The hosts had lost their previous four but there was little to suggest a crisis of confidence as Bobby Grant and Ashley Grimes opened a two-nil lead with two classy strikes at the end of the first half.
Goalkeeper Scott Brown was far and away Cheltenham's best player as he prevented Dale running away with the result in the opening 45 minutes.
The Robins' hopes of a comeback were briefly raised by a Phil Edwards own goal three minutes into the second period, but further strikes from Grimes and Dele Adebola ended Dale's losing sequence and scuppered Cheltenham's hopes of moving up to second place in the League Two standings.
"That was much more like it, though we made that many chances against Exeter recently and lost," Coleman said. "The difference was, on the night, the ball went into the net for us and when that happens it gives you a feel-good factor.
"When we conceded a stupid goal we could have easily shipped more because of the mode we have been in of late, but the lads had a steely determination about them and were determined to get the next goal.
"We were very good on the night against a very good Cheltenham side who will be in the play-offs at least, and I believe they could be promoted automatically.
"We had a chat with the players this week and asked them to quantify what success would be. Obviously, success would be winning the game, but you cannot always guarantee the result.
"So I wanted to get them in a mindset where they knew they could be successful, so we defined the criteria for success as giving their all and if they came off the field able to say they had given their best, then they had been successful.
"I think every player was able to say that on the night."
- Sports & Recreation