Coaching Your Team to Excellence

Do you want your future filled with your industry’s equivalent of Super Bowl rings?

Then you better stop managing your people and start coaching them instead.

If you want to know how the author of WTF: Why Training Fails, Jason Forrest, CEO and Chief Culture Officer at FPG (Forrest Performance Group), which does sales leadership coaching, has some very actionable pointers on the most recent B2B Revenue Executive Experience podcast.

Most people who struggle to be true leaders don’t understand what a coach is, and the result is subpar performance.

Success Requires a Plan

“A leader is a person you follow to a place you wouldn’t go on your own.“


Forrest believes that a sales coach is all about making people better, versus making things easier. Managers frequently act to ease problems in a worker’s life.

A coach doesn’t do that because making circumstances easier is a death spiral. It won’t help in the long run.

Instead, a coach is focused on making you better, not by changing your circumstances, but by changing how you think about them, how you see the individual components, and how you behave in those circumstances.

“You’ve got to look at salespeople as athletes, and they should be coached like athletes, not managed like employees.“


A lot of employees, especially salespeople have a victim mentality.

You change people’s points of view by transforming statements of blame into questions of opportunity.

For example, “What are you going to do to improve this situation? How can you make a difference in the situation based upon the circumstances you have?

Statements create conflict, questions uncover solutions, according to Forrest.

For managers, the hard part is not to slide into managing the circumstances on a daily basis. Managers need to look at their daily schedule and ask if they are doing enough coaching.

Are you teaching how to sell? Even your top performer needs coaching.

Culture Club

“Culture is what happens behind the boss’s back.“


The test to see if you have the culture you want, according to Forrest, is asking yourself if you are a hundred percent certain the people on your team are doing what they’re supposed to do, even when you aren’t around.

The number one profit leak in an organization is people’s productivity. Gallup Research says that most employees are only working 40% of the time. You’re overpaying for the productivity you’re getting.

That isn’t just a productivity issue, it is a headcount one. If your culture isn’t motivating people to act, you may need to hire nearly three times the people you need to get the job done.

You need to get your people fully engaged and focused at work and get them moving on all cylinders.

Forrest believes that a good company culture will help employees feel fulfilled in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

  • Physiological Needs – these include the basic needs for survival of the body
  • Safety Needs
  • Love/Belonging
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Actualization

After the money that provides for people’s basic needs for food and safety, employees need variety, fun and significance. They want to feel like they matter. They need to feel connected to other people on a mission, not just a job. They need to feel like they’re improving.

You can ask them:

  • How much fun are you having at work or are you getting bored?
  • What would you suggest to improve significance?
  • Do you feel like you’re being heard?
  • Do you feel like you matter?
  • Do you have a best friend at work?
  • Is there someone at work that you hang out with outside of the office?

For Forrest, the key culture question is:

  • Would your employees be excited to wear your company logo on a shirt?

Five Accountability Roles for Every Employee

Every employee at FPG has an accountability chart that measures five roles they must embody:

  1. Accountability
  2. Trust
  3. Dialogue
  4. Excellence
  5. Drive

These are the KPIs that they measure. This helps the team focus on coaching and personal development plans.

For Forrest, the most effective way to measure the success of the leader is the impact they’re making on their people.

“I measure the impact in how many people have they created to be self-sustained employees, and number two is how many leaders have they created.“


The Warrior Selling Code

FPG offers a sales master class called Warrior Selling. The class focuses on changing a salesperson’s mindset.

The “warrior selling code” believes that all human beings move away from pain and toward life improvement, and the sales warrior believes their mission is to liberate them from any indecision.

For example, if your sales prospect is using a competitor’s old process, product, or service, your goal is to help them improve their life.

“If they just adopt that mindset and they say that to themselves every freaking day, then that’ll change a lot of things.“


If you want to learn more, you can contact Forrest via LinkedIn, email, or check out his latest class at

This post is based on an interview with Jason Forrest, CEO & Chief Culture Officer of FPG (Forrest Performance Group). To hear this episode, and many more like it, subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

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