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Should Your Sales Coach Have Experience in Your Industry?

A sales coach who has worked for years in your field may seem like an ideal match—but you may learn more from an outside perspective.

Salespeople often think their sales coach should be a veteran of their industry—someone who has worked in the same sector, knows the jargon, and has direct experience with the types of deals involved.

In fact, many sales professionals doubt they can learn anything from a so-called “sales expert” whose expertise comes from selling products or services in a different industry!

While there are some benefits to getting sales coaching from an expert in your industry, there are also some drawbacks. In fact, coaching clients almost always get more from their sales coaching program when their coach’s background is outside your field.

Look For a Sales Expert Outside Your Industry

A qualified sales coach should have real-world sales experience and a successful track record. But it’s fine if your coach’s sales experience is in an industry different from yours! Here’s why:

  • You are more unique than your job
  • Successful techniques can come from any industry
  • Outside perspectives help you think outside the box
  • You likely have access to industry experts already

Every salesperson has their own reasons for hiring a coach—but nobody’s looking for a sales coach who tells them things they already know. Let’s take a closer look at why a sales coach with an outside perspective can be such a valuable partner.

You Are More Unique Than Your Job

Between all the acronyms, industry lingo, and specialized technology, you probably think your sales job is pretty unique. It is, but it isn’t!

Behind every product or service that needs to be sold, there’s a sales cycle that converts leads to revenue. Objections must be overcome. Closes have to be made. And salespeople have to find the time and motivation to keep their lives balanced and their business running smoothly. Salespeople in vastly different industries (with vastly different job titles) may be surprised to find out how similar their day-to-day jobs actually are!

The “best practices” for your field may not actually work for your personal style!

Each salesperson, however, is highly unique. Even two people in the same sales department can face totally different challenges and have totally different strengths. The “best practices” for your field may not actually work for your personal style! A sales coach who recognizes this can design a plan for your individual growth as a salesperson, instead of relying on what’s “normal” in any specific industry.

Successful Sales Techniques Can Come From Any Industry

A salesperson in a different industry may have faced a problem that’s similar to the one you’re facing with a client now. What if they found an innovative solution no one else in your field has even heard of?

A sales coach who works with salespeople from a wide range of industries will have experience with all kinds of challenges and objections. As they help their clients overcome these challenges, the sales coach is broadening their knowledge of what works and what doesn’t—and can pass this knowledge to you.

If you’re an experienced sales professional, you probably already know the techniques your industry uses. New ideas that give you a fresh perspective are more important. When you know these ideas work for other salespeople like you, it doesn’t really matter what industry they came from!

Outside Perspectives Help You Think Outside the Box

We all know the value of “thinking outside the box,” but where do you start? Being different takes fresh ideas. Thinking outside the box takes an outside perspective.

When you partner with a coach whose background is different from yours, you’ll benefit more than from a coach who’s in the same industry. An industry insider can’t give you an outside perspective—by definition!

A professional, one-on-one sales coach can help you develop new approaches to your sales business that your colleagues aren’t trying. You won’t just stand out from the crowd—you’ll be able to confront stubborn challenges in new, more effective ways.

You Likely Have Access to Industry Experts Already

Salespeople looking to hire an industry expert as a sales coach should ask themselves this:

“Don’t I have enough industry experts in my life already?”

Many companies have already paid tons of money for their salespeople to access the knowledge of industry experts. There’s a chance that even some of the people you work with are industry experts!

You’ve already heard what industry experts have to say. In fact, every other salesperson in your industry has heard what they have to say as well! All too often, sales experts make a career out of telling the same thing to the same people.

With a sales coach, you want fresh ideas that put you ahead of the pack—not the same ideas that everyone in your field already knows.

Find a Sales Coach Who Can Expand Your Horizons

When you’re choosing the right sales coach, experience is only one factor to consider. If you do end up choosing a sales coach who comes from the same industry as yours, make sure they work with a broad spectrum of salespeople in other fields.

Skillway sales coaches have real-world selling experience, and have worked with hundreds of salespeople across a variety of industries—from software, to financial products, to healthcare, and everything in between. If you want to CRUSH your sales goals and love what you do, a Skillway sales coach will custom-design a coaching program that’s tailored to your unique needs.


Are you ready for a one-on-one sales coach? To set up your FREE kickstart coaching session, call us at 615-392-5655 or fill out our contact form.