The Coaching Effect Blog

Corporate Culture: How it Affects Sales Performance

Posted by Kathy Collins

September 9, 2014

“If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” -Simon Sinek

Corporate culture can be defined simply as, "the way we do things around here," or "it's our company's personality."  Edgar Schein, PhD, (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, defines corporate culture as, "A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems that has been worded well enough to be considered valued and is passed on to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems."  Regardless of how you define corporate culture, there is no doubt that the performance potential of a sales leadership team is elevated by the corporate alignment of employee values.

The claim that organizational culture is directly linked to increased performance is founded on the perception that good culture plays an important role in generating a competitive advantage over other similar companies.  Likewise, culture will stay linked to excellent performance only if the culture is able to adapt to changes in environmental conditions internally and externally.

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Topics: coaching effectively, Accountability Coaching, Adaptive Leadership, coaching sales reps

Transformational Leadership: 10 Coaching Tips to Maximize Performance

Posted by Kathy Collins

May 29, 2014

There are many roles we take on in the pursuit of transformational leadership, but there is no role or title as important or effective as, “coach.” The ultimate goal of coaching is the process of transforming a person from where they are in their career, to where they have the potential to be. Transformational leaders (i.e. coaches) have the ability to create a lasting impression on their team and likewise create meaningful growth for their organizations from the center outward. In addition to the organization becoming intrinsically better, individuals are found t be more satisfied, productive with a sharp decrease in turnover as a standard. If you are a leader that desires to improve their coaching skills, there are some simple things that you can instill in your work life right away to see instant improvement. 

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Topics: coaching effectively, Accountability Coaching, Adaptive Leadership, transformational leadership

Sales coaching and relationships with sales reps

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

October 15, 2013

Consider this question:Curt_Coffman

Is it bad to have close relationships with your sales reps?

Recently, I shared a conversation with Curt Coffman, co-author of “First, Break All The Rules What The World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” and most recently, “Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch.” Throughout the past 30 years, no one has done more research and consulting in the areas of development of productive, customer-oriented workplaces and what separates top performing individuals and organizations from their counterparts than Curt. At one point during our call I asked Curt, “What do exceptional sales reps want most from their managers?” His response was that more than anything else they wanted a relationship. His response did not surprise me, but based onresults from our Through the Eyes of the Sales Rep Assessment it certainly might surprise the broader sales management community.

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Topics: Accountability Coaching, sales manager, top performer retention, sales coaching, coaching

Sales Coaching Cliches

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

September 4, 2013

It is that time of year again in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the leaves are starting to fall and the temperatures will soon be following suit – thank goodness. More importantly it is that time of the year when normally rational people here in Lincoln start to become, well, a bit irrational. Why? Because football season is finally upon us and as we learned at our last Sales Coaching Summit human beings are 6 times more driven by emotions than they are by logical information. A statistic which makes a lot of sense at the moment because Husker fans don’t seem to be too interested in the fact that inexperienced defenses generally don’t perform to well in their first appearance of the season. Husker fans want results because they passionately care about Nebraska football and do not want logic or facts to get in the way of their emotions, but I digress.

I wanted to cover a fun topic in this blog and in the spirit of football season I thought it would be great to tackle a time old football tradition – coaching clichés. You know, coach speak. That ritual of not saying anything to the people whose job it is to at least get you to say something. Below are a list of my top 3 coaching clichés:

  1. “We just need to focus on one game at a time.”

  2. “He is giving us 110% effort out there.”

  3. “We're gonna play a full 60 minutes.”

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Topics: Sales Coaching Summit, Accountability Coaching, Sales Management Summit, sales coaching, coaching

Formula for Sales Management Success

Posted by Sarah Wirth

July 16, 2013

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Topics: Motivation, Accountability Coaching, Sales Management

Sales Coach as a Title

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

June 12, 2013

Do you think that switching a title could have an impact a sales department’s performance – say switching from sales manager to sales coach? I do, and I have been lobbying for sales departments to make this change for years. However, late last week I actually crossed paths with a VP of Sales who made this change a few years back and obviously we quickly became fond of each other. Naturally I was curious about what led him to make that change and his response made perfect sense, to me at least. He said, “I told my team that most everyone can manage, but very few can coach” which I agreed, but asked him to elaborate. To be concise, he went into detail about how in his experience he has found that many sales managers are very good at monitoring and reporting their reps activities and results, but very few of them are actually very good at teaching and coaching their reps how to get better at the activities that lead to favorable results. Amen Brother.


