Is coaching becoming democratized, or is it losing its depth and empathy? While that might sound like a controversial question, nothing is ever perfect in this world. To truly understand coaching software, we must evaluate both sides of the debate.
Digital tools are part of our world, and there’s no going back. Nevertheless, it’s how you, as a practitioner, use them that will set you apart.
In short, coaching with digital tools means rethinking your roles and responsibilities. Anything to do with processes can be delegated to our AI and digital platforms, but anything to do with the nuances of the human condition stays with the practitioner.
For example, one of the best all-in-one coaching management software platforms, Quenza, can oversee and automate all your back-office admin. This leaves you more time with your clients.
Furthermore, with Quenza’s library of hundreds of evidence-based exercises and worksheets, you can incorporate experiential stepping stones into your clients’ journeys. Suddenly, coaching with you has more creativity and depth. Most importantly, it works in situ with clients. Why not see for yourself how the Quenza coaching software platform can serve you as an ally by signing up for the 30-day, $1 trial? You’ll get full access to all the functions, and you’ll be able to see just how professional and exceptional your services can be.
The Evolution of Coaching Management Software
Notebooks and pens still have their time and place in your practice. After all, studies show that journaling is best done through the physical act of writing. Only then does the conscious mind slow down enough to allow the subconscious to speak through the writing.
Moreover, writing by hand activates areas of the brain that are more likely to help you remember what you’re writing. This can be very helpful when you reflect and write your notes after a coaching session.
Everything has its downsides and reams of hand-written notes aren’t always easy to organize. So came online filing and excel spreadsheets to keep track of client goals. Email also became the new medium to communicate in between sessions without the formality of a phone call.
Today, software for coaches includes specific functions to streamline your business. It’s almost like having a team of mini-robots at your disposal.
If you haven’t already discovered coaching client management software, it essentially automates everything from scheduling to invoicing and goal tracking. You can also have reminders set up to motivate clients along the way or use the chat function to check in with them and so much more.
Personalized Client Portals
Clients now have all the relevant resources and exercises they need on their very own personalized portal on your coaching software. No more searching through email to find that article or worksheet you sent them. They simply log in, and their goals and tasks are easily viewed.
The future of coaching software is also approaching rapidly. AI coaching is now commonly referred to as virtual reality coaching. Overall, it’s less expensive and highly accessible to a far wider audience.
Interestingly, studies show that AI coaching is just as effective as human coaching. There’s a big “but,” though. AI is perfect when a strict, goal-driven coaching process is required. Nevertheless, at some point, AI misses the nuances and tangential flow of human experience and lacks the depth required to support people after a certain point.
In practical terms, this means that coaches need to operate at a high level of maturity and not rely on linear frameworks such as GROW. These frameworks can be useful for managers who want to adopt a coaching style, but coaches need to go deeper if they want to stay competitive.
In the same way that we support our coachees to develop as adults and/or leaders, you too, need to focus on your own development. A helpful model for both coaches and coachees is the Leadership Maturity Framework. Of course, there are many ways to keep growing as a coach, and whatever path you choose will naturally impact your coaching style.
Understanding Different Coaching Software Niches
As a coach, you want to coach people and forget about everything else. Most of us don’t want to worry about marketing or business management, but if you’re an independent coach, you have no choice.
Even if you get your coachees through client portals, you still need to know how to stand out. So, what is different about you, and who’s your ideal client?
There are many coach styles to work with, depending on your background and style. You also have to choose your coaching niche. It’s tempting to try to be something for everyone; you need to know who you are.
Once you know who you should focus on, it’s much easier to decide whether you want sales coaching software or health coaching software, for instance.
If you’re still exploring your coaching niche, you might be interested to hear that career coaches are in increasingly high demand. With all the uncertainty and shift in working habits during COVID, it’s no surprise that people feel lost. The search for meaning in one’s job has increased and who better to support than a career coach?
Regardless of which niche you work in, you’ll need to decide if you want an all-in-one platform or a specialized one. The table below gives you a starting point for your research.
