Transitioning from Coaching to Mentoring to Drive Revenue Growth

by Matt Webb / November 23, 2023

The pursuit of revenue growth is a relentless journey. Striving to reach increasingly ambitious goals, leaders often find themselves at the crossroads of innovation and tradition. It’s within these circumstances that the transformative value of coaching in business becomes apparent. 

The landscape of leadership has evolved, shedding its hierarchical skin for a more dynamic and collaborative approach. Coaching is no longer just a tool, but a mindset - a philosophy that leaders must embrace to navigate the complexities of the modern business environment. 

Coaching can have a profound impact on revenue growth, underscoring its significance by helping businesses, leaders and sales teams achieve their revenue goals. 

 

Statistically speaking

Recent studies underline the importance of coaching in leadership. According to the International Coach Federation Global Coaching Client Study, almost 20% of companies which invested in coaching say an ROI of at least 50 times their investment, with a median of 7 times return on investment. For individuals funding coaching, a median ROI of 3.44 was reported. 

Recouping the investment on coaching is reported in vastly different ways; it’s believed up to 85% of companies recoup their coaching investment, with 80% acknowledging the improvement in employee morale and job satisfaction. However a Harvard Business Review article questioned why only 15% of companies use business impact as a key measure of coaching success, citing business impact “should be used a lot more, both to gauge success and to drive it.”  

 

Advantage coaches: or is it? 

Leadership coaching provides a unique advantage, fostering an environment of continuous learning and skill development. A coached leader is not just a decision-maker but inspires teams to reach new heights. 

Turning leaders into coaches is a go-to technique for businesses but has a key problem; as discussed in my new book co-authored with James A Barton, ‘Infinite Selling, The Modern Approach to High-Velocity Revenue Generation and Realisation’, many leaders hate being coaches!

It’s often purely semantics: we found the term ‘coach’ had connotations leaders didn’t enjoy, feeling it diminished the value of their own experiences. Studying sales leaders, we found only 20% of sales leaders were comfortable with and actively coaching, despite evidence that coaching significantly improves performance of sales teams and business results.  

 

Mentors replacing coaches

Just as the top flight football Manager is increasingly referred to as Head Coach, Mentor is the new preferred term over coach in sales. The approach of a mentor transcends traditional coaching and corporate hierarchies, creating a culture where every team member is invested in the growth of the entire organisation. It’s not viewed as soft and fluffy like coaching, but it’s still (thankfully) a long way from the hard-edged almost cutting approach of a dictatorship. 

Mentors don’t tell you what to do, they help you find your own answers; as such, this style is more likely to suit leaders who want their years of work experience to be valued. Mentoring celebrates a leader’s contributions rather than relegating them to just asking questions and providing a pep talk to their team.

 

Mentors as leaders

The importance of mentoring in leadership for revenue growth is not just a theory; it’s a living, breathing reality of successful businesses and leaders. As the corporate landscape evolves, those who recognise and harness the power of this approach will find themselves not just at the forefront of revenue growth, but also as architects of a future where leadership is synonymous with inspiration, collaboration and success. The playbook is open; it’s time to lead for success.

 

Is coaching dead?

It would be easy to see this shift towards mentoring as the death knell for coaching as a concept, but to completely abandon coaching would be to do a disservice to the many dedicated coaches out there, and also the people they coach.

We firmly believe there is still a crucial role for coaching to play as we strive to drive revenue and performance growth – and it’s a topic we will explore in an upcoming blog, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Tags: Revenue Transformation Revenue Enablement Elite Selling Infinite Selling

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Matt Webb

Matt Webb

Matt is CEO of Mentor Group, specialising in revenue transformation and increasing the productivity and performance of sales organisations