TOTAL Coaching

10th January 2022 |   David Norris

Developing and implementing a coaching culture within a sales environment to effect real transformation in coaching across your organisation.


Within sales organisations the value and importance of coaching is acknowledged as a key element to the continuing success of the business, including the development and retention of employees in the organisation. In recent years, the importance of this aspect, along with the need for developing the focus on “manager as coach” has also significantly increased. This project is based on empirical research, with the objective of identifying key areas for sales organisations to build a more effective coaching culture. An additional element of this work is to provide increased clarity and understanding of the importance of coaching in a sales environment and to identify the key levers to influence a real transformation in developing a coaching culture within the sales arena. This research activity has been undertaken within my own organisation and wider sector, involving sales professionals external to my business and with input at all levels of the organisational structure to bring as wide a perspective as possible.

A methodology of Action Research and Critical Realism (Coghlan and Brannick, 2007) has been utilised. Research findings, using thematic analysis based on the Six Phase Approach (Braun and Clark, 2006) was the data analysis tool used to identify and establish the key themes. Identification of five specific themes of Trust, Organisation, Time, Accountability and Leadership, summarised with a defined acronym message of TOTAL Coaching are highlighted. The output of this work provides recommendations on areas of focus to begin to develop and improve the coaching culture within sales organisations.

Throughout my career in sales leadership with SKF, the Swedish-based world leader in supply of bearings, seals and rotating equipment solutions, I have considered the importance of continual improvement in individual and team performance to be a fundamental element towards success. Having held various senior sales management roles at local, international and global levels, this has given me the opportunity and the experience to observe differing ways of coaching across the business and my wider sales profession.

Why do we need to develop coaching?

The development of effective coaching activity within any organisation is a key and essential initiative that can have influence on many aspects of team and business performance. An acknowledgement of this comes from The Conference Board CEO Challenge (2016) Survey. This confirmed that attracting and retaining top talent along with developing the next generation of leaders are the major concerns of global CEOs. These are all areas that can be addressed by effective coaching.

Sales Director at SKF UK & Ireland

David Norris is Sales Director, Industrial Market for SKF UK & Ireland.