Posted by Bill Eckstrom, President and Founder, EcSELL Institute
Simply stated, the job of everyone in a management role is to drive greater performance of their team, and sales is no exception.
At the last EcSELL Institute Sales Coaching Summit I referred to the need of our profession to move from a traditional sales management model to a sales coaching model. The management model in sales is typically comprised of Sales Managers only held accountable to tasks/duties and tools/processes, with the strategy or belief those are all it takes to hit a number. Though we hear the word coaching with much greater frequency, it is only referred to as an action, not a position. As a verb, coaching, though valuable, is too limited in scope. Coach is also a position. Similar to a Golfer who golf’s, in sales we have Sales Coaches (formerly known as Sales Managers) who coach.
The reason for the change in vernacular is the word and position of Manager was developed in the industrial/manufacturing era with a primary purpose of making sure those on the Manager’s team were following the tools and processes that led to a predictable outcome. This meant discipline and efficiencies were hammered home with associates, with little regard to human relations, for during the Manufacturing era businesses did not understand the impact of human relations on productivity.
When you think of the word Coach, it was derived from athletic teams where a Coach’s job description was simple--win. Their jobs encompassed strategy, human relations understanding, personal interactions, tools, processes, team development, developing assistant coaches, etc. (Watch this video to understand the impact a sales coach has on his/her team) In addition to being more robust than the understanding of the Manager role, Coach sounds more like what we need to do in sales to consistently succeed. Coaching is not a component of the job, coaching is the job!
As with any model put forth by the EcSELL Institute, the end result has to be increased performance. Here is the new Performance Equation with a Sales Coach as the driver.
M= Managing. Let me make something perfectly clear, as you can tell by this equation management is very important, it is a component of performance. EcSELL has taken that a step further by listing what needs to be managed, which are the 6 Pillars. Managing is an activity, no longer a position. Sales Coaches have a management responsibility as opposed to Sales Managers having a coaching responsibility.
L=Leadership. It is naïve` to think leadership behaviors and skills don’t impact team performance and the proof is abundant on this topic. The way Coaches exhibit and enable leadership behavior on their teams is highly indicative of success.
X=X Factor. What we all see with extraordinary teams and extraordinary individual performances. Most all acknowledge, but so few understand how they can acquire this unique skill. Coaches who possess this X Factor have the ability to obtain discretionary effort from those on their teams—effort and results ordinary Coaches will never realize.
This is a critical change to the way a Sales Manager should approach his/her job. If you want further proof, watch this video that demonstrates the impact a sales coach can have on a sales team. "YOUR ROLE AS A SALES MANAGER MUST CHANGE" VIDEO CLICK HERE