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Topics: sales results, executive sales management, Motivation, Accountability Coaching, sales manager, sales coaching, coaching

To grow or not to grow ... bigger

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

February 27, 2013

Roughly every third week I have been blogging about what I am hearing from sales leaders across the Country and today that steak continues. Ask yourself the following question; would you rather grow at 10% or 20% this year? Ok, that answer is obvious so let’s take that question a step further. What if in order to grow at 20% this year you had to put a guaranteed 10% yearly growth at risk? Would you still opt to shoot for the 20% or would you be content to settle for the 10% growth knowing that you were not maximizing your team’s performance.  I pose this question as hypothetical, but the reality is that this is a real question that sales leaders are asking themselves every day. Finding the answer is causing an inner struggle that taking place in the pits of countless executive sales managers’ stomachs on a daily basis.


Here is the challenge that is taking place. Most sales organizations across the board have done a decent job of bringing a good deal of order to their sales team, especially at the sales rep level. Most sales managers can recite with pretty decent accuracy the actions and high payoff activities that their reps need to execute against in order to hit a projected level of growth - say 10%. So, executive sales leaders know that if they can have their frontline sales managers simply hold their producers accountable to a certain level of activity they should be able to stay the course and achieve their growth targets. On the surface this is great news right? It is, however most executive sales leaders know that if their frontline managers were able to more effectively coach, lead, and engage their teams that they could achieve even higher levels of performance than say simply reporting on the numbers, helping them reactively solve problems, making sure compliance is in order, and maybe worst of all being super sales people – more aptly put they doing all the fishing and never teach the reps how to fish.

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Topics: executive sales management, Leadership Culture, Accountability Coaching, front line sales managers, Leadership Development, sales coaching, Resources for sales managers, top performing sales organizations, ideas for sales leaders

Coaching: The Undervalued Discipline

Posted by Kerstin Olson

November 28, 2012

EcSELL Institute recently published a white paper on the key role that coaching from their sales managers plays in creating motivation in sales reps (see the white paper here:  In this paper, our research shows an extremely high correlation between reps being more motivated to achieve their sales goals when they feel their manager is effective at coaching them to the sales process.  However, our research also shows that sales reps don’t rate the ability to coach as one of the most important skills for their manager to possess.  So why is there a disconnect?  Why do reps not place much value on coaching from their manager even though it is so important to their success?

One of the most likely reasons is that many reps have not received effective enough coaching from their managers to understand how valuable good coaching really can be.  Indeed, our research shows that when reps are asked to rate their managers’ skillsets in areas like leadership, product knowledge, industry knowledge, providing recognition, etc., the manager’s ability to coach the rep receives the very lowest ratings of any skillset.  Simply stated, reps don’t realize the value of coaching because their sales managers aren’t making coaching valuable.

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Topics: Accountability Coaching, sales territory planning, sales coaching, sales methodology & sales skills development

Sales managers - slow down to speed up

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

October 17, 2012

If you ask 100 sales managers if they are busy, 100 of them will answer with a resounding yes! So what advice should sales managers consider to help them with this challenge? SLOW DOWN! That advice may seem counterintuitive, but it was supported wonderfully by the research of Dr. Clinton Longenecker. Dr. Longenecker is the Stranahan Profesor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo. This morning he captivated the EcSELL Institute audience by sharing stories, research, and best practices about how to slow your day down in order to stop neglecting the important activities that are required to drive results.

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Topics: Best Practice, Sales Coaching Summit, Accountability Coaching, sales coaching, Leadership & Management, collaboration, Wisdom

Sales Coaching and Parenting: Dont Miss the Gold With Either

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

September 16, 2012

I naively figured they would have the same interests as me.  My children would want to stay active with athletic activities year around.  Football, basketball, baseball during the appropriate seasons for my son; if I had a girl (I ended up with two) she would want to dance and if sports minded, basketball, softball and volleyball would get the call. 

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Topics: sales management research, sales leadership, goals, mentoring, Motivation, Accountability Coaching, Sales Manager Tips, Leadership Development, sales tools, poor performing sales reps, sales rep peformance, professional development for sales management, Sales Management, coaching, professional development, sales performance, top performing sales organizations, Strengths

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