The Coaching Effect Blog

Kerstin Olson

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Sales Manager Training: 4 Critical Elements to Performance

Posted by Kerstin Olson

October 31, 2013

Think for a moment about the amount of training and development that your organization provides sales people.  Now think about how much is provided to the sales leadership team.  My guess is you will find about a 10:1 ratio of time in favor of sales people—a sad reflection of how organizations treat their sales leadership. 

Sales people are not more critical than sales leaders and they certainly don’t have greater developmental needs.  Actually, I could argue, with supporting research that there is a bigger performance gap to close teaching sales managers how to coach versus teaching sales people how to sell. 

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Topics: Best Practice, Sales manager training, executive sales management, sales manager coaching, coaching, talent identification & acquisition, top performing sales organizations

Identify An Opportunity

Posted by Kerstin Olson

January 9, 2013

This week we have talked with a number of sales leaders who seem to have an extra pep in their step. And why not – they have closed the books on their 4th quarter, spent some well-deserved time relaxing with their families during the holidays, and now, like countless others, they are looking for “resolutions” to become better people and professionals in 2013.  Will they? Possibly, but the cards are stacked against them. A study conducted by Richard Wiseman a few years back showed that New Year’s resolutions were destined to fail at a rate of 88%. Some of the reasons for this absurdly high failure rate according to Wiseman consisted of people making too many resolutions, not telling others their goals, and not putting enough thought into the change they truly wanted to commit to, amongst a few others.

 

Let’s focus on the first reason that Wiseman gives; making too many resolutions. To me, this makes perfect sense. If you are an executive sales leader this week, coming off of an extended vacation, you likely could sit down and identify a multitude of areas you would like yourself and your management team to improve this next year, but the problem is you are busy due to that same extended vacation and thinking about those opportunities for improvement can become overwhelming, especially given the hectic nature of you and your teams day to day responsibilities on the horizon. However, do  not let this overwhelming feeling stop you from taking the time to set at least one very important opportunity for development this next year. We see this best practice be very effective at the EcSELL Institute with our new members and it most always leads to more sales team performance. Below is a list of 5 proven methods our members have used to ensure personal development will take place this year.

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Topics: sales planning, sales leadership, professional development for sales management, Sales Management, professional development

‘Tis the Season for Gratitude

Posted by Kerstin Olson

December 18, 2012

As I sat down to write my blog for this week, there were two events that I couldn’t get out of my head.  On one end of the spectrum, there was the upcoming holiday – my absolute favorite time of year because we get to celebrate with friends and family.  And on the other end of the spectrum, there was the tragedy that happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School – an unspeakable act that tore so many friends and families apart.  As I thought about the contrast between these most joyous and most horrific events, one thought kept coming back me – I should be very, very grateful.  Grateful that I could hug my two sons this weekend.  Grateful that my loved ones are safe.  Grateful that I will get to spend time with my friends and family very soon.  It’s times of complete joy or profound sadness that remind us how precious life really is and how truly blessed we are.  Yes, there are challenges we face, but when you take a moment, you realize there are many things to be thankful for. 

If you attended our October summit in Colorado Springs, you had a chance to listen to an amazing speaker, Scott Hunter.  Scott shared many important insights and messages with us, but the one that has stuck with me the most is the importance of intentionally focusing on what is right with our lives.  Scott talked with us about the inner voice inside all of us that tends to fill us with worrisome and negative thoughts about things we haven’t done yet or haven’t done well enough.  It’s something I know I struggle with, especially when I lay in bed at night waiting for sleep to come.  But Scott also taught us an effective way to quiet that inner voice – by focusing on what we are grateful for.  He had us take a few minutes to create a “gratitude list” of everything that we loved about our life.  My gratitude list included the most important things in my life (my husband and our sons), meaningful things (my work and the opportunity to learn), silly things (the way my dog greets me), and even material things (call me shallow, but I love my iPad).   It was probably the most enjoyable list I’ve ever made in my life.

