Sales Coaching Blog

High Performance Coaching is Hard

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

March 7, 2017

EcSell Institute research shows that more than 50% of sales managers knowingly execute less than 48% of the high performance coaching activities that will drive the most sales. The result of this statistic is obvious; sales revenue is left on the table due to the sales manager’s lack of willingness to execute. 

For perspective, how would a President, CSO, EVP Sales, etc. respond to the above stats if they were applied to sales people?  What if they learned half of their sales reps were doing only half of the activities that led to the best outcome? It would be unacceptable, heads would roll, yet in the sales leadership profession this double standard is unknowingly accepted because coaching performance is not measured. How much more would be sold if sales leaders fully committed and behaved like high performance coaches? An additional $4.1 million per manager (read this whitepaper).

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Topics: sales coaching, sales performance, High performance coach, High performing coaches

The Best Managers are Catalytic Coaches

Posted by Sarah Wirth

February 17, 2017

Sometimes my boss really annoys me.

Don’t worry about him reading this – we have a really great relationship, so I’ve said this to his face a few times. Specifically, he annoys me when I’m working on a new project and I think I’ve come up with the right idea, only to have him ask me a bunch of questions that poke holes in my thinking. Just when I think I’ve arrived at a conclusion, his challenging questions put me back at square one – that’s annoying!

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Topics: Catalytic Factor, sales manager performance, Catalytic Coaching

TEDx Talk: Why Comfort Will Ruin Your Life (Transcript)

Posted by Anna Schott

February 7, 2017

(Full video transcript from Bill Eckstrom's TEDxUniversityofNevada Talk)

So I was on a roll — I was an executive with a nice salary, annual bonuses and stock options, all the perks. Everything was on track…

And on Monday, January 7th, 2008 at three o’clock in the afternoon, in a small conference room on the top floor of our building, the President of the company wanted to have a quick meeting with me which wasn’t unusual since he was my boss, but the meeting turned out to be even more brief than expected. 

He fired me. 

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Topics: Complexity Science, Growth, Growth Rings

My Tedx Talk Speaking Experience

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

January 23, 2017

This was only going to be written if my Talk was successful, which TED determines by number of online views. Screw that. It was successful because we worked our butts off and did it. Yesterday we won, we all won—every speaker, the TEDx committee, the EcSell Institute team and me. Every audience member’s expectations, almost 2,000 of them, should have been exceeded and if they weren’t, shame on them.

The EcSell Institute continually preaches the obvious, “the performance of individuals and teams are a reflection of how they are coached," and this University of Nevada TEDx event certainly follows that theme. Dr. Bret Simmons, the event’s director, is a rock star. He is the kind of Coach I would (and did) follow into battle. He strategized, challenged, hugged, prodded and loved. As a result of him, the TEDx committee is equally as strong, and combined they made the event the most memorable professional experience I’ve had to date.

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Topics: TEDx Talk, Complexity Science

High Performing Coaches in Athletics and Business

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

January 13, 2017

One of the EcSell Institute’s most renowned summit speakers, sports psychologist Dr. Peter Jensen, has often spoke about how athletics are the best laboratory for sales and sales management. He should know considering he is a coach for the Canadian Olympic team as well as a top-rated instructor in seven programs at the Queen's Smith School of Business, where he helped design the Queen's Executive Leadership Program. I thought about Peter this past Monday when preparing to watch the rematch of last year’s College Football Playoff Championship between Clemson and Alabama.

Allow me to state the obvious, effective coaching and leadership mean everything when it comes to high performing teams at all levels of athletics and business. Growing up and residing still in Lincoln Nebraska, Husker fans have been in search of a great head football coach since Tom Osborne retired many, many moons ago.

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Topics: Sales Manager Motivation, High performance coach, High performing coaches, High performing teams

5 Ways to Apply Positive Pressure

Posted by Stacia Jorgensen

December 28, 2016

Just like when you treat a wound, sometimes the best thing you can do is apply pressure. The same is true in sales coaching. New findings from our research indicate that the most highly impactful sales managers are ones who gently push their sales teams in a way that elicits a positive reaction or growth.

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page when we talk about this pressure or pushing. At EcSell, this is a part of a concept we call the Catalytic Factor, or the C-Factor. Sales managers who have the C-Factor create an environment on their team that propels people into higher performing zones and zones of growth through the introduction of challenges, new experiences, or strain. Here, we focus on two behaviors in this concept: encouraging reps to move outside their comfort zone and stretching a rep’s selling skills and abilities.

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Topics: growing sales, sales leadership, Research, sales coaching

What Was Learned and Affirmed in 2016

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

December 19, 2016

Another year almost in the books and another review of the past 12 months. At my age (which I’ve alluded to in other blogs, articles, etc.) it’s amazing how much I continue to learn. Yes, I say this every year, but I’m hopeful the journey continues.

So without further ado, below is a sampling of my 2016 thoughts, affirmations and lessons. 

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Topics: sales coaching, sales motivation, Sales Manager Motivation

What Sales Managers Actually Want For Christmas

Posted by Anna Schott

December 13, 2016

This blog is a follow up to a blog I wrote last year at this time called “What Sales Reps Actually Want For Christmas” which was inspired by one of our newest findings from our research about the impact managers have when applying positive pressure. 

The blog essentially boils down to the one thing that sales reps want for Christmas: coaching. Sales reps want and crave coaching from their managers. It drives motivation and productivity and ultimately more sales.  

In that "spirit", I though I’d share some of the responses we received from our recent survey asking managers what their manager/leader could improve on regarding his or her sales coaching skills.

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Topics: sales manager coaching, sales coaching, sales rep motivation, Sales Manager Motivation

Thanking People, Not CRMs

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

November 22, 2016

"At the upcoming annual company holiday party I can’t wait to thank my CRM system for all of my success this past year" . . .  a sentence that is likely to be said by a total of zero sales people in the next month and a half. 

Not because CRM systems are not important, but rather because they do little to nothing when it comes to motivating sales people. Likewise, you are not going to hear many reps stand up and thank their manager for their overwhelming product and industry knowledge. Again, not because these things are not important, but rather because they are not what research proves motivates sales people to drive performance. So what will sales reps thank for their success?

People! They will thank people!

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Topics: front line sales managers, professional development for sales management, Leadership & Management, Sales Management

Comfort Will Ruin Your Life . . . if you let it

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

November 18, 2016

Since my first speaking proposal was already turned down, I might as well be rejected again by an even larger event. As it turns out, sometimes one has to be careful what they wish for.

My primary motivator for applying to the TEDx University of Nevada, Reno had more to do with the topic of my proposed talk and a specific person who could help me live and perpetuate my “big idea”. Social media had me following Dr. Bret Simmons for years.

He has a Ph.D. and is a business management professor at the University of Nevada. I met Bret when he spoke at one of our Coaching Summits and was immediately attracted to his humility, organic friendliness, his forward thinking ideas, and the uncomplicated way he communicated his sage wisdom. Due to the above, I approached Bret and asked if he would consider coaching me if my talk was accepted, and he kindly agreed - hopefully out of mutual respect as opposed to “wow, do you need help…” 

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Topics: Comfort vs. Order

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