The Coaching Effect Blog

Are You Growing In All the Skills That Drive Sales Performance?

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

April 2, 2012


Sales Management 303 class was held yesterday down the road at the University, where 54Bill Eckstrom sales coaching leadership expert for EcSELL Institute undergraduate students packed in room 212 of the stately looking College of Business Administration building. As a guest instructor I was supposed to bring some "gray hair" (I fit the description) wisdom and shed some light on the real world, real business, sales management setting.

First item on the agenda was to ask the students, by show of hands, how many enrolled because they actually saw themselves in a sales management role in the future. Surprisingly 80-90% of the hands were raised, which told me that if I did my part, the audience could be engaged. So, based on my n size, some research was in order and here is what I found.

What is sales management?

  1. When asked what a sales manager got paid to do, none of them were able to answer with the focused response of "hit the number". No surprise here, but we need to help everyone understand the essence of our profession.
  2. The class is focused on "management" only. None of the other performance drivers (leadership and catalytic factor) of a team were or will be addressed. Again, not a surprise given "management" is much easier to teach, explain and understand.
  3. When asked the question "What is the primary role of a sales manager?" Several did use the word "performance" and "team" in their description-which was very encouraging (must have been the "A" students).

As a sales manager, the pressing and always present question should be "am I growing in all the skills that drive performance?" Don't fall into the trap of developing and refining only management tools and processes to grow sales-the way you lead and apply the catalytic factor is paramount to growing and sustaining sales team performance.

As always, prior to our Sales Coaching Summit, this newsletter is dedicated to helping our members understand and grow beyond management. Our research shows that extraordinary coaches, whether they carry a clip board or a brief case, understand how to impact all performance drivers.

Are you an extraordinary sales coach?

Side note... loved the students, the professor and the University for being forward looking enough to develop a much needed curriculum in a field (sales and sales management) where so many graduates begin their career. The professor certainly understands there are other drivers of performance, but there is no curriculum that truly teaches leadership (the way it should be understood), and the catalytic factor is so new it won't appear in management books for years.


Learn the answer to the question "What Is Sales Management?"  Understand what it takes to be an effective sales coach - management, leadership and catalytic factor. Read "Sales Performance Evolution: Why You Can't Manage Your Way To Growth"


Topics: Sales Performance Equation, Catalytic Factor, sales coaching, Sales Management

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