What is the Difference Between a Sales Coach and a Business Coach?

what is the difference between a sales coach and a business coach

I’ll admit, when I first started out in business, I thought any coach would do. It’s like having a gym membership, right? You show up, sweat out the business kinks, and get fit for success. Well, not quite. Coaching options are much deeper than they look, and having the right guide makes all the difference. 

Because the world of coaching is a bit of a blur to most business owners, I’ve been putting some blogs out there about what makes a great coach and the differences between coaches and mentors. I’m getting a lot of questions back about how to choose a specialist coach, in particular, what the difference is between a sales coach and a business coach.

I think this question is worth putting in a blog of its own because the difference is HUGE.

The focus of sales coaching is on helping salespeople increase their sales volume and revenue.

Basically, you only want to be talking to a sales coach if you have a sales team you rely on to bring in the bulk of your business revenue. A sales coach might also be handy if you are a sales rep yourself, and you want to rise to the top and grab all those big bonuses that are available for the highest sales and also get some help on handling some of the emotional turbulence sales teams can face.

On the other side, a business coach helps small business owners improve their business performance overall. You can target your coaching to focus on any goal or challenge you like (including sales), but there’s really no need as your coaching structure will typically include sales strategies and performance as part of the overall package.

Whether you’re looking to boost your numbers or overhaul your business strategy, knowing which coach to turn to might be the game-changer you’ve been looking for. Buckle up, because with the help of this blog, clarity is just around the corner!

Understanding Sales Coaching

As a business owner, you’ll bring in a sales coach to boost your sales team’s performance. They’ll look at your recruitment strategies, training programs, scripts, and KPIs and work with your team to improve their sales skills and techniques. 

Sales coaches typically have a background in sales and are experienced in sales techniques and strategies. They work with salespeople to identify areas that need improvement, such as:

  • Developing a better sales pitch
  • Improving communication skills
  • Learning how to close deals effectively
  • Building better relationships with clients and prospects

What Is the Role of a Sales Coach?

A sales coach helps your team develop a mindset that’s part resilience, part psychology, and all about the bottom line.

They’ll help your sales force understand the ‘why’ behind each product or service, ensuring that passion translates into profit. With a sales coach, it’s all about turning potentials into payslips, and leads into ledger entries. They are your team’s personal cheerleader, drill sergeant, and mentor all rolled into one.

They will work hard with your sales team to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to fill the gaps. They also provide sales training to reps and sales managers to help develop new skills and stay up-to-date with the latest sales trends and strategies – great for their numbers, but more importantly, amazing for their morale and motivation.

What are the Benefits of Having a Sales Coach?

Here are some of the benefits most business owners see when they bring in the help of an experienced sales coach:

  • Increased sales and revenue
  • Professional strategies tailor-made to your business goals
  • A boost in employee job satisfaction
  • Better communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Higher employee retention

Understanding Business Coaching

Business coaches work with small business owners to help improve overall business performance. They help owners develop strategies for increasing revenue, reducing costs, and improving efficiency. Business coaches also help owners identify areas where they can improve their business skills, such as marketing, finance, and management. They work with owners to develop plans for achieving their business goals and objectives.

Small business owners face a wide variety of challenges, not just day-to-day, but also seasonally and with change, loss and growth. A business coach can provide support and guidance that brings confidence and stability, both for immediate results and future strength.

What is the Role of a Business Coach?

A business coach helps with the broader scope of business strategy, planning, and execution. They take a bird’s-eye view of your operation, helping you navigate from startup turbulence to the smoother skies of a mature enterprise. 

A business coach is about the bigger picture—culture, leadership, business model, growth strategies, and operational efficiencies.

The real benefit of a business coach lies in their ability to make you step back and look at the canvas of your business from a new perspective. It’s easy to get lost in the details, but a business coach pulls you out of the weeds to see the garden in its entirety. They guide you through scaling up, managing change, and perhaps most importantly, they help you define what success really looks like for you and your business.

What are the Advantages of Business Coaching?

A business coach acts as a mentor and guide, helping business owners to identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to overcome challenges. Some of the key benefits of working with a business coach include:

  • Improved leadership skills
  • Better recruitment and training of staff
  • Increased productivity
  • Confident decision-making
  • Enhanced communication skills
  • Professionally structured business plans and strategies
  • Identifying and addressing risks and opportunities
  • Increased profitability

Overall, business coaching can be an invaluable resource for small business owners. By providing guidance, support, and motivation, a business coach can help small business owners overcome challenges and set and achieve realistic and motivating goals.

Key Differences Between Sales and Business Coaching

Small business owners and sales professionals can both benefit from coaching, but the specific type of coaching structure and support they need may vary. Sales coaching and business coaching share some similarities, but there are also key differences in their focus areas, coaching techniques, and outcome expectations.

Focus Areas

Sales coaching typically focuses on improving an individual’s sales performance, such as closing more deals or increasing revenue. Business coaching takes a more holistic approach and focuses on the overall success of the business and the emotional well-being of their client. 

Coaching Techniques

Sales coaching often involves role-playing and practising sales techniques, as well as providing feedback on specific deals or interactions with clients. Business coaching may involve more guidance and expertise in developing a strategic plan or identifying areas for improvement. Both types of coaching can involve setting goals and tracking progress, but the approach may differ to be able to meet outcome expectations.

Outcome Expectations

The outcomes expected from sales coaching are typically focused on improving individual sales performance. Business coaching outcomes may be more focused on the overall success as well as holding a longer-term approach, focusing on building a sustainable and successful business over time or equipping your business to scale.

