Sales Coaching Blog

The Staggering Cost of Bad Management

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

December 5, 2018

At work we have bosses. They are also called managers, directors, executives, regionals, assistant VPs, VPs, and many more titles; however, whenever someone outside of work is hired to help us develop we refer to them as a “coach”. Why is it in athletics they are ALWAYS referred to as a coach?

Experience, research and common sense tell us a “coach” brings differentiated talents and skills, assistance, understanding, more overall development than a “boss” is able to deliver. So, if that is the case why do we even have bosses at work? Wouldn’t we all be better off with coaches?

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Topics: sales management research

Research: You’ll Want To Grab A Pen For This One

Posted by Stacia Jorgensen

June 9, 2015

I have been vindicated.

I remember a conversation that took place over a year ago during an EcSell Institute weekly meeting. In a nutshell, a fellow EcSell staff member (who shall remain nameless) made a comment about how hand-written notes were a thing of the past – an antiquated and overly time-consuming waste of time in our digital world if you will. As I live remotely from EcSell HQ and call into the meetings, little did anyone know that I keep hand written notes in a composition book during every meeting. I was slightly embarrassed. Does my preferred mode for keeping track of information, thoughts, and needs make me an old fuddy-duddy? Is my information collection method the equivalent of an 8-track tape (outdated and inferior to newer methods)?

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Topics: sales management research, sales leadership, Research

Why We Promote the Wrong Sales Reps into Management

Posted by Sarah Wirth

March 19, 2015

Many sales organizations focus on promoting leaders from the ranks of their current group of reps rather than hiring management from outside. They do this because it can help create a stronger, more consistent culture in their organization, provide their reps with opportunities for advancement and also shorten new leader ramp-up time as products and processes are already known. While there are clearly benefits to promoting from within, it can also be hard to know which sales reps have the potential to become effective leaders.

Usually the highest-performing salespeople are first considered for advancement, as they've displayed the skills necessary to sell successfully, as well as perform