Sometimes we are all in need of a fresh perspective. My constant inspiration to think outside of the box most often comes from my son Aden and his band of brothers he calls neighbors, friends, teammates…dudes. Recently they were all staring at our play structure in the backyard which they had sadly outgrown and said to one another, what else could it be? And then the craziness really began. My husband and I let the boys build, and build and build…and build. After 2 weeks we had quite a mess and a veritable ‘condo’ for 12-year old boys in our backyard. Wisely, my husband let them build without a plan only to illustrate what happens when you don’t have a plan. Needless to say, while it looked cool, it was unsteady, sloppy and not build to last. What happened then was a shining example of how good planning, mapping out, measurement, strategy and execution could be the difference between the catalytic factor and chaos.
As sales leaders, we are constantly barraged with new problems-to-solve, challenges and opportunities. The demand on our time is infinite while the pressure to perform in our own positions as well as coach our teams mount every day. This pace often pushes us into a state complexity. The desire to create order from complexity may sometimes cause us to react without measuring, planning, executing to the best strategy possible. In order to effectively counteract this tendency, as a sales coach you must be highly disciplined in how to engage and challenge your team members to not only rise to the occasion when faced with complexity, but to thrive in the face of it. The collective engagement of the group is always stronger than the engagement of just a few individuals. To challenge and push team members to maximize performance a coach must be able to inject the catalytic factor in a manner that is meaningful to the leader and the team. In essence, the catalytic factor pushes people to find new ways to do things, solve problems, think in new, innovative ways as well to be able to tackle difficult challenges.
In the effort to maximize team performance and the coaching relationship between manager and sales rep, The EcSell Institute has developed the ONE-UP coaching cloud. ONE-UP has been able to develop a dashboard with the metrics and data that will enable your managers to not only engage as coaches on a higher level, but also use the data created to better plan, coach, prioritize and drive performance. The bottom line metrics we so often count on to inform us for decisions are only a small percentage of the equation for sales success. It has become an important tool for many sales teams in order to build their world-class sales teams within a plan, a structure that makes sense and that gives them full insight into the activities that their managers are performing with their teams on a regular basis. It also give important insight into strategic opportunities on when to employ the catalytic factor with team members, or likewise, when order is called for.
Our leadership challenge is that we are only using a portion of the knowledge that we need to have if we are only looking at sales figures. The high-payoff sales coaching activities that research has proven to drive performance; 1:1 meetings, joint call events and pre-call plans, sales call evaluations, team meetings and career development discussions--just a few of the activities that managers need to be performing with their sales teams on a regular basis in order to coach to the highest performance possible. ALL of these coaching activities research proves affect the bottom line, and yet they are so often set aside for putting out the fires from 9-5 pm each week.
Just as it is important to map, plan and build a successful team effort, it is also important to be able to execute that success by having the right data and right sales coach behind you in the effort.