Before a professional coach works with a client, a coaching contract is usually in place to set expectations between both parties as well create the agreement and understanding between the two parties. I was recently asked from other professional coaches about what I do since I don’t have clients that I coach but do so as part of my job for those on my team. It was assumed that a contract would not be used, but I do have a contract in place with my team and it does serve a purpose.
The contract is of course different than it would be if I were an independent coach, selling my coaching services but my customers is my sales team. The contract helps set the agreement between me and my sales reps as an understanding about what coaching is about, and the accountabilities between both parties. For example, I use intake questions to understand what they want to get out of our coaching sessions but the contract sets the framework on how we will be working together when doing coaching sessions versus training or other activities. The contract also provides the sales team member an understanding that the coaching is for them and is offered only voluntarily to help them reach their goals and to have me, serve as their sounding board.
In not having a contract in place, the sales rep could assume that they are being coached due to performance issues or that they are being reprimanded. I have used the contract as a way to help them understand that the coaching sessions is a perk and that they should utilize this time to help them uncover through coaching discussions on reaching their goals, uncovering areas they want to improve or spend time looking deeper into. If you have never coached your sales team and you decide overnight to coach them, take the time to create a contract and to go over the contract with your sales team. A contract has accountabilities from both you and the sales rep so you each know what to expect.