The Importance of Continuous Improvement and Motivation in Coaching

Coaching is not a one-time event. It’s a continuous process of improvement and motivation. You need to be ready to see a new perspective and adapt your business as you grow, and step up to the next coaching level as you come to tackle the next challenge.

Coaching is a vital tool for small business owners who want to improve their leadership skills and build a successful culture that is rewarding- not just to you as the business owner, but to attract and retain the best staff. 

Coaching helps individuals and teams identify their strengths and weaknesses, develop new skills and strategies, and achieve amazing goals to stay motivated, engaged and energised. 

Motivation Strategies

I mention motivation because it’s a key factor in coaching success. What motivates you intrinsically and extrinsically will be unique and have a huge impact on how you approach your business methods, goal setting and action steps. Your coach will work closely with you to identify your different motivation strategies and put actions into your daily routine to maintain and enhance your progress in a way that feels empowering and energising. 

Intrinsic motivation comes from within and is driven by personal interests, values, and goals. Extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors, such as rewards, recognition, and feedback.

To enhance intrinsic motivation, a coach will focus on building self-efficacy, autonomy, and purpose. Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to achieve their goals. 

To enhance extrinsic motivation, a coach will focus on providing feedback, recognition, and rewards. Feedback should be specific, timely, and constructive. Recognition should be public and meaningful and all rewards should be in alignment with business performance and goals.

Continuous Improvement Practices

Continuous improvement requires a growth mindset, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to change. Expect some reflection, experimentation, and feedback. Without this, you aren’t going to see any change or progress, so make sure you are willing to learn before you approach a coach. If you go in with your guard up, you still have to pay for the service but you won’t get any of the rewards.

A coach can’t do any of the work for you, they guide you in doing the best work you can to see the best returns for your business. It’s on you to get your head in the game and be ready for self-improvement.

Coaching programs will also include regular check-ins, assessments, and evaluations with the aim of maintaining momentum and accountability. 

The only way to identify areas for improvement and know where to take action is to measure progress, and it’s not just your business getting an evaluation, the coaching process and effectiveness will get a shake-up in the check-ins too, so that your coach can make adjustments as needed to tailor the program to better suit your needs.

To get a map of your strengths and weaknesses, be it for your sales team or your business as a whole, book a free consultation with me for guidance and support. 

Make sure you join our free Facebook group for some additional accountability and training too!

What is the Difference Between a Sales Coach and a Business Coach? – FAQs

1. Why do people use business coaches?

People seek the guidance of business coaches for various reasons:

Strategic Planning: Business coaches assist in developing and implementing strategic plans to achieve long-term goals.

Skill Development: Coaches help individuals and teams enhance their leadership, communication, and management skills.

Accountability: A business coach provides accountability, ensuring that goals are set and progress is monitored.

Objective Perspective: Coaches offer an external, objective perspective, helping businesses identify strengths and areas for improvement.

Problem-Solving: Business coaches help address challenges and find creative solutions to problems within the organisation.

Personal Development: Coaches support personal development, fostering a positive and growth-oriented mindset.

2. What does a business coach do?

A business coach engages in a range of activities to support organisational and individual growth:

Goal Setting: Business coaches help set clear and achievable goals aligned with the organisation’s vision.

Strategic Planning: They assist in developing and refining strategies to overcome challenges and maximise opportunities.

Skill Enhancement: Coaches identify areas for skill improvement and work on developing leadership and management capabilities.

Feedback and Reflection: Business coaches provide constructive feedback, encouraging reflection and continuous improvement.

Accountability: Coaches hold individuals accountable for their commitments, fostering a results-oriented culture.

Conflict Resolution: They help manage conflicts within the organisation and promote a positive work environment.

3. What does a sales coach do?

A sales coach focuses specifically on improving sales-related skills and outcomes:

Sales Training: Sales coaches provide training to enhance skills such as prospecting, pitching, and closing deals.

Performance Analysis: They analyse sales metrics and performance to identify areas for improvement.

Technique Refinement: Coaches work on refining sales techniques, objection handling, and customer relationship building.

Motivation and Confidence: Sales coaches inspire and motivate sales teams, boosting confidence and enthusiasm.

Goal Alignment: They align individual sales goals with overall business objectives to ensure a cohesive strategy.

Adaptation to Market Changes: Sales coaches help teams adapt to market changes and shifts in consumer behaviour.

4. Do I need a sales coach?

Whether you need a sales coach depends on your goals and challenges:

Sales Performance: If your sales team is facing challenges or you aim to enhance performance, a sales coach can be beneficial.

Skill Development: Individuals looking to refine their sales skills, from beginners to seasoned professionals, can benefit from coaching.

Business Growth: If your organisation is striving for growth and increased revenue, a sales coach can provide targeted guidance.

Adaptation to Changes: In rapidly changing markets, a sales coach can help teams adapt to new trends and consumer behaviours.

Individualised Attention: For personalised feedback and strategies tailored to your unique situation, a sales coach can offer valuable insights.

5. Is it worth paying for a business coach?

The value of a business coach depends on various factors:

Return on Investment: Consider the potential return on investment in terms of improved performance, increased revenue, and enhanced skills.

Long-Term Benefits: Business coaches often provide long-term benefits by fostering continuous improvement and strategic planning.

Objective Perspective: The external, objective perspective of a business coach can offer insights that may be challenging to see from within the organisation.

Time Efficiency: Coaches can expedite the learning curve and help individuals and teams achieve their goals more efficiently.

Customised Guidance: The personalised guidance and tailored strategies provided by a business coach can address specific challenges and opportunities.