In most cases, people wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you’d use the word teaching instead of coaching or vice versa. And why would they?
They both seem to mean the same thing. That is, instructing a student. By nature, however, they both fulfill different roles and serve other purposes.
Teaching (Sales Process, Orientation to the industry)
As we already know, teaching is the imparting of new knowledge or instructions to someone else.
A teacher is a subject expert who imparts wisdom, an experienced professional. However, the line between a teacher and a coach is drawn at their relationship with the student.
Teachers help students learn, and that’s the end of it.
Teaching is focused on imparting knowledge and learning, where the teacher is in charge of the interaction. It has little to do with the student as an individual.
Teaching a sales process falls flat on gaining a referring producing sales professional unless you add coaching.
Coaching (Discussing real challenges, offering guidance beyond the “know-how”)
Coaching is taking what you learned from the teacher and applying it to everyday work in the field as a sales professional. Coaches focus on the development and guidance of sales representatives. In a way, coaches help students grow as individuals, enabling students to refine their skills and find direction.
Coaches, just like teachers, guide a change in students, be it through education, knowledge, or advice. However, here’s where the critical difference lies: the student entirely dictates a coach’s guidance.
Coaching is about helping the student bring out what they already have or know. And that’s how coaches help students change without dictating the change themselves.
This is why our sales management is so effective.
We have brought both the teaching and the coaching under one program to deliver incredible results. Just last week I heard from one of our clients who used Home Care Sales for both teaching and coaching their sales representatives.
They started on their journey by having me come to their organization, where I taught the High-Performance Sales Academy. Then the owner invested in coaching their team.
Last week their sales manager reported that by adding our sales management, and road map to referrals, they have grown by 50% over the previous year!
Teaching guides with knowledge and advice acquired by the teacher, coaching guides with knowledge and advice, which is based on the individual.
So is a coach a teacher or a teacher a coach?
Well, no. They can’t both exist at the same time. This distinction that we’ve just established is less about discriminating between the two and more about understanding and appreciating the ‘coaches’ in our lives. Nonetheless, it’s essential to understand that teachers are still facilitators of knowledge. Ideally, it would serve the world better to have more coaches than teachers, but that is just an indicator of the flaws of our current system.
Coaches can help bring out the best in sales representatives. Now our sales management provides both the teaching and the coaching together. But we didn’t stop there. We added accountability.
- We have the sales representative complete an expectation document that we developed with the owner/administrators.
- We provide a CRM to document the High-Performance Sales Process in your sales calls, automate weekly sales call purpose, and trigger questions.
- We provide coaching to personalize navigation through complex sales challenges.
- We have combined the industry’s top sales teaching for the first 12 weeks in conjunction with expert coaching to overcome any obstacles.
As a profession, we’ve probably underestimated the value of those who call themselves coaches. This is not to say that we haven’t misunderstood many teachers, who may have actually coached us.
Coaching is a cycle. The job doesn’t end after instruction. Coaches begin by teaching students; they then observe how and what the students learn and then re-evaluate the teaching approach to provide a better understanding.
What does it mean for the post-acute care community?
Whether you refer to them as teachers or coaches, not much changes. Cheryl (Me) and Melanie are both naturally equipped to help your sales associate learn and master how to manage referral sources. If you want your sales representative to start driving in referrals sign up here for our sales management done for you program. It takes teaching and coaching to the next level!
Keep Helping, Keep Serving,
Cheryl Pelekis, RN “The Solutionist”