Sales Management & Coaching (SMC) is a specialized training program for sales managers that enables them to forecast future sales accurately, manage sales team pipelines, review opportunities, develop individual sales professionals’ skills, and provide insightful opportunity coaching to win more business.



SMC is based on a repeatable process for sales diagnosis, managing by exception and coaching, and includes supporting management and skills development tools

The Sales Management & Coaching Process

Sales Management & Coaching

Intended Audiences

SMC is designed for first-line and second-line sales managers and executives. It naturally complements and supports the Solution Selling in the Collaborative Era methodology, but can be tailored for use in any direct sales organization.

What is included in the Sales Management & Coaching program?

Program Objectives

Designed to provide a repeatable and highly efficient inspection and coaching cadence, SMC enables sales managers to:

  • Forecast future business based on observable facts, not just opinions
  • Quickly identify potential problems in the sales pipeline or funnel
  • Know how to anticipate and avoid sales team performance issues, before they happen
  • Project whether sales goals will be achieved, as far as a year ahead
  • Close sales productivity gaps without the typical end-of-quarter scramble
  • Accurately assess the quality of individual opportunities in the sales pipeline in only a few minutes
  • Coach salespeople to improve the chances of winning sales opportunities
  • Develop each individual seller’s sales skills and abilities

Multiple Delivery Modality Options

SMC can be learned through live instructor-led training (ILT) workshops via virtual instructor-led training (vILT) sessions, or online through on-demand eLearning and video-based content. We find that a blended learning approach that incorporates a mix of delivery modalities produces the best results.

For ILT and vILT delivery, each SPI instructor has been certified to rigorous standards, and they each bring at least 15 years of sales and management experience to ensure their credibility and enhance facilitated discussions. Alternatively, SPI can certify client instructors for in-house delivery and coaching, at the client’s option.

Workshop Topical Agenda

SMC is a modular program, designed to be tailored to the unique requirements of each client. The standard instructor-led SMC training workshop is a one-day, highly interactive program. The standard program includes:

Introduction to Sales Management & Coaching

  • Objectives
    • Review typical areas of focus for sales managers
    • Review course objectives
    • Discuss sales management challenges
    • Review course agenda
  • Exercises
    • Introduction of deployment and management challenges

Key Sales Management Principles

  • Objectives
    • Articulate the impact management involvement can have on sales methodology adoption
    • Discuss the difference between pipeline management and sales forecasting
    • Define the primary steps/components of the sales management process

Perform Opportunity Review (Quality)

  • Objectives
    • Describe the importance of verifiable outcomes in the sales process
    • Articulate key components found in quality evidence
    • Inspect specific opportunities to determine/verify milestone status
    • Assess the quality of opportunity execution in relation to milestone status
    • Inspect the quality of verifiable outcomes to ensure accuracy of milestone status
    • Describe six key factors that need to be strongly developed in an opportunity
    • Pain, Power, Vision, Value, Collaborate, and Compelling Reason to Act
  • Exercises
    • Analyze deficiencies in the quality of a sample
    • Buyer communication (Power Sponsor) email
    • Collaboration plan
    • Analyze the “strength of sale” for an opportunity
    • Practice conducting an opportunity review

Perform Pipeline Review (Volume & Speed)

  • Objectives
    • Determine if there is enough business in the pipeline to produce the revenue needed to meet goal
    • Describe possible actions to take to fill the revenue attainment gap
    • Determine if opportunities are moving through the pipeline at a rate that will contribute to the revenue needed to meet goal
  • Exercises
    • Analyze a:
      • Pipeline to determine the potential yield
      • Pipeline report to identify potentially “stuck” opportunities
    • Discuss ways to fill a gap in pipeline attainment


  • Objectives
    • Discuss the difference between key opportunity v. batch forecasting
    • Review a sample report with multiple forecast inputs

Coaching (Opportunity and Skill)

  • Objectives
    • Describe best practices of effective coaching
    • Articulate the different characteristics of opportunity and skill coaching
    • Prepare for coaching sessions using a proven coaching methodology
    • Describe the common selling difficulties that occur frequently at specific steps in the sales process
    • Analyze a collection of opportunities to identify common trend(s) indicated a potential skill issue(s)
    • Use coaching tools to help diagnose the skill issue(s) and recommend corrective actions and plans for salespeople
  • Exercises
    • Group discussion: coaching
    • Role-play, preparing for and executing a coaching session after an opportunity review
    • Identify a case example and apply coaching

Getting Started

  • Objectives
    • Describe the best practices for ensuring adoption of sales process within your organization
    • Common pitfalls to avoid during implementation
  • Exercises
    • Construct a plan to support the adoption and implementation of the sales process within one’s area

SMC typically includes a pre-workshop assignment consisting of reviewing brief eLearning content on foundational sales management principles. In the workshop, participants work on application exercises to develop mastery of all key concepts.

Instructional Materials

The SMC workshop is designed to support adult learning principles. The program’s instructional materials facilitate participant understanding by using a mix of media to transmit and reinforce key learning points. SPI provides full-color training content in electronic interactive workbooks, for use on participants’ mobile devices or laptop computers, as well as color reference charts, animated presentations, and video content, where appropriate.

Useful Sales Tools and Job Aids

The SMC workshop incorporates the integrated use of SPI-Sales Process Playbooks – an easy-to-use, automated tool that includes a variety of helpful job aids. As participants complete the program, they capture the results of exercises in the SPI-Sales Process Playbooks application. After the workshop, managers can use the application on an ongoing basis for effective use of the methodology with their own sales teams.

The job aids provided in the SMC program toolkit include:

  • Opportunity Review Checklist – a guide for reviewing key aspects of an opportunity, to determine its quality, and identify potential areas in need of further inspection and coaching
  • Strength of Sale Assessment – provides a means for evaluating sales opportunities against observed buyer behavior. and tracking progress over time
  • Opportunity Review Prompter – a checklist of activities for ensuring an efficient and effective opportunity review
  • Pipeline Analysis Worksheet – a tool for analyzing potential productivity gaps in a sales pipeline, and for determining the amount of business development required
  • Pipeline Milestones Worksheet – a tool for summarizing progress of multiple sales opportunities relative to achievement of observable and verifiable outcomes
  • GRAF Coaching Preparation Worksheet – a tool for helping managers prepare for a coaching conversation with a seller
  • Skill Coaching Prompters – a guide for determining what corrective or developmental action is most appropriate for building an individual’s critical selling skill
  • 30/60/90-Day Implementation Plan – a planning tool for getting started with SMC principles successfully

Strategic Value

Sales Management & Coaching provides managers with a repeatable, easy-to-master process for quickly reviewing their team’s sales pipelines and opportunities, provide meaningful and objectively-based coaching, and improving sales team skills. The outcome of this process is complete visibility and accuracy on sales pipeline quality, resulting in much more accurate predictions of future sales. This improvement in forecasting enables executives to make better decisions about the use of company resources, thus reducing costs and improving profitability.

Sales Manager Competencies Checklist

Download this useful list of sales management competencies to help you identify your next winning sales manager.

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