Photo by Hattie Kingsley Photography
In part one of this three part series on coaching training, we talked about why you can't manage your way to growth. In part two we shared the new Sales Performance Equation(TM) for excellence. Today we will define, in detail, the various elements of the Sales Performance Equation and explain the importance of each in your role as a sales coach.
Components of the Sales Performance Equation(TM)
The role of the true sales coach comprises all the skills, traits, tools, and processes necessary to drive greater team performance. As mentioned above, coaching is not just an activity, but also a strategic role every team needs in order to realize its full potential.
M = Management
As established in the above equation, management is an essential component of performance. Think of a triangle and consider effective management processes as the foundation upon which the rest of the performance elements are created. Without having efficient processes and predictable outputs, there is no platform upon which to build the performance of a team. To this end, EcSELL Institute has identified what needs to be managed, as specified through the 6 Pillars of Sales Management. Managing outputs is a perpetual activity and no longer just a position. Sales coaches have a management responsibility, as opposed to sales managers having a coaching responsibility.
Management Definition: Utilizing the tools and processes within the 6 Pillars of Sales Management to drive efficient processes and consistent outputs.
L = Leadership
Leadership behaviors and skills clearly impact team performance, and research on how to effectively lead and engage employees is abundant. Over the last few decades, we have seen a shift in leadership theory. More and more thought leaders are espousing the need to move away from a more authoritative, top-down leadership style to one that is more collaborative. Today’s employees want to be part of creating the strategies, rather than just given the tasks to complete. Just like flocks of geese flying in formation, teams with collaborative leaders understand that at different times, different individuals need to take the lead. Collaborative leaders have the humility to allow those around them to drive strategies, but also the confidence to know when they need to take charge themselves. Collaborative leadership does not insinuate there is no hierarchical structure, but rather, that hierarchy is not the only way to influence outcomes.
Leadership Definition: Establishing collaborative relationships with individuals to influence and create change.
C = Catalytic Factor
As we learn more about coaching in a complex environment, some key elements begin to emerge. In complexity, a coach is bombarded with numerous pieces of diverse yet inter-dependent information, much more than they can capture and analyze individually. Therefore, they need to harness the collective power of their team members’ knowledge and abilities to lead others into the unknown. To do this effectively, the coach must understand how to challenge employees beyond their perceived limitations by injecting a catalytic factor. This catalytic factor will push individuals and organizations outside their comfort zone into the unknown, that is, into complexity. This can be done in a variety of ways, including one-to-one coaching, as well as through creating systems and structures in an organization. Ultimately, a catalytic factor forces people to think in new, innovative ways to tackle difficult challenges.
C Factor Definition: Creating or embracing a catalytic element that pushes people into the high-growth zone of complexity.
D = Development
Development can come through experience, accelerated learning, or ideally both. Companies concentrated only on hitting “this quarter’s number” are typically very management focused, and will never understand the opportunity dollars they are missing by not dedicating themselves to improving all aspects that drive performance. It is a given that we cannot improve without learning, which is why growth only comes as the result of seeking intentional opportunities to develop oneself. Accordingly, development is the multiplier of the other elements of the performance equation.
Development Definition: Continual improvement of the intellectual capital and skills of those in a coaching role.
Each element of the performance equation is essential in coaching a team to achieving the pinnacle of performance. They build upon one another and are interdependent in terms of producing desired outcomes. To perform at the highest level, one cannot merely be great manager who drives processes, but never captures the hearts of employees. Likewise, even the best leaders who can effectively collaborate with those on their teams, but never pushes them into the high growth mode of complexity, will not be able to maximize results. It is only when sales coaches are able to effectively manage processes, lead collaboratively, and coach their teams into complexity that they will truly be able to enter the high performance zone. And after all, isn’t performance what it is all about?