The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    Sales Managers: You Own It

    by Bill Eckstrom / October 28, 2015

    Let’s begin with an easy exercise… think of the number your sales team has produced this year.  Got it?  Whether or not you want to hear this, the reality is, the number you are thinking of is exactly what you are coaching your team to produce. 

    The aforementioned exercise is a wake-up call for many sales leaders, especially front line managers.  So, I’ll now state what will make sense, but is perhaps not so obvious; all sales teams are perfectly coached for the results they produce. 

    My Husker football team has a new head coach this year, and as a result are 3-5, a losing debacle that hasn’t been seen in decades.  I am not impugning the new guy, just stating the fact that due to his coaching the Big Red is not performing at a high level.  Not that they can’t or won’t improve, but he owns it; he owns their performance today, tomorrow and next year.  One cannot blame his coaches, for they report to him.  Can’t blame the players, for they report to the coaches.  Get it?

    Yup, it’s all on coach.  When accepting a sales leadership role, one either knowingly or unknowingly accepted this responsibility. Sales departments do not have sales people issues, they only have sales coaching issues.  If a team goal is 10% growth and the team achieves 9%--they were coached to that number.  If a team goal is 15% growth and they achieve 18%, they were coached to achieve that number.  Make sense?  There is no dodging, no arguing, no justification, no blaming the market, turnover, etc.—sales leaders own the results their teams produce!

    To get a better grasp of this concept, let me reintroduce the sales performance equation, which outlines why and how the above works. 

    EcSell research finds three themes that comprise coaching; management (M), leadership (L) and the catalytic factor (C).  And, it is the activities sales leaders execute, tools they use and behaviors they exhibit that determine whether or not they are a good manager, leader and catalytic coach; the result of which produces a sales number.  So, if a sales team needs to produce at a higher level, the “coach” needs to employ better management skills, leadership behaviors or execute stronger catalytic challenges—which is then what also explains the “D”, development. Development is the multiplier, if different results are wanted, change the coaching inputs. 

    So I’ll say it again, teams are perfectly coached for the results they produce today. 

    A significant part of the high performance coaching journey is to comprehend this equation, which is to then understand how a sales leader impacts how much a team sells (to get a comprehensive explanation of the equation, download our e-book “The Three Drivers of Effective Coaching”).   Proof surrounds us, every day we witness high performing teams (look no further than the K.C. Royals and last night’s World Series, Game 1) and while there are several items endemic to their rise and stature, without fail, they have great coaches. 

    I’ll keep the take-a-way simple:  if sales teams don’t have a way to educate, develop and measure coaching acumen and outcomes, they have no way to know if their managers are enhancing sales performance or hindering it.   That was not a misprint, research shows that most sales managers unknowingly hinder sales growth. 

    And I thought October 31st was scary…

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    To learn more about how to become a high performance sales coach, consider attending our Sales Coaching Summit in April, 2016:

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    Or better yet, download this white paper on how to measure coaching and how this critical performance data can elevate performance and sales:

         Coaching Measured

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    Bill Eckstrom

    Bill Eckstrom

    William Eckstrom is the CEO and Founder of the EcSell Institute. Bill has spent his entire career in the sales management and leadership arena. In 2008, he founded the EcSell Institute to fill a void he witnessed and personally experienced in the sales leadership profession. He's went on to present a viral TEDx Talk and co-authored the best-selling book, "The Coaching Effect."

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