Coaching without application is hallucination

The best return for coaching engagements is in the application of coaching principles by the coachee at the critical interfaces that really matter.

These could be

  • 1. Crucial 1:1 conversations with team members
  • 2. Coaching teams to aspire for more
  • 3. Coaching at the customer interface
  • 4. Coaching at the partner interface

Indeed, application of coaching at these crucial interfaces helps deliver the greatest return for any coaching engagement

Ideally, coaching at the customer/partner interface follows an initial investment into the coachee appreciating the power of coaching. We then select tough situations where the coachee can demonstrate their ability to apply coaching principles to achieve higher order outcomes in these situations.

Every powerful interaction is three parts preparation and one part execution

Therefore, the coach and the coachee initially discuss the powerful outcomes that would make sense for the customer and for the coachee.

Details like structuring the conversation and potential roadblocks are also discussed so that the coachee is best prepared. A set of powerful questions is also developed which would help the customer reframe their reality and see the coachee from a distinct and differentiated perspective.

Typical coaching engagements include coachees who have substantial client facing roles and complex customer issues to resolve. These coachees typically hold multi-million-dollar portfolios, where their personal and team effectiveness could become a game changer.

Sometimes coachees could also be channel/partner ecosystem managers, whose abilities to bring multiple organizations to work in partnership becomes critical to retire joint addressable market opportunity.

Results achieved through these coaching engagements can be very powerful.

From a coachee’s viewpoints, they realize

How the application of coaching is very different from the appreciation of coaching
How a coaching approach provides better outcome in client / partner conversations
How coaching provides an opportunity to lead by example on client conversations with their team
How coaching helps them develop their team members to excel in client conversations.

Client Engagement Scenarios
Helps you better understand the depth of our engagements

  • How we show up is not necessarily a true reflection of how much we know
  • In partnerships, intention does not necessarily translate into execution

Customer/Partner Coaching Context

The Malaysia Business of a large multinational in the Information Technology sector was reeling from large variances to forecast and a consistent decline in results across quarters. They decided to rope us in to help stem the rot through the power of coaching.

Customer/Partner Coaching Conduct

We realized quickly that the root cause for the variations and the decline lay at the crucial customer interface. We worked with the Frontline Sales Managers to identify a set of customers with whom they would take a coaching approach to maximize return for the customer’s time.

One of the manager’s objectives was to showcase so much value in the conversation that the customer can decide to take them one level higher within their hierarchy. The other objective was to coach their team members so that they stand differentiated in the eyes of the customer.

Customer/Partner Coaching Results

From the coachee’s perspective they realized the possibilities of coaching at the customer interface. Infact, they were even excited about the possibility of group coaching at the customer interface. From the team member’s perspective, they saw a refreshing change in their manager’s attitude and orientation towards them. Their manager now seemed more positive and more committed towards their development, in the quality of their customer conversations. From an organizational perspective, they discovered that higher order customer conversations helped customers perceive the organizational differentiation much better. Better customer conversations helped in a higher order of qualification as well as increased deal size on account of the ability to gain access to key decision makers. With better qualification came more accurate forecasts and with better client conversations the overall business performance picked up considerably.

Customer/Partner Coaching Context

The commercial partner team of a large software multinational was wondering why its best partnerships were delivering below potential. The leadership of both the principal and the partner seemed very aligned – however that alignment was not translating into execution on the field. They turned to us to help them coach their partnership to operate at a higher level.

Customer/Partner Coaching Conduct

The iceberg is a classic metaphor for what lies hidden. In the case of this partnership they needed to discover their hidden behaviors and expectations of each other that were not delivering to its full potential. Once clarity emerged on the true expectations and dysfunctions thereof, the teams then started to work in container of trust and safety. We then utilized multiple frameworks to structure their thinking on their joint opportunity and then to set a vision and milestones for their joint aspirations. We then flipped the coin so that they could assess their future potential risks for their joint execution.

Customer/Partner Coaching Results

With clarity comes commitment. The moment the teams were able to discover their hitherto unspoken expectations of each other, the mood in the conversation completely changed towards the constructive. This increased energy was then channeled into a joint aspiration that helped them define, specific strategies to achieve their joint goals. “Black hat thinking” helped them discover risks and thereby build mitigation plans upfront so that together they can amplify their chances of meeting their joint goals. Reflection and feedback helped create an atmosphere of vulnerability and learning that cemented the partnership further. This engagement was so effective that our customer decided to leverage us for their rest of their strategic partnerships as well.

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