Sales training and sales coaching are not the same. One difference between them is their implementation methods. Sales training is provided periodically to respond to market conditions, business analytics, new product features, and the like. Sales reps gain access to this fresh knowledge via training, so us to make changes to their sales strategy. Meanwhile, sales coaching starts (or at least should start) at the moment of hire, and it likely remains constant throughout the entire career of sales reps.
Next to the time-factor of implementation, sales training and sales coaching also differ in delivery methods. Training typically is a one-directional instructive event. It originates from leadership decisions and assessments of applicable data. During sales training, there isn't a lot of room for sales rep input regarding the desired outcome. A group of sales reps listen to and engage with the trainer to gain insight into ways of improving their performance and result. This is not to say that training events are boring or ineffective. Some are. But training events led by dynamic trainers can be powerful, exciting, and exhilarating experiences that resonate with trainees and lead to measurable growth in sales.
While sales training events tend to deliver standardized information to groups, the sales coaching process focuses on individual salespersons and their short- and long-term goals. Sales coaching is an ongoing partnership to constantly inspire positive changes in the behavior of the people coached. To do that, coaches commit to know and understand the coachee. At that, sales coaching is a focused and persistent intervention that not only helps sales reps define and redefine their goals as times move on but also to create and follow plans to reach them.
Sales training sessions deliver actionable information and ignite enthusiasm to pursue goals, but it is the highly skilled sales coach that facilitates engaging Q&A conversation sessions and motivates coachees to actively participate in their own transformation. It is the highly skilled sales coach that helps coachees recognize and resolve the problems faced while also taking ownership of the role they play in becoming top producers.