3 Powerful Coaching Questions to Cultivate a High-Performing Sales Team
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3 Powerful Coaching Questions to Cultivate a High-Performing Sales Team

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

How do you build high-performing sales teams?

Often, sales managers who were once exceptional individual sellers struggle when transitioning to management roles. 

Whereas, managers who have been successful have to always find ways to be on top of their game. 

High-performance sales teams are the cornerstone of a successful organization. 

Today, I am starting a 2 part series on powerful coaching questions to ask your sales team members to help them thrive and cultivate a culture of accountability and results.

Question #1: How Would You Like to Be Managed?

The simplicity of this question belies its sophistication. 

Understanding each team member’s management preferences can significantly improve your effectiveness as a manager. 

When you ask this question, observe how your team members process the question and respond, as it will craft your management approach.

If they go ahead and tell you, 

“I would like to be told what I need to do”


“Give me 100% empowerment, I hate to be micromanaged”

You can adapt to maximize their potential.

Some of the best sales managers I work with adopt an approach wherein,

They state the goals that need to be achieved.

The team members come up with the strategies to achieve that goal. 

The manager states why this is important for the organization, and the team member comes back and says why is this goal meaningful for me.

The manager lays out the measures of the goal and the team member comes up with the milestones for achievement. 

This is what we call the “dance of commitment”

When you are managing salespeople, ensure that goals, strategies, measures, metrics, milestones, motivation, and mojo, all of that is completely locked in.

If it is not clear, they won’t perform to their full potential.

Question #2: How would you like feedback to be provided to you?

Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement, but many people have not been taught how to provide or receive feedback effectively.

There are 2 primary models to provide feedback: 

#1. O-I-R (Observation, Impact, and Reinforcement/Redirection)

Here is an example, 

Situation: A Meeting with a Client.

observed that you asked a number of powerful questions to the customer during the meeting. 

The impact that it had is that it made the customer think, and that framed us as a partner. I could see their respect for you went up. 

Please build on top of this behavior because it’s going to be a game-changer. 

#2. S-B-I (Situation, Behavior, Impact)

Here is an example,

Situation: Discussion with clients

Behavior: You talked a lot and didn’t give the client a chance to speak.

Impact: It shut down the customer. 

“What could you do differently for you to practice brevity to get more customer engagement?”

Try both models and identify which one resonates most with your team members. 

It’s your responsibility as a manager to provide what we call actionable and precise feedback.

Question #3: How Would You Like to Be Kept Accountable?

I love this question, it is so powerful.

I can sense a number of you thinking, oh my gosh, that’s the question I’ve missed asking my team members.

Maybe, you’re struggling with accountability and putting up with more mediocrity than you should.

If you are a manager, there are four things that you should establish all the time in your sales team:

-> Values

-> Behavioral Norms

-> Standards of Performance

-> Standards of Excellence

There should be prizes and punishments for not meeting the standards required for every team member.

This discussion of accountability is crucial because unless they are able to process accountability, it will not translate into integrity.

It will not translate into commitment.

That is really important when you run a high-performance sales team.

Asking these 3 powerful questions will provide you with a framework for meaningful, deep, and insightful conversations with your team members. 

By addressing each individual’s preferences, expectations, and goals, you will lay the foundation for a high-performance sales environment. Unleashing the maximum potential of your sales team means they elevate themselves and as a by-product of that, elevate you as their leader.

If this resonates with you, please give yourself the permission to subscribe to the CXO Sales Playbook Newsletter. 


Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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