Sales Master Class

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“Hemant, I am desperately looking for Sales Coaching for some of my Territory Sales Managers,” said Shiv – Zonal Head Sales – North, for Naturali Cosmetics.  

“What triggered that thought  of  Sales Coaching, Shiv?” asked his boss Hemant – Country Head – Sales, at Naturali.  

“Sam, one of my high-potential TSMs is so frustrated, he wants to leave. I am puzzled Hemant” 

“I can understand your concern Shiv” said Hemant “Your Zone’s sales are 20% below the target. Of the 12 territories in your Zone, 6 reported numbers below the quota” 

“Sorry to interrupt Hemant” said Shiv “The bigger surprise is, 3 of the 6 deficit territories are run by high-potentials”     

"I understand your eagerness for Sales Coaching, Shiv"  said Hemant. 


  • Naturali Cosmetics is transforming itself from being a volume player in the bath & shower segment, to becoming a premium provider of wellness. 
  • Most bath and shower products are generally facing resistance from consumers. Market studies show that cosmetic buyers, these days check to confirm that products they buy are free from all harmful ingredients 
  • This should have been an automatic competitive advantage for Naturali. 

So, why aren’t sales picking up in some territories? Where is the problem?  And how can Sales Coaching help?  

Hemant shared a suggestion - “Shiv, Have you gone out with any of them to see what they do when they visit their retail outlets? Is our new positioning reflecting on the retail floors? “

“I think you have a point there,’ said Shiv. “Thank you for this one minute Sales Master Class!  I now know how to get started with my Sales Coaching. Let me come back after I try out your suggestion”. 

Two weeks later, a beaming Shiv met Hemant: “I cracked it! Your idea about Sales Coaching worked!  Our products were just not in the wellness area of the supermarket floors. They were still in their old racks along with other brands of cosmetics. I showed our boys how to get this corrected. And sales have already jumped by 50% last week! And, Sam will stay. He is fully charged”.  

What does the story tell you? 


Sales Managers are possibly the best Sales Coaches for their teams

5 Key Resources in Managing Sales and 1 Big Differentiator 

Managing sales involves use of five key resources(i)Product (ii) Pricing (iii) Promotion (iv) Distribution network (v) People. 

Of these, the biggest differentiator can be People - The Salesforce. 

While the remaining resources are generally constant in the short run, Salespeople can be inspired to maximize sales out of the potential opportunity in a territory if they experience good Sales Coaching, that challenges them to achieve SMART Objectives.

As a Sales Manager, how can you leverage Sales Coaching for your sales team?

  1. Continuously assess levels of knowledge, skills and attitudes of individuals in your sales team, rather than team as a whole. As the Naturali Cosmetics story shows, support required by each team member is different.  So, Sales Coaching has to address each team member individually, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach.
  2. Develop people before the output is expected. Not after. Native wisdom says that you shouldn’t wait till you are thirsty before you start digging a well. So it is with Sales Coaching. In our story, if Shiv had coached his people early enough on the nuances of merchandising and in-store sales, he could have avoided challenges on the numbers and people fronts
  3. Remember the Sales Manager is the best equipped person to coach his people. Great Sales Coaching is about hands-on learning from their managers.  Is priceless. This is what salespeople always remember with gratitude, as they grow. 
  4. Adopt a ‘Manage by Support’ approach which underpins the Sales Coaching process.  This lays the foundation for sustainable sales excellence.  

Putting it to practice 

To translate 'Manage by Support' into practice, that enables one to excel at Sales Coaching, a powerful Mercuri concept called The RAC Framework (Results-Activity-Competence) or the Plumbing Model can be useful for a Sales Manager. 

Master Class Takeaway

If you are heading a sales team, you are most suited to do their Sales Coaching.  Nothing works magic like on-the-job sales coaching. And it comes at zero cost

It's the uncertainty, the challenge and the willingness to put it all on the line that draws a lot of people to climb mountains. That can also apply to a lot of other challenges in life, whether it's running for office, starting a family, going to grad school or taking all of your cash and assets and starting a business

– Mark Udall –