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Topics: Sales Coaching Summit, gratitude, Scott Hunter

Coaching: The Undervalued Discipline

Posted by Kerstin Olson

November 28, 2012

EcSELL Institute recently published a white paper on the key role that coaching from their sales managers plays in creating motivation in sales reps (see the white paper here: http://spps.community.ecsellinstitute.com/Docs/Documents/TTEOTR%20on%20Motivation-NonMembers%2010%208%2012.pdf).  In this paper, our research shows an extremely high correlation between reps being more motivated to achieve their sales goals when they feel their manager is effective at coaching them to the sales process.  However, our research also shows that sales reps don’t rate the ability to coach as one of the most important skills for their manager to possess.  So why is there a disconnect?  Why do reps not place much value on coaching from their manager even though it is so important to their success?

One of the most likely reasons is that many reps have not received effective enough coaching from their managers to understand how valuable good coaching really can be.  Indeed, our research shows that when reps are asked to rate their managers’ skillsets in areas like leadership, product knowledge, industry knowledge, providing recognition, etc., the manager’s ability to coach the rep receives the very lowest ratings of any skillset.  Simply stated, reps don’t realize the value of coaching because their sales managers aren’t making coaching valuable.

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Topics: Accountability Coaching, sales territory planning, sales coaching, sales methodology & sales skills development

It’s Your Time – It’s Your Choice

Posted by Kerstin Olson

September 13, 2012

We all have pet peeves - those little things that bug us that others may not even notice.  Maybe it’s people that don’t merge in traffic when they are supposed to.  Maybe it’s your kids leaving their shoes around the house.  For me, it’s a pretty simple one – it makes me crazy when somebody tells me they don’t have time to do something. 

Now, let me be clear.  I know many people in both my personal and professional life that have jam-packed calendars.  These folks are very, very busy, so I definitely understand why they sometimes say they don’t have time.  Heck, I know I’ve been guilty of saying the same thing before when my own calendar gets packed.  I definitely empathize with people who are busy.  But the reason the comment frustrates me when I make it or when others make it is because it takes away the person’s responsibility to make a choice in how they spend their time.  When I’ve told people “I’m sorry, I just can’t fit it in right now,” what I’m really saying is that I have other things that I think are more important to do.  And that’s a key distinction. 

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Topics: Accountability Coaching, Sales Coaching Model, EcSELL Institute, coaching, sales leadership best practices

EcSELL Institute Welcomes Mid American Group

Posted by Kerstin Olson

July 8, 2011

The EcSELL Institute welcomes Mid American Group, Inc. as the newest member to the EcSELL community.

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Topics: new member, sales leadership, Mid American Group, Announcements, professional development

EcSELL Institute Welcomes Cables To Go

Posted by Kerstin Olson

June 24, 2011

The EcSELL Institute welcomes Cables To Go as the newest member to the EcSELL community.

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Topics: new member, Announcements

EcSELL Institute Welcomes Fairfield Manufacturing, Inc.

Posted by Kerstin Olson

June 10, 2011

The EcSELL Institute welcomes Fairfield Manufacturing, Inc. as the newest member to the EcSELL community. Fairfield Manufacturing Company offers a broad range of gear and drive solutions including gearing, custom designed gear assemblies, and the industry renowned Torque Hub® planetary drives.

As part of the Oerlikon Drive Systems business segment, along with Oerlikon Graziano, their product portfolio also includes drive solutions such as axles, transmissions, and specialty gearbox assemblies for a wide range of applications.

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Topics: new member, Announcements

EcSELL Institute Welcomes Prab, Inc.

Posted by Kerstin Olson

May 19, 2011

Posted by: Kerstin Olson, COO, EcSELL Institute

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Topics: new member, sales leadership, Prab, Announcements, professional development

EcSELL Institute Welcomes Smith Dairy Products

Posted by Kerstin Olson

April 28, 2011

Posted by: Kerstin Olson, COO, EcSELL Institute

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Topics: Smith Dairy, new member, sales leadership, Announcements, professional development

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