Sales Managers vs. Sales Coaches: Which One Are You?

Dec 12, 2023

In the world of sales, the roles of sales managers and sales coaches are often intertwined but distinctly different in their approach and impact on the team. Understanding the nuances between the two can help you identify which role you predominantly play and how it affects your team's performance and morale. Let's dive into the characteristics of each and see which one resonates more with you.

Sales Managers 📈

Sales managers are primarily focused on achieving targets and managing the overall sales process. They are often seen as the driving force behind a team's performance, emphasizing metrics, strategies, and results.


  • Target-Oriented: Prioritizes meeting sales targets and focuses on numbers and outcomes.

  • Strategic Planners: Develops sales strategies, forecasts, and sets goals for the team.

  • Process-Driven: Enforces sales processes and methodologies, and monitors compliance with corporate policies.

  • Problem Solvers: Often steps in to address issues that hinder the team’s ability to hit targets.

  • Performance Evaluators: Regularly assesses team members’ performance against set KPIs and objectives.

Sales Coaches 🌟

Sales coaches, on the other hand, focus more on developing the individual team members, enhancing their skills, and helping them to grow professionally. They are mentors and guides, fostering a supportive and learning-oriented environment.


  • Development-Focused: Concentrates on the professional growth and skill enhancement of team members.

  • Mentorship-Oriented: Provides guidance, feedback, and advice to help team members overcome challenges.

  • Empathetic Listener: Listens to the concerns and aspirations of team members and offers tailored support.

  • Encourages Collaboration: Promotes a team culture where members learn from each other and share best practices.

  • Long-term Perspective: Looks beyond immediate sales targets and focuses on building a competent and confident sales team.

Which One Are You?

To determine whether you are more of a sales manager or a sales coach, consider the following questions:

  1. Do you find yourself more concerned with meeting targets or with how your team is developing and learning?

  2. When a team member struggles, do you focus on the impact on sales figures or on understanding and addressing their individual challenges?

  3. Is your approach more directive, giving orders and solutions, or more collaborative, helping team members find their own solutions?

  4. Do you evaluate success primarily through numbers and reports, or through observed growth and improvement in your team’s capabilities?


In reality, the most effective leaders in sales often embody aspects of both managers and coaches. They strike a balance between driving performance and nurturing development. Understanding your natural inclination can help you adjust your approach to be more well-rounded, ensuring not only the achievement of sales targets but also the growth and satisfaction of your team members.

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