Photo by Hattie Kingsley Photography
At the last EcSell Institute we believe that the profession of a Sales Manager must move from a traditional management model to a sales coaching model. The management model in sales is about and distributing tasks, reporting back results, with the focus being on tools and processes. Many sales managers believe that this is all it takes to hit a number. Based on research, we know now that this is only part of the formula for driving performance.
Though we hear the word coaching with frequency, it is only referred to as an action, not a position. As a verb, coaching, though valuable, is too limited in scope. EcSELL Institute’s perspective is that Coach is also a position
The reason for the change in vernacular is because the word and position of Manager was developed in the industrial/manufacturing era. The primary purpose of this role was making sure those on the Manager’s team were using the tools correctly and following the processes exactly. And in fact, in an industrial environment, this did lead to a predictable outcome. Discipline, obeying rules, and being efficient were hammered home with little regard to human relations or sharing ideas.
A Coach’s job description encompassed much more: strategy, human relations understanding, personal interactions, tools, processes, team development, developing assistants, etc. Research is showing us that today’s business environment is requiring Sales Managers to act more like an coach. It is no longer about managing tools and processes better than the other guy. Rather it is the addition of a human element and leadership skills. Coaching is not a component of the job, coaching is the job! Until Executive Sales Managers begin acting like strategic Coaches, and not just Managers, they will never realize the resulting performance increases they have left on the table. The way to get incremental, discretionary performance is to focus on all the aspects of being a Sales Coach.
We have defined this as the Sales Performance Equation™.
As with any model put forth by the EcSELL Institute, the answer must lead to increased performance. Here is our new Sakes Performance Equation with a Sales Coach as the focus.
Components of the Sales Performance Equation
The new role of a Sales Coach comprises all of the skills, traits, tools and processes necessary to drive greater team performance.
Sales Coaching Definition: Creating a leadership culture, guiding the individuals and the team to achieve organizational results.
Management Definition: Obtaining and resourcing the tools and processes within the 6 Pillars that lead to greater sales team effectiveness.
As you can tell by our Sales Performance Equation management is still important, it is and always will be a component of performance. Based on research, EcSELL Institute has defined, what needs to be managed. We call this the 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity Management Model.
A big difference to understand with this new model is managing is an activity, not the position. Sales Coaches have a management responsibility as opposed to Sales Managers having a coaching responsibility.
Leadership Definition: Using influence to create change.
The business world now understands that leadership behaviors and skills impact team performance and the scientific proof is abundant on this topic. Research proves that the most effective style is collaborative leadership. Increases in performance are maximized when a person understands and embraces this leadership construct. “Collaborative Leadership” does not insinuate there is no hierarchical structure, but quite the opposite. Research shows hierarchies still need to exist, but authoritative leadership does not. Collaborative leadership encourages people to lead up, down, and sideways and it is the responsibility of the Sales Coach to create this leadership culture within his/her sales department.
X Factor Definition: A collaborative, reciprocal connection with individuals on your team that allows both parties to depart from professional order and progress into a complex environment, leading to increases in discretionary effort and greater performance.
When witnessing extraordinary teams and individual, Coaches that possess large amounts of the X Factor are always involved. Most acknowledge the X Factor impact, but very few understand what comprises it or how they acquired this unique skill. Coaches who possess significant amounts of the X Factor have the ability to obtain discretionary effort from those on their teams—effort and results ordinary Coaches will never realize. Think of those who have had the most positive impression upon your lives—those people had the X Factor when working with you. They helped you achieve at levels you could not have realized without them in your life.
Development Definition: Continual improvement of the intellectual capital and skills of those in a Coaching role.
Development can come through experience, accelerated learning, or both. Companies only focused on hitting this quarter’s number will never understand the opportunity dollars they are leaving on the table by not dedicating themselves to improving all aspects that drive performance. If you believe in our Sales Performance Equation you will put resources towards your own development as well as those on your sales management team.
Move forward your thinking of yourself, not as a manager, but as a strategic Sales Coach that bring great long-term value to your organization and your team.
EcSell Institute is the only organization focused exclusively on the development of Executive Sales Managers. EcSELL Institute provides strategies for continuous improvement by bringing our members the latest research, technology, best practices, and involving them in a network of the top sales management minds. Why? Because we know a manager’s ability to coach and lead has the biggest impact on sales team results.