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Sales Coaching 2.0 – Using data and analytics to address “cognitive complexity”


  • Self Awareness – who are you and how you like to coach
  • Cognitive Complexity – what to change
  • Sales Skills – what to teach
  • Motivation – how to teach

 Self Awareness: Manager vs Rep

  • Example1 – Rep1: “inaccurate self-assessment” (thinks they are doing great. Could do better.) Provide coaching around skills improvement.
  • Example2 –  Rep2: “knowing/doing gap” (expends too much effort to close sales). Provide coaching around confidence, not skills
  • Example3 – Rep3: “relationships trump results” (all customers love him, not enough revenue.) Good at relationships, poor at presenting. Suffers from cognitive complexity deficit. Provide coaching around practice – work on the reps’ ability to synthesize and present new information/products.

Cognitive Complexity – Conventional Coaching vs. Cognitive Coaching

Conventional Coaching focuses on:

  • Attendance/conduct w.r.t. performance and results
  • Is based on sales metrics
  • Also includes conversations and observations

Cognitive Coaching focuses on:

  • The cognitive complexity of today’s sales process
  • The ability to master individual skills and execute them simultaneously
  • Requires skills in: product knowledge; client situation; sales skills; accurate responses and gives reps immediate feedback on their progress in these quadrants.

Conventional Coaching targets the neocortex (analytic and technical ability), while Cognitive Coaching targets the limbic system (feelings, impulses and drives). Cognitive Coaching targets habits via practice and feedback.

 Cognitive Coaching Analytics:

CC measures and evaluate along the following parameters:

  • Actual sales performance and metrics
  • Actual knowledge of the rep
  • Assessment of rep to determine their profile and type
  • Quantitative real-time feedback to rep
  • Success in imparting long-term behavioral change (modifying the limbic system)


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