The Coaching Effect Blog

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

Sales Technology versus Sales Coaching

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

August 16, 2012

 In the spirit of always keeping up with new ways to continuously help our members grow, I’ve been investigating a plethora of new high tech, start-up, venture funded, industry experienced, revenue producing, can’t miss technologies for sales departments.  Going through this exhausting and confusing exercise made me pause and reflect…

  • Why do organizations put so many resources against product development, but yet so few against talent development?

  • How much do sales teams spend on mobile phone bills and off-site meetings versus helping their sales leadership team become better coaches?

  • Why do people get promoted to management without an understanding of the activities and behaviors that drive results?

While most of the technologies I reviewed are likely worthy and can assist in providing information that can lead to better decisions, none of them are focused on improved  coaching behaviors.  For example, one can implement new technology that helps them understand and provide insights to cases in a sales pipeline.  You can accurately see where sales are progressing and stalling.  What one might learn is that deals are getting stuck at the decision making stage in a sales process, which may indicate that a rep may not have identified all the proper decision makers, which would also indicate the rep isn’t likely conducting the best needs analysis prior to getting to the proposal stage.   The message to the sales manager…  Go help your rep improve in those areas!

In the above scenario, is it a sales rep issue or a sales leadership issue?  Great sales leaders would take full accountability and responsibility, for they understand the performance of anyone on their team is a reflection of how they coach those on their team.  The challenge is that without the proper behaviors and tools, a sales manager won't likely know how to impact what was described in the previous paragraph.  And, what our research shows is that most sales managers would respond by taking a more active role in the sales process, as opposed to effectively helping the rep improve in those identified areas.

So, data is insignificant without knowledge of how to affect those from whom the data is derived.  Likewise, great coaches won’t know where and how to coach without accurate, meaningful data.  (here is where I shamelessly plug our Sales Coaching Summit for those who want to improve the way they coach.)

Conclusion:  Emphasize not just technology and data, but how to improve coaching behaviors that impact the numbers.  Understand that improving and hence, growing sales, is a journey and not a destination.  At no time would a sales leader ever think they’ve done all they can do from a technology stand point, and similarly one should never hit a point where they say “we’re done growing our coaching skills”. 

Lastly, remember the timeless phrase “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten”.  Make sure there are resources and best practices dedicated to grow in technology and human behavior—not just one!

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Topics: Sales Coaching Summit, executive sales management, Motivating Sales Team, Accountability Coaching, Leadership Development, poor performing sales reps, EcSELL Institute Member, sales coaching, Leadership & Management, Sales Management, sales management skills, sales leadership conference, Resources for sales managers

10 Difficult Employees (and How to Handle Them)

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

February 6, 2012

Here's a look at the 10 most irritating workplace characters of problem employees--along with some advice on how to get them back on track. Enjoy these highlights from the article originally published in Inc.  10 Difficult Employees (and How to Handle Them)     

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Topics: Problem employees, Sales Manager Tips, poor performing sales reps, Leadership & Management

Bad Things Happen Without Sales Coaching

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

August 24, 2011

Have you ever wondered the impact you are having on your sales team? Wonder no more!  Our friend and Pillar Partner, Dave Kurlan of Objective Management Group, completed a research project on impact sales coaching has on sales teams.  He found that there are ten common things that your salespeople will do when they aren't coached and managed effectively, or, in many cases, when they are only coached on an as needed basis.  Read the complete article "Bad Things Happen When You Leave It Up to Your Salespeople"

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Topics: poor performing sales reps, sales coaching

7 Weaknesses Top Sales People DON'T Have

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

July 20, 2011

Our friend and Pillar Partner, Dave Kurlan of Objective Management Group, does extensive research on what it means to be a top sales person. He has identified seven selling weaknesses that cause salespeople to become ineffective in various selling scenarios.  You can read the full article here

Here are the seven weaknesses that limit a sales person's success. Sales Managers, you need to coach your reps on these issues so they can become a top sales performer!

1. Need for approval, or the need to be liked, prevents them from asking tough questions, challenging and pushing back. 

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Topics: Accountability Coaching, poor performing sales reps, sales rep peformance, sales methodology & sales skills development

A model to turn negative feedback into a learning opportunity

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

June 13, 2011

It is fun to give good feedback to your sales reps, but it isn't so fun to give negative feedback.  If you re-frame it from giving negative feedback to giving constructive coaching, you turn this potentially uncomfortable situation into an effective learning opportunity.

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Topics: front line sales managers, one on one meetings, poor performing sales reps, sales coaching

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