How To Find (and Get Value From) a Sales Mentor

Brett SmithBrett Smith | 7 minute read | January 6, 2023
sales mentorship How to Find (and Get Value from) a Sales Mentor

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Behind every good salesperson is a great sales mentor: an experienced sales professional whose guidance, wisdom, and insight taught them how to achieve their goals. But how do you find a sales mentor? And once found, how do you ensure your mentorship is a valuable experience?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sales mentoring, including the benefits of a sales mentorship program, tips for finding a good mentor, and best practices for ensuring you get the most out of your mentoring relationship.

What Is a Sales Mentor?

A sales mentor is an experienced sales professional—with first-hand experience and a track record of success—who can help you achieve your career goals.

Benefits of Having a Sales Mentor

sales mentorship Benefits of Having a Sales Mentor

Studies show that having a sales mentor can have a tremendous impact on your sales career path. Here are some of the top benefits of a sales mentorship.

Professional Development

One of the biggest benefits of a sales mentorship is that you will become a better salesperson. Under the guidance of your mentor, you will learn how to optimize your strengths, shore up any weaknesses, and develop the skill sets needed for a long and successful career.

Actionable and Specific Advice

While other members of your sales team, or even your sales manager, might offer generic advice or platitudes like “try your best” or “always be closing,” sales mentors provide authentic feedback and actionable advice that is specifically tailored toward your current skillset and career goals.

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Improved Productivity

Studies show that having a good sales mentor can lead to improved job performance and productivity.  

Higher Earning Potential

Because sales mentees are more likely to receive a promotion than those without a mentor, it follows that they also have a higher earning potential. More responsibility means more pay, so an increased likelihood of promotion means you’re also more likely to receive a bigger paycheck.    

Get a Promotion or Leadership Role

Considering that sales mentorships often lead to improved job performance, it’s no wonder that sales mentees are five times more likely to receive a promotion than those without a mentor.

How To Find a Sales Mentor

sales mentorship How To Find a Sales Mentor

Now that we’ve covered why a sales mentorship is so beneficial to your career let’s look at some of the best ways to find a sales mentor.

Look Within Your Organization

One of the first places you should look for a sales mentor is within your own company or sales organization. Search for candidates who you admire and whose position and past achievements are in line with your own goals.

Tap Into Your LinkedIn Network

Networking services like LinkedIn and Facebook are good resources for finding a sales mentor. LinkedIn is especially useful as it allows you to connect with other sales professionals who might know of a good sales mentor or mentoring program.

Schedule a Consultation on a Mentorship Website

Instead of scouring your company registry for potential mentors, you can visit a dedicated mentorship-matching website like Mentor Cruise or GrowthMentor. Both websites have hundreds of profiles you can search through to find a mentor that’s right for you.

Check Out Online Communities, Industry Events, and Professional Associations

When looking for a mentor, one thing you should always be doing is networking. Attend industry events. Visit online sales communities. Let other sales professionals know that you are interested in a sales mentorship. The more you interact with people in your industry, the more likely it is you will find your sales mentor.

See if Your Company Has a Sales Mentorship Program

Today more than ever, companies are investing in their personnel via sales mentor programs. If your company is one of those forward-thinking organizations that offer a sales mentorship program, be sure to check and see whether it would be a good fit for you.

Take a Course or a Bootcamp That Includes Mentoring

Enrolling in a sales course or bootcamp that pairs you with a suitable mentor is a good option for anyone starting out on their career.

