In my last blog, I talked about coding data. It’s exciting stuff. Data coding is the process of taking qualitative data, like text information typed out by a respondent in a survey, and assigning it a numeric value for easier data analysis. To put it simply, it’s a way to sort out what people say into groups so you can better see patterns and understand what the group is saying as a whole. Specifically, I discussed coding open-text responses to our Through the Eyes of the Rep Survey question that asks sales reps what they believe their manager does best.
You may be wondering why we would bother taking the time to understand the responses to this item. What can we learn from analyzing what a sales rep says is the best thing their manager does for them?
We believe this is important because this helps us understand the sales manager traits and behaviors that sales reps view as valuable. By understanding what they feel their manager does best, we get a snapshot of the realms where they feel their manager most benefits them. As a sales manager, wouldn’t it be nice to have a better grasp of what you can be doing that will make the most impact on the daily activities and success of your reps?
A total of 15 distinct themes emerged from the 364 sales rep responses analyzed. Three behaviors stand above the rest as sales reps in our sample mentioned them most often. In order of prevalence, they include:
- Coaching – The most commonly noted theme includes elements such as helping the rep to improve, giving feedback, providing training, giving advice, offering role playing opportunities, being a mentor, and other hands-on help and active coaching behaviors.
- Leading – This theme includes manager behavior involving leading by example, demonstrating good practices, having good sales strategies, managers who help guide problem accounts and difficult closings, as well as managers who steer the boat, plan strategically, and direct the future.
- Communicating – Manager behaviors in this theme include good communication practices, sharing of information regularly and comprehensively, providing background and pertinent details, managers who explain situations and also those who actively listen to their reps.
Why is this important to understand? It’s important because it gives us empirical evidence that our philosophy is on target. According to this research, the most impactful behaviors of sales managers center on practices that we believe are at the foundation of a good sales manager. The access and ability we have to analyze data like this, and the resulting findings, are a testament to the mission of the EcSell Institute.
What’s even more affirming is that this data dovetails with the release of a sales coaching tool by the EcSell Institute we call ONE-UP. ONE-UP is an innovative approach to understanding and tracking sales manager behavior. Rather than wondering what you do best as a sales manager, there is now a way to input and report on these behaviors that makes a sales manager most effective. Our data tells us that sales reps value coaching behaviors and communication from their managers. For those who are leading the sales future of their organization, ONE-UP offers a way to record, track, and report on these very practices. Like I said, it’s exciting stuff.
For more information, check us out at: http:// http://www.ecsellinstitute.com
EcSell Institute announces the roll-out of a never before seen tool for sales leaders. ONE-UP sales coaching cloud provides a research based coaching methodology, tracks implementation of high pay-off coaching activities, and measures coaching effectiveness. Click here to watch a powerful video about ONE-UP and the impact managers can have on their sales team.