Overview of Specialist Coaching Management Software
|Quenza||As a top coaching software platform, Quenza doesn’t just offer interactive content creation with exercises, meditation, videos, quizzes and more. It also allows for real-time client progress tracking along with a customizable coaching journey. In addition, Quenza seamlessly integrates with other tools and platforms whilst also doing all your documentation, invoicing and messaging, along with custom branding. Most importantly, it is secure and follows HIPAA and GDPR regulations.|
|TrueCoach||A top life coaching software that also provides personalized client dashboards as well as communication and messaging functions, along with a library of resources. It’s designed for fitness trainers and coaches, as well as physical therapists, so it also includes fitness and nutrition assessments among a host of other features.|
|CoachAccountable||Another coaching client management software that covers scheduling, reporting, client management, invoicing and payments. You can easily track goals, documentation and assignments.|
|Gong.io||This specialist sales coaching software is slightly different in that it’s designed for businesses that want to oversee and coach their sales teams. Whether they bring in a professional coach is up to them. Either way, it offers insights and analytics on sales performance versus market dynamics and offers techniques, insights and collaborative learning.|
|Satori||An executive coaching software that allows you to streamline your coaching business. Includes personalized client onboarding, check-ins, easy session note storage, automated billing and a financial health dashboard.|
|NudgeCoach||With its health management solutions including wellness tracking, this software for life coaches is specifically designed for professional coaches and trainers. They can easily share exercise and meal plans as well as educational resources. Clients can also tap into the community sharing functions.|
|MoneyGuidePro||A financial coaching software with a range of tools to guide clients through defining their financial goals as well as investment and retirement plans.|
|Ninety||Most career coaching software is tailored for clients but they are worth looking up if you’re interested in partnering with a platform. As a coach, you’ll get a pipeline of clients as well as community support.|
|Acuity Scheduling||This coaching scheduling software helps you be more effective through automated reminders and payment integration. Everything happens smoothly in the background, including managing cancellations and reschedules.|
The big question now is what do you actually need your coaching software to do for you? Of course, you’ll need to find the right balance between functionality and pricing that works for you.
Alongside that, try to bear in mind how you expect to grow your business. Not only does your chosen software need to be able to grow, but it also needs to cater to what your current and future clients need.
Most importantly, you need software that keeps your clients engaged. Personal growth is complex and, even with the best coach in the world, it’s easy to get distracted by work projects.
Checking in with your clients in between sessions is one option to keep supporting them. Another approach is to see what coaching platforms can do for them. For example, with Quenza, you can send exercises, worksheets, meditations, and much more to your clients in between sessions. The idea is to keep them focused on their development while making things experiential and engaging.
For example, Quenza’s “Moving Toward Self-Forgiveness” Activity takes clients through reflective questions to increase their self-compassion and self-awareness. No matter what you’re focusing on with your clients, they could all benefit from some self-forgiveness.
This is just one example of what an online coaching platform can do for you. To find your ideal platform, you must review the features you need, as summarized in the table below.
Top Features to Expect on Coaching Platforms
|Coach Practice Management||Many platforms can now run the end-to-end workflow of your business. This covers everything from scheduling, activity and invoicing reports, client management, goal tracking and much more.|
|Client resources||Business coaching software offers a different range of resources. Some are geared towards you, the coach, such as providing intake and feedback questionnaires. Other platforms include resources for your clients, including exercises.|
|Scheduling||This isn’t just about managing your calendar. It’s also about integrating into your website and offering a seamless and easy process to your clients.|
|Integration||You might not want to abandon the tools you currently use. In that case, make sure you check which ones can be integrated into the best life coaching software you might go for.|
|Customization||hink about how much detail you like to go into when designing your exercises. Are you the creative type or do you prefer to leverage existing templates?|
|Analytics||Whether you’re interested in client progress tracking or in-depth P&L sheets, make sure you check the details on your platform features list.|
|Marketing tools||Some applications offer a full CRM suite of tools although you might decide that you don’t need this or that you have this covered somewhere else.|
|Community engagement||Being an independent coach can be lonely and having a community can make you feel part of a team. Most importantly, it keeps you in touch with industry developments.|
|Continued professional development||We can’t ask our clients to prioritize their development if we can’t also take care of ours. Some platforms offer opportunities for development although you might also have this covered by whichever coaching organization you are certified with.|
Benefits of Using a Coaching Management Platform
Coach management software provides major benefits, from streamlining administrative tasks to tracking and monitoring progress. Moreover, online coaching sessions are now accepted as the norm within the industry. That’s not to say that face-to-face has disappeared but today, a blend of approaches can be offered.
When evaluating the benefits of anything, it helps to think systemically. For instance, it’s clear that coaching software can improve the process. What about clients though? If the thought of having to sign up for yet another portal or app fills them with dread, your coaching software won’t get very far.
As always, when evaluating any coaching platform software, the question must be “How does this enhance the coaching experience”. It’s interesting to note that many coachees are overwhelmed by apps for many reasons.
As coaches, we are not immune to the digital influence and we also need to pay particular attention to how technology encourages instant gratification and reactivity. Instant chat can be a wonderful thing but you need to ensure you still convey empathy without creating any misunderstandings.
All this is actually good news because it’s your human touch that will make a difference to your clients. It isn’t about finding the best coaching software per se; it’s about using it wisely to enhance your effectiveness to be the best.
For instance, with Quenza’s chat message function, you can easily send a few words of encouragement or empathy followed by a proposal to bring the session forward. This can do wonders to reassure and engage a client.
Finally, let’s not forget the potential security or confidentiality risks with whatever software you choose to work with. That’s why at Quenza, we are thoroughly HIPAA and GDPR compliant and confidentiality-focused.
In conclusion, don’t overthink whatever business coaching software you want to work with. Have a go at the free trial options, and maybe even get some feedback from some trusted clients. The next section will give you a sense of what you can try out for free.