How To Gain Value From a Sales Mentor (Top Tips)

How To Gain Value From a Sales Mentor (Top Tips)

While a good mentoring relationship will help you reach your sales career goals, a bad mentor relationship can set you back and inhibit your success. To ensure you get the most out of your sales mentorship, be sure to follow these tips:

  1. Set Your Goals for the Mentorship at the Start

  2. Be Well-Prepared for Each Meeting

  3. Keep an Open Mind

  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

  5. Roleplay a Sales Technique or Cold Call if You Need To Practice

  6. Be Vulnerable and Share Your Struggles and Challenges

  7. Keep a Pen and Paper Handy To Take Notes

  8. Take Immediate Action on Advice and Feedback

  9. Respect Their Time and Expertise

  10. Give and Take: Consider How You Can Help Your Mentor

Set Your Goals for the Mentorship at the Start

For a mentor to help you reach your goals, it’s helpful for them to know what your goals are. Before your mentorship begins, think about your short- and long-term goals. They don’t need to be set in stone, and they can certainly change along the way, but knowing the general direction you want your sales career to go will make it easier for your mentor to guide you there.

Be Well-Prepared for Each Meeting

As with any relationship, what you get from a sales mentorship is equal to what you put in. Don’t rely on your mentor to do all the heavy lifting. Show up to each meeting on time and come prepared.

Keep an Open Mind

A good mentor will be honest with you about your strengths and your weaknesses. Be receptive to their advice and constructive feedback. The more open-minded you are about your mentor’s advice, the quicker you will grow as a salesperson and progress toward your goals.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

One of the best ways a sales mentor can impart wisdom and advice is by answering your questions, so don’t be shy or too afraid to ask. Not only will asking questions lead to valuable insight, but it will also help steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go.

Roleplay a Sales Technique or Cold Call if You Need To Practice

Evaluating your job performance and current sales skills is an important aspect of sales mentoring. Consider roleplaying a sales technique or cold calling with your mentor so they can assess your performance and provide valuable feedback.   

Be Vulnerable and Share Your Struggles and Challenges

One of the benefits of a sales mentorship is that your mentor will help your professional development and career growth. To help them help you, be honest and open about your current abilities and the challenges you face. After all, a mentor can’t help fix what they don’t know is broken.  

Keep a Pen and Paper Handy To Take Notes

A good sales mentor will impart lots of valuable information whenever you meet with them—more than you might be able to remember simply by listening. Take notes during your meetings to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Take Immediate Action on Advice and Feedback

If you want to improve quickly, you should act on your mentor’s advice immediately. Even if their advice doesn’t pan out the way you had hoped, implementing it right away will show your mentor that you are committed to improving and that you value their feedback.

Respect Their Time and Expertise

Nothing will sour someone’s desire to help you quicker than showing a lack of appreciation. Show your sales mentor you value their time by keeping appointments and never being late. When your mentor gives you advice or constructive criticism, be sure to apply it, and report back on the results the next time you meet. Regardless of the results, this will show your mentor how much you respect their expertise.

Give and Take: Consider How You Can Help Your Mentor

Like all relationships, a sales mentorship takes work; what you put into it is what you take out. Put in the time and effort to strengthen your mentoring relationship and establish trust. The stronger your mentor relationship is, the more valuable and meaningful it will become.

FAQs About Sales Mentorship

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions:

Why Is Mentoring Important in Sales?

Studies show that sales mentoring is extremely beneficial to sales professionals and the companies that employ them. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), sales mentees in mentorship programs report higher salaries, greater job satisfaction, and more self-confidence in their performance than their mentor-less counterparts. Similarly, organizations that employ salespersons enrolled in a mentorship program see higher levels of productivity and job retention.

Is It Worth Paying for a Sales Mentorship?

It can be. Considering the benefits a sales mentor can provide, entering a sales mentorship should prove well worth the time and effort. For example, studies show that professionals in a mentorship program are five times as likely to get a promotion and pay raise as those who aren’t.

What Is the Difference Between Working With a Sales Coach and a Sales Mentor?

A sales coach evaluates job performance and ability, then provides instruction on how to improve both. A sales mentor uses the wisdom and insight gained from years of experience in sales to guide sales mentees toward their career goals.

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Brett Smith

About Brett Smith

Brett is a content writer with over 10 years of experience writing about tech. He started as a documentation engineer, creating user manuals and installation guides for consumer electronics and product software. In his spare time, he likes to build custom keyboards and watch anime with his cats.