August 28, 2014
We all remember sales managers along our career path. Some were good, some bad and even a few were memorable. But how many over your lifetime actually fell in the category of being a mentor coach? The one or ones that actually made a difference in where you are today.
August 27, 2014
There is much I could write about this week in this sales coaching blog, so as opposed to focusing on a single topic, why not touch on several topics that motivated me this week…
-When I hear sales leaders say “our new hires need industry experience”, I immediately know they are limiting their team’s performance. This comment says they place skill over talent--big mistake. Skills can be taught, but talent cannot.
August 26, 2014
Contrary to mostly popular opinion, a Sales Manager’s job is not to hire great people and then get out of their way. If it were, and I was a CEO, I would simply hire a great talent and acquisition staff, train my sales people, and eliminate the sales management layer entirely because they would be rendered mostly useless. At best they would be sales compliance officers and at worst they would be an in-house ask.com for sales reps. This is a bold statement, however as a talented sales producer it pains me at my core to listen to executives in sales leadership undermine the importance of the greatest resource I have – my sales manager. My sales manager’s main responsibility is to coach me, and those on our sales team to higher levels of performance that we could not attain without him or her in that management role.
For some reason this responsibility gets lost, likely due to the long staring contests with P & L sheets and pipeline metrics that have little to do with motivating sales people to sell more, although important. Or perhaps they are busy answering sales reps repetitive questions or putting out fires that could have been extinguished had they spent more time coaching and teaching their reps on an on-going basis so that they are pro-active in providing recommendations and solutions rather than reactive. And don’t get me wrong, today’s sales managers are busy, but they are busy doing things that don’t have much impact on motivating sales reps to sell more. The number one item that motivates sales people to sell more is coaching – click here to read an intriguing white paper on rep motivation.
August 22, 2014
A couple weeks ago, I discussed the importance of not only coaching your reps’ skills, but also coaching their mental performance. To keep your reps performing at their peak level, you have to ensure they are always mentally engaged with their work. To that end, I introduced three key coaching principles that you can use to help improve your sales reps’ performance mentality:
In today’s blog, we are going to further explore the first coaching principle of creating relationships of trust.
August 21, 2014
I loved being a student, and especially loved my classes where the focus was literature, writing and creativity. It was my first year of college and I was placed in an honors English class at the University of Nebraska. I was a nervous wreck on my first day. I was right to be nervous, but once I took my seat I knew I was in for a memorable moment in my educational experience. We were empowered from the first day to be brave in our writing, in our classroom conversations with one another and in our efforts to create a piece of writing that would raise the bar on our expectations of ourselves. It was my first experience with complexity within academics and experiencing the catalytic factor, and it would serve me very well in the years to come. It was also the same year Dead Poets Society was released, watching it now is as powerful speaking to my love of learning as it was then.
August 19, 2014
What is sales coaching? At first glance, this should be an easy question to answer. There are certain behaviors that we already know successful sales managers exhibit. Just scrolling through recent blog posts on our EcSell Institute website can give you a good idea of what these best practices might include. Motivating reps, having effective sales team meetings, building personal relationships, and debriefing are a few examples of behaviors that we know impact sales. Sales coaches, even sales coaches who are already top-notch, need to keep these example behaviors in mind and work to implement them and improve upon them each day.
August 16, 2014
“…an individual’s current skill-set is of secondary importance to their ability to learn new knowledge, skills and behaviors that will equip them to respond to future challenges. As a result, our focus must shift to finding and developing individuals who are continually able to give up skills, perspectives, and ideas that are no longer relevant, and learn new ones that are.”
The above quote from a CCL white paper continues to support the fact our world is becoming more complex—unable to predict outcomes. To be comfortable with what you know and what you are doing today is to be stagnant, not a desirable label with which to be stuck. In a complex environment, which comprises most every industry and workplace, the need to be constantly developing is critical, for the rate of change is occurring at warp speed (watch this 2:30 video that EcSELL released at a previous Coaching Summit to grasp the significance of how this impacts us as coaches). While sometimes not easy to accept, the decision to further develop your skills and behaviors is ultimately a personal choice. Think of physical exercise as an analogy; we know the benefits of doing it, but we find excuses for not getting it done. Developing our professional skills is no different; we know it will help, but we are just “too busy”. And, just like exercise, expect a similar result—a shorter professional life.
August 14, 2014
Winston Churchill famously once said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." It’s an age-old question…is the glass half full or half empty? What do you read when you read the sentence above? Do you read OPPORTUNITY IS NOWHERE, or perhaps, OPPORTUNITY IS NOW HERE? I’d like to think that on most days, and in most situations, I choose to answer the question, “my glass is half full.” But it begs the follow-up question though as to how important is outlook in the overall end result as it relates to our professional success? Is it valuable enough to affect the bottom line?
Topics: Leadership challenges
August 14, 2014
“Your value is what you can do to help someone else address an opportunity or solve a problem that matters to them.”
Dr. Bret Simmons
As a sales management leader involved in sales coaching you know the value of your reps and what each individual brings to your organization. But what about your value? When you think about your priorities are you first and foremost a coach or a manager? The goal of either is increased sales performance of their teams but perhaps the very best way to achieve that is to understand not their value but your own.