Free vs. Paid Coaching Software
As mentioned, the best way to determine which coaching online software will work best for you is to play around with the trial options. Whilst there isn’t a life coaching software for free as such, most, if not all, platforms will give you the option to test things out. You can even do this with one or two clients to also get their feedback.
Free vs. Paid Coaching Software
|App||Free Option||Paid Option|
|Quenza||For $1, you get access to the full platform for a whole month. That includes creating client journeys, tracking progress, using the client notes or journal features, invoicing, setting up coaching groups, filing documentation and more. Everything is customizable along with the ability to add your own branding.||You keep access to Quenza and you no longer have to go back to printing and manual filing. Pricing on 3 tiers:• Lite $49 / month• Standard $89 / month• Unlimited $149 / month|
|MyCoachOffice||For a 14-day free trial, you get access to whichever level of client management option you prefer. You then access basic reporting, online client resources, and task management features.||Paid options give you full access with up to 10 clients for $19/month, $39/month for unlimited clients.|
|Paperbell||Get full functionality for 1 client of this business coaching software that covers scheduling, payments, contract signing, intake surveys and more.||Unlimited clients at $47.50/month.|
|Practice||For a 7 day free trial, you get access to this client management software where you can easily schedule, invoice and file your notes.||The basic option is $28/month and the pro option is $48/month whilst the team option is $79/month.|
|Simply.Coach||For a 14 day free trial, you can access the coaching management platform which includes reporting, goal planning and tracking, team engagements and more.||Use with 5 coachees for $9/month and 30 for $49/month. Other options are also available.|
Steps to Choose the Right Coaching Software
Whether you want to work with software for life coaches or executive coaching software, it’s still a good idea to have a systematic approach when making your decision.
Although, as some of you might already know from the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s work, emotions are key in decision-making processes. So, don’t underestimate not only how your emotions are primed but also how they relate to your goals and what you want from your software for coaches.
In other words, if you’re stressed because you’re not getting enough clients, you’ll need to find a calm space where you de-merge from your emotions. The more your emotions and thoughts are flowing freely, the more likely you’ll be able to follow a process, such as the one below, where you can also listen to your gut. After all, decision-making is the interplay of emotions and reason.
Steps to Find the Right Coaching Software
|1||Define your niche and approach – will you prefer to work with life coaching software to help people find their purpose or, on the contrary, are you an executive coach working with the C-suite? In the first scenario, you might look for an app that can track health metrics but in the second one, you might prefer an app with leadership assessments, for instance.|
|2||List your must-have features – for many coaches, a top priority is to be able to integrate all their tools, including whatever software their corporate clients might have. For others, it’s more about the engagement features or the marketing tools. The more you know your niche and approach, the easier this list will be to define.|
|3||Know your clients – depending on how tech-savvy your clients are, they’ll have different needs. Everyone wants intuitive software but some will be happy to work through resources online on their own whilst others will prefer to work through them with you during their sessions. Make sure that your software can be flexible for such variances.|
|4||Customization – you want your process to be seamless but you might also want to adapt it to your own approach. Many platforms offer branding, which also allows you to stay memorable.|
|5||Research and review – once you’ve researched a few top platforms according to the steps above, try to bring them down to your top 3. Then you can deep dive into these 3 and research both customer reviews and information on who the team is behind the app. Understanding their approach and background also gives you a sense of what to expect from the platform.|
Choosing the best coaching software takes self-awareness and a bit of research. You need to understand your coaching style, niche, and needs. Most importantly, you must understand what your clients are willing to work with.
Software for coaching can cover everything from an all-in-one practice management platform, such as Quenza. It can also be more specialized and simply cover one function, such as scheduling or billing.
As a coaching software, Quenza also has the unique ability to offer pathways, which are essentially tailored client journeys. You do this by choosing from a library of hundreds of exercises and worksheets to send to your clients to create reflection points in between sessions.
With Quenza as your digital partner, you’ll not only engage more deeply with your clients but also be more connected. Tracking goals and progress will be much simpler and more transparent. Most critically, all your back office needs are covered so you can focus more fully on your clients.
Why not see for yourself just how transformative Quenza is for both you and your clients? For just 1$ you can get full access to the platform for 1 whole month. What’s stopping you from signing up?
Frequently Asked Questions
Everything depends on your approach and coaching style. For example, are there specific exercises you always refer to? Nevertheless, most coaching software is generalist simply because we are all complex and usually have a variety of different needs.
Again, this depends on your needs, but scheduling and invoicing processes within a software are probably some of the most common features coaches start with.
By automating your key admin processes, including sending email reminders to your clients, you free up your time. You can then do more business development and increase your list of clients.
Most of the free options exist to give you a taster of the coaching software. Generally, they aren’t sufficient to create enough value-add to your practice. Although, of course, only you can judge for yourself. Either way, don’t hesitate to test out some platforms to see what’s truly possible.
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