Effective Sales Coaching: Whole Brain® Thinking Required

“Thinking? Why focus on thinking? I am interested in changing behavior!”

– A frustrated sales leader discussing how to address the organization’s challenges of improving top-line revenue growth, conversion rates and forecasting accuracy

In the sales world, we often focus on behavior and not the thinking that drives it, and as a result we often fail to get any kind of long-term change. Behaviors are situational and can be affected by many external factors, but thinking is at the heart of who we are, impacting how we process information, make decisions and learn.

As our VP of Sales, Orin Salas, puts it, “You can change your thinking without changing your behavior, but you can’t change your behavior without changing your thinking.”

We’ve found that sales manager/coaches who understand how they and their sales reps think and process information, and know how to apply this to the coaching process, are able to quickly cut through the noise and “get through” in a way that works most effectively for the coachee to drive the desired behaviors and results.

They can also help sales reps use their own thinking preferences more deliberately, and stretch to other styles to meet specific competency requirements. Ultimately, this means both the manager and the rep are able to spend coaching time and attention where it will deliver the biggest payoff.

Regardless of the sales coach’s own thinking preferences, all aspects are important, which is why the most successful sales coaches have the thinking agility to move beyond their comfort zones and filters, and avoid becoming trapped by their mental blind spots.

For best results, sales coaches must spend time in each of the four thinking quadrants. Here’s a Whole Brain® checklist to get you started:


What would you add to the list?  For more tips on applying Whole Brain® Thinking to optimize sales performance, download the free white paper, The Mind of Successful Sales Leadership.


2 replies
  1. Andrew Bogdan
    Andrew Bogdan says:

    Nice article and I agree that thinking or mindset or “how you show up” is crucial as you coach your team. It is also crucial when it comes to interacting with clients and prospects. Having the right mindset can be the difference between having a prospect open up to you and share all of their “pain” and issues and a prospect feeling as if their being sold and stay guarded during the entire process …making a sale highly unlikely.


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