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Sales Coach vs Sales Trainer: What Is the Difference?

By XINNIX | August 1, 2022 | Training

Sales training and coaching may often get lumped into the same category, but they are very different.

The similarity between them, though? They can transform your business in positive ways, like providing you with the tools to turn any challenge into an opportunity. But the key is to find the correct program for your organization. 

So, which one is best for your needs? We’ll cover the pros and cons of each and help you find the perfect match for your team.

What Is a Sales Trainer?

A sales trainer educates sellers on the best tools, techniques and skills necessary to improve their salesmanship. This helps when you’re selling a specific product or service and need your sales team to step up their game.

This type of training is usually role specific. For example, a trainer can improve your sales reps:

  • Cold calling.
  • Sales pitching.
  • Understanding of customer needs.

As for account executives, a trainer will provide the above, if needed, along with:

  • Negotiation tactics.
  • Objection handling steps for customer concerns or queries.
  • Tips for improving top-line revenue.

What Is a Sales Coach?

A sales coach is different from a sales trainer in one main way: When coaching a sales team, the coach focuses on each team member one at a time. Rather than giving a broad range of advice and tips taught to several members of your team at once, your team members will receive personalized training that meets their unique needs and personalities.

Some aspects coaches focus on when coaching a sales team are their individual: 

  • Strengths and weaknesses.
  • Goals and motivations.
  • Aspirations and potential.

A coach may focus on certain elements of hard skills to help improve performance, but they prioritize the individual behind the performance first and foremost.

How Do You Determine the Right Fit for Your Organization?

So how do you determine the right fit for your organization? Is it simply a matter of sales training vs. coaching? Let’s go over each one in greater detail first.

A sales trainer may be more accessible and immediately impactful since a sales coach needs to have a lot of alignment with your company. For example, a coach should:

  • Have empathy and encourage your team to explore strengths and weaknesses.
  • Create a supportive and understanding environment to motivate your team in personalized ways.
  • Have inspiring leadership traits that can be passed on to your team.

Sales coaches often begin their careers as reps, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be great coaches. A coaching professional doesn’t demand or force the team to follow every play in the playbook. Instead, they are open to shifting gears and exploring the best possible avenues to maximize the potential of each individual team member and find success for your company.

But there’s a third alternative to sales training vs. coaching. It’s possible to find and use a hybrid approach between the two.

Could You Need Both?

Regular sales training is necessary to keep your team updated and equipped with the best modern tools and tactics to succeed. If you introduce a new product or service, your team will need specialized training tailored to selling it in the right way. 

Furthermore, training is a great way to deliver new information to an entire team at one time. Although it can be role-specific, the tips and steps provided by training can help everyone involved.

In comparison, sales coaching should be an ongoing process. Regardless of how long someone has been at your company, continuous coaching can maximize their potential.

Support Your Team With Top Notch Sales Training

Both sales training and coaching are viable methods for elevating your employee’s production, motivation and leadership qualities. As a result, you can’t go wrong with either option. It all depends on your organizational needs.

At XINNIX®, The Academy of Excellence, we offer the best sales learning platforms to optimize your team for success. We help teams learn to look ahead during the sales process, ask the right questions and create strategies that emphasize customer connection to help close deals.

Are you interested in learning more? Be sure to download our free ebook today.