March 23, 2023

Eastside Business

News on the Eastside of Lake Washington

Training Your Sales Team Like A Sports Team

Sales people face lots of competition and rejection. Quotas are a monthly scoreboard and the pressure to produce is part of the territory.

Training Your Sales Team Like A Sports Team


It’s not surprising, given those challenging aspects of selling, that industry pros see parallels with sports. And those similarities include the need for good coaching to help a sales team learn how to be more successful. An article in Forbes reported that many frustrated sales people who quit listed a lack of coaches and mentors as one of the top reasons they bolted.

“As a sales leader, you will often find your people looking to you for wisdom, direction, and reassurance,” says Lance Tyson, President and CEO of Tyson Group (, and author of Selling is an Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World. “Therefore, you need a coaching process that takes time to build up the people who make up your talent pool. You need to look beyond what they can do today and help them realize what’s possible tomorrow.”

Tyson, whose clients include the sales departments of numerous professional sports and entertainment franchises, says that improvement in sales teams starts with how effectively sales managers coach their teams while emphasizing a competitive mindset.

Tyson can discuss ways sales leaders can do a better job of coaching their sales people individually and collectively, and as a result lead their teams toward reaching sales goals on a regular basis.

Discussion topics

 – In your experiences of training sales leaders and sales staffs, what is the biggest obstacle you usually see between them and success?
– Are people born with most of the essential sales qualities, or can they be acquired through training and coaching?
 -How does a sales manager best help a sales person stay engaged and positive during a down period?
– Do you see too many sales managers neglecting their teams, doing little coaching due to time constraints, or generally adopting a sink-or-swim mentality toward their sales people?
– If a sales leader really wants to help his team improve, what are the first couple of things he or she should do in coming up with a coaching process and overall strategy?
– Do salespeople focus too much on the product and not enough on the customer – i.e., being too worried about knowing the product inside-out and not listening to the customers’ needs?

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