There is a quote from Mahatma Ghandi that “action expresses priorities.” When we care about something, we do something about it. We pay attention to it. We invest time in it. Our actions are a clear reflection about how important something is to us. To this end, it is clear that the coaching and development of their sales reps is a key priority for many EcSELL Institute members based on the actions they are taking.
Sales Coaches and Management Coaching make a difference
According to our Through the Eyes of the Sales Rep survey, EcSELL Institute members are consistently outperforming non-members in the areas of coaching and sales management. Reps from member organizations gave their supervisors and companies higher scores on every question on our survey. But, above all, our members excelled in the time and effort they are putting into coaching their reps.
Who We Studied
Using our Through the Eyes of the Sales Rep survey, The EcSELL Institute has gathered the perspectives of over 300 sales reps, 63% which came from member organizations. These reps come from a variety of industries, but the vast majority (69%) of them are in field sales positions. They also have a good degree of variance regarding their tenure, with 55% of the reps in their position for four years or less and 45% in the position for greater than four years. Each of these 300+ reps in the study completed an online survey that asked them to rate the coaching, management and resources they receive from their supervisor and organization.
Key Differences Among Member and Non-Member Organizations
The results of our Through the Eyes of the Sales Rep survey showed consistently higher marks for EcSELL Institute members than non-members. For example, the reps of members gave their supervisors a higher percentage of positive scores than non-members in motivating them, providing value on sales calls and giving them helpful feedback. The report titled "Member Versus Non-Member" compares the percentage of EcSELL Institute members and nonmembers who strongly agree/agree with the stated question. Here are some highlights:
Interestingly, the questions where there is the most marked difference between the scores of EcSELL Institute members and non-members were about the investment that their supervisor makes in them. It is evident that supervisors at EcSELL Institute organizations spend significant more time each year on feedback and goal setting conversations with their sales reps.
EcSELL Institute members outscored their non-member counterparts on every question on our Through the Eyes of the Rep survey. However, the most significant differences were on the questions related to the supervisors’ investment of time and effort in coaching their reps. The percentage of supervisors at member organizations that had regular goal-setting conversations and offered frequent feedback to their reps on ways to improve their productivity was double that of non-member organizations. Clearly, the investment of time is an essential ingredient in meeting the needs of sales reps and can help lead to better results in all of the coaching categories.
Therefore, while it is important to have the right tools, processes and resources to coach your sales reps more effectively, in the end, it seems that nothing is more important than simply making the investment. When you meet with your reps regularly, talk with them about their goals consistently and provide them with feedback to improve their skills frequently, you are showing them that you care about their success. Ultimately, if you want to improve your ability to meet the needs of your sales reps, you must begin by investing the time. If it is truly a priority for you, you must take action on it.