The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    Sales Leaders and Humankind: Ask Hard Questions!

    by Anna Schott / May 21, 2015

    Elevator_2.jpg“You work where?” I was asked numerous times at my recent graduation party.

     “The EcSell Institute.” I’d answer.

     These are examples of how I usually explain what Ecsell does:

    “We help sales departments maximize sales, and more importantly how to maximize sales team performance.”

     If I get a quizzical look I dumb it down to this:

    “We give sales managers and sales leaders the tools they need to be successful.”

     If I get an intriguing look I’ll add this:

    “We have even created a sales coaching cloud called ONE-UP which is able to track and measure high payoff coaching activities which we know cultivates success.”

    Either the conversation stops there and him or her realize they don’t know what to ask next, or they pry me for more details about the state-of-the-art work we are doing at EcSell.

         I pose these conversations not to put down the intelligence levels of others, but to simply showcase an example of how difficult it is for people to grasp who we are, what we do and why we do it; therefore, if people aren’t life-long learners or gravitate to new ideas they never know what they are missing. EcSell currently developed a new whitepaper called Coaching Measured: The Vital Sales Performance Metric. The whitepaper reveals that there is 50% of data that’s missing from sales departments. It’s critical performance data at that!

         If you are a person that’s a life-long learner, you’re curious or you want to know what you’re missing out on then you’ll read this whitepaper. If you think you already measure coaching or that you maybe have enough metrics to succeed, then you won’t read this and take immediate action and that’s the sad part. Is it maybe because it’s hard to read something you’re missing out on? Or maybe because a change might need to take place after reading it? Either way, you’re not challenging yourself or your sales team, which is unfair and harmful to both.

         I also bring up these conversations because when I was first hired on as an intern at EcSell one of the goalsDiploma.jpg my coach Kathy and I discussed was to craft the perfect elevator pitch about EcSell. Our president, Bill Eckstrom, is a gifted speaker. He’s one of those guys you’ll hear speak and go, “He should be a TEDTalks speaker.” I’m serious. So in my defense, I was a bit intimidated since Bill could rattle off an EcSell pitch easily and beautifully. Then he’d ask me a hard question, “What’s your elevator pitch?” Talk about put me on the spot! Since he continuously did that, it got easier and easier. This was also a great exercise to become more familiar with the company. I give my teammates credit. They constantly ask hard questions and in return, we become brighter thinkers. I value this communication so much even though it can make me uncomfortable. It’s sometimes not fun, but it’s worth it.

         As I mention my colleagues I’ll also add that I started full time this week with the EcSell team. I’m not only proud of the fact I have crafted a pretty good elevator pitch, but that I GET to work with some of the most inspiring, intelligent and gifted people out there. It hasn’t taken me long to realize that it’s not the WHAT that makes the EcSell Institute so amazing, it’s the WHY. Why we do what we do is so evolutionary and life changing. Ask any of our past or present members and they’ll say the same thing.

         As for you, I hope this elevator pitch finds you in a position to raise your hand and do something for your sales management team. I also hope you are not only asking hard questions to your teams, but also to yourself.

         As for me, I’ll share what this insightful elevator speech is but with one requirement. The next time you ask someone what they do for a living, ask hard questions and learn about what people do. You’d be surprised how many people actually love their job and believe what they do makes a difference. That’s what really matters.

    My elevator pitch:

    “What we do at EcSell is help sales departments create world class sales coaching teams. We’re able to do this by training and tracking sales manager activities and actions through a software system we created called ONE-UP. We work primarily with sales managers and because we’re research based, we know for a fact that nothing impacts performance more than coaching.”

    What do you do?


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    Anna Schott

    Anna Schott

    Anna Schott serves as EcSell Institute's Director of Marketing handling all creative, brand awareness, and lead generation initiatives. Her most recent accomplishments include marketing a viral TEDx Talk and Amazon Best-Selling Book, "The Coaching Effect."

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