The Coaching Effect Blog

Sales Coaching Research: What Five Words Results

Posted by Stacia Jorgensen

August 17, 2015

The results are in! What five words best describe you as a sales manager?

To give some background here, in a blog I posted a few weeks back, I asked you (all you sales managers out there) to share with me via a web-based mini survey the five words that best describe what you do as a sales coach. This was a simple data collection effort – just five questions that would literally take a minute of your time. Today, I eagerly rubbed my hands together as I jumped into aggregating and analyzing the results.

First, I brainstormed several approaches to take to crunch this data. I could have simply counted the words and discussed which ones were most prevalent (coach, motivator, developer, and teacher). I also could have simply listed and discussed the words that were submitted. Neither of these is the final path I took, but I did follow this line of thinking for a few minutes. Here’s the product - a spruced up listing of the words provided that also shows the words most frequently submitted (the larger the font, the more often it was listed):

Instead, I wanted to develop some sort of grouping system where this large list could be synthesized into a more consumable format. As I strategized this, I came to a pretty cool realization. This list could be applied to this white paper recently produced by the EcSell Institute on the importance of both action and emotive based behaviors.

The cliff notes for this white paper would read something like this – highly effective sales coaching involves both active behaviors, where some sort of task or act is completed and can be seen, and emotive behaviors, where more feelings or perceptions are created. For example, one action-based behavior a great sales coach might complete is one-to-one meetings with their reps (action) and while in these meetings, they are able to make the rep feel valued as a team member (emotive).

So, I coded our responses to what our responders believe are the most important thing they do as a sales coach with each response receiving either an “active” or “emotive” code. Low and behold, something pretty cool took shape. A little over 48% of the responses fell into the active group and about 52% were in the emotive group. When thinking about the most important thing that they do, sales managers view active and emotive behaviors on an equal playing field.

What does this all mean? In my book, this means that not only WHAT you are doing is important but also HOW you are doing it. Simply completing tasks is only half of what makes a sales coach highly effective. Instead, there is a quality component that comes into play. As a coach, you need to not just be executing but adding your own personal touch or connection. Sales coaches can’t be robots. Sales coaching needs you and your human capacity for relationship building and interpersonal awareness. Next time you are carrying out your sales manager responsibilities, think about the emotive side of your behaviors and make sure they are getting equal billing to the actions you are completing.

Thank you to all who participated in this small data collection effort.

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Topics: sales leadership, sales coaching

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