage trust among them and coachees.

8. Masters of powerful questioning

Instead of confronting an underperforming sales professional and offering advice on improving, great sales coaches use powerful sales coaching questions to help them discover the answers themselves. As a result, this approach encourages the seller to strive harder to make the necessary changes.

Different sales coaching questions evoke discovery, insight, or a commitment to action. Most sales coaches use solution-focused sales coaching questions to create thinking space for reps to generate new perspectives such as, ‘How do you feel about using these presentation materials versus not using them?

9. Specific

While powerful questioning is a tool for every good sales coaches arsenal, specific questioning is only reserved for great sales coaches. For example, instead of simply asking “what do you want to achieve”, sales coaches who prefer specifics to generalities will ask, ” How many contacts do you want to make this week?”

10. Hands-on

Not only are great sales coaches hands-on, they understand that repetition is the key to further sales reps skill development. As a result, they practice techniques, strategies and skills with sales reps until they are sufficiently competent – and then to mastery.

11. Adaptable

The individuals of any given sales team will not be the same; they’ll have different skills sets and levels of experience. You often find sales professionals with years of experience working with fresh and ambitious graduates, which is precisely why all great sales coaches can adapt their coaching style to understand and motivate sellers depending on who they’re talking to.

Final Word: Address Real-World Scenarios with Personalised Support


Every salesperson is unique, as is every deal they work on. That’s why by implementing a consistent coaching program, sales teams and individual reps can get the support they need to close the deals in front of them.

SOCO’s Peak Performance Coaching program is designed to coach teams one-on-one or as a group to address real-world scenarios and unique challenges individual sales reps face.

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