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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Oct 10, 2017 4 min read

Watch for These Red Flags When Choosing a Sales Coach

{}Choosing the right sales coach is a vital decision for your business and its sales team. This individual becomes one of your most important assets, helping your sales representatives reach their quotas and increase your revenue. As such an important person, hiring the right coach is a process that takes time and great consideration.

So, how do you know what to look for? More importantly, how do you know what traits should be avoided? Here are some red flags you need to watch out for when choosing a sales coach to lead your sales team.   

Not a Team Player

Chris Lytle said in his book The Accidental Sales Manager, “You’re the sales manager, but you don’t manage sales. You must coach the players to do what it takes to win instead of trying to coach the score.”

With that quote in mind, it’s extremely important your sales coach be a team player. Without a team attitude, your sales team will quickly feel as though they’re being pushed against each other, working in a hostile and competitive environment. Instead, your sales team needs to work as a team, meeting goals together, instead of apart.

The right candidate will rally the troops to work as one.

Doesn’t Try New Things

The way people buy is changing quicker than some sales coaches are willing to admit. For many businesses, this means new sales tactics need to be tested, not avoided. Considering only 57.1 percent of sales reps met their quotas in 2015, adapting to change and trying new things should be a must for any sales coach. If your sales coach seems to be stuck in the past, it should be a red flag to you.

As technology advances, so do sales techniques. Concepts such as sales enablement and social selling are some of today’s most effective ways of generating new leads, fostering connections, and influencing audiences. While stepping onto new ground and exploring new territory can be scary, failing to try can leave you in the dust.

The right candidate will see change coming and adapt to new techniques before your customers have a chance of being missed.

Doesn’t Work One on One

Some coaches prefer meeting with the entire sales team at once, as opposed to taking part in one-on-one meetings. While group coaching can be effective, without supplementing it with individual conversation, many issues are never faced and questions are left unanswered.

No two sales reps are the same, meaning individual coaching is often the most effective way of approaching sales coaching. This builds a closer relationship with the coach and the sales rep, leading to better training and more effective sales for your business.

If one-on-one coaching isn’t something the candidate practices, it’s a major red flag for your business and its sales team.

Has No Sales Experience

This might seem like a given; however, some sales coaches have little to no experience in a sales role whatsoever. This is perhaps the biggest red flag, if you didn’t already think it was. 

Sales training and sales experience are two vastly different things. While sales seminars and training sessions can be helpful, nothing is more reliable than years of experience as a sales rep. To ensure the success of your sales team, seek out a candidate with past experience in sales, not just a decorated resume. 

Choosing a sales coach can be stressful. By avoiding these red flags, you can ensure the success of your business and reach your growing sales goals.


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.