Coaching - Efficiency enhancement and motivation

Effects of coaching on sales staff

Seminar Paper, 2009

21 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Contents

List of Figures

1. Introduction
1.1 Focus of this scientific abstract
1.2 General definition of coaching
1.3 Differentiation coaching vs. training

2. Concepts of coaching
2.1 Aims and expectations of sales staff coaching
2.2 Concepts and models

3. Phases of coaching process
3.1 Theory of sales staff coaching process
3.2 Sales staff coaching at Commerzbank
3.3 Sales staff coaching at Atradius

4. Critical analysis
4.1 Preface
4.2 Success factors of sales staff coaching
4.3 Possible benefits of sales staff coaching
4.4 Possible drawbacks of sales staff coaching
4.5 Relevance of sales staff coaching for practice

5. Conclusion
5.1 Coaching – Efficiency enhancement and motivation!
5.2 Résumé


List of figures

Fig. 1 The potential Iceberg model

Fig. 2 Key success factors of selling

Fig. 3 The Johari-model

Fig. 4 Competency Development Plan (CDP)

Fig. 5 The negative spiral

Fig. 6 The positive spiral

1. Introduction

1.1 Focus of this scientific abstract

Today’s extremely competitive global market place requires a greater level of competences and skills of sales staff. Especially in times of financial crisis and a high degree of uncertainty, customers demand mutual trust and sales professionals. They expect to receive individualized solutions to their problems and not as 30 years ago a nice smile and a warm welcome. As this relies on all service industries, we defined the financial sector as the focus of our scientific abstract, in order to narrow the mass down and to create a comparable basis.

The over 200 identified competencies in over 30 categories that are required for an efficient selling, explain the complexity of the selling process1. Therefore, the need of implementing a human resource development program is quite obvious. The question of the right approach to this problem will be specified by the following hypothesis:

Coaching - Efficiency enhancement and motivation? - Effects of coaching on sales staff

In the course of this scientific abstract we are going to examine this hypothesis by referring both to the theory and the practice, represented by Atradius AG and Commerzbank AG. Atradius is the second largest credit insurance company in the world, therefore mostly a global player. Commerzbank is the leading German universal bank with the focus on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and private customers. Both are eminent organizations of the financial sector and highly dependent on the quality and profitability of their sales staff.

1.2 General definition of coaching

Although there is no single agreed upon the definition of the term ‘coaching’, numerous authors have defined this term. These definitions are often adjusted to a specific focus of the large scope of the term coaching. Regarding the above determined focus of this scientific abstract, the following definitions apply best to this term.

“Coaching is the release of latent talent and skills, previously untapped by training, through a process of self awareness initiated by the coach”2. This definition elaborates on the ‘potential iceberg model’3, which differentiates the term coaching from the term training and will be explained in the course of this abstract.

The second definition already focuses the sales staff coaching by defining it as “... a conversation, a dialog, whereby a coach and a coachee interact in a dynamic exchange to achieve goals, enhance performance and move the coachee forward to greater success”4. Based on these definitions the aim of and reason for coaching is explicitly expressed, namely an individual-related human resource development instrument as an answer to a highly specific and diverse required client counseling5.

Apart from sports coaching, the origin of this topic, coaching today can be divided into three main areas, the ‘executive’, the ‘life skills’ and the ‘business coaching’6. Whereas executive coaching focuses on optimizing the quality of work and personal life, the life skills coaching is meant to improve aspects of the individual’s life. Business coaching deals with developing, promoting and growing of businesses and therefore combines the other two types of coaching. This type of coaching can be subdivided into team / group coaching and one-to-one / individual coaching. In the following we are only going to focus on sales staff coaching, belonging to the one-to-one business coaching.

1.3 Differentiation coaching vs. training

“For most people the term ‘coaching’ has merely replaced ‘training’ as the word for teaching or instructing people”7. Even managers and trainers use the term coaching when they talk about their training programs. However there are numerous differences between these two human resource development approaches. Training is teaching people how to do the job you want them to do. Therefore training mostly represents a monologue of the trainer, whereas the trainee finds himself in the position of a listener. When job starters begin to take a new profession, they have an existing level of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

With the help of training they are able to improve the required knowledge for practicing their job. Unfortunately training releases only the top of the iceberg of sales staff potential’s knowledge, skills and attitudes.8

Fig. 1 The potential Iceberg model

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Cf. Frank Salisbury (1998) – Sales training

Coaching helps the coachee to enter the zone of unexploited potential, which can not be released by simple training. Coaching is not a monolog, it is an interaction, a “... structured conversation designed to enhance, maintain, improve or correct performance”9 between the coach and the coachee. The two involved parties are interacting at eye level, therefore a hierarchy between coach and coachee does not exist.

2. Concepts of coaching

2.1 Aims and expectations of sales staff coaching

Coaching is meant to help the coachee dealing with the professional requirements by technical and personal development of skills, attitudes and knowledge. Schreyögg (2003) divides the aims of coaching into two main parts.

The first main objective is the improvement of professional qualification and the efficiency enhancement of management competencies and humanity against others and oneself. The second main objective is the development of human self-fulfillment in daily work.10

In respect to the focus of this scientific abstract, the following core intentions of sales staff coaching have been identified. By concentrating on the improvement of sensibility for selling process and the own behavior of the coachee, an optimized transfer of sales apprenticeship into practice is aimed to be created. Another purpose is the reduction of stress potential, e.g. by getting the knowledge of appropriate management of challenging sales situations across to the coachee. The optimized relationship between sales manager and sales staff is an essential aim of coaching in order to motivate the coachee and therefore create higher sales competencies and turnover and profit. As mentioned in the introduction, the mutual trust of customer and sales staff plays in today’s critical business environment a pivotal role. Therefore, another target should be the development of customer orientation, communication and the coachee’s selling skills.11

2.2 Concepts and models

Regarding the concepts of sales staff coaching it is essential to explain the fundamental key success factors of selling. That means, what does sales staff make successful sellers? In this context it can be stated, that our thoughts determine our feelings and our actions. From this statement it can be educed that selling is essentially a mental game. The following graph underpins this theory.12

Fig. 2 Key success factors of selling

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Cf. Zeus, P., Skiffington, S. (2008) – Coaching at work


1 Cf. Zeus, P., Skiffington, S. (2008), p. 226

2 Salisbury, F. (1998), p. 153

3 Cf. Salisbury, F. (1998), p. 137

4 Zeus, P., Skiffington, S. (2008), p. xiii

5 Cf. Heß, T., Roth, W. (2001), p. 6

6 Cf. Zeus, P., Skiffington, S. (2008), p. 6ff

7 Salisbury, F. (1998), p. 153

8 Cf. Salibury, F. (1998), p. 153

9 Wall, B. (2006), p. 67

10 Cf. Schreyögg, A. (2003), p. 155ff

11 Cf. Troschke, B., Haas, B. (2009), p. 15

12 Cf. Zeus, P., Skiffington, S. (2008), p. 227

Excerpt out of 21 pages


Coaching - Efficiency enhancement and motivation
Effects of coaching on sales staff
University of applied sciences, Neuss
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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634 KB
Literaturverzeichnis: 17 Einträge
Johari-model, potential Iceberg model, Vertriebscoaching, negative spiral, positive spiral, Training, Erolgsfaktoren, Vertriebsmitarbeiter, Coaching, Effizienzsteigerung, Motivation
Quote paper
Silvio Wilde (Author), 2009, Coaching - Efficiency enhancement and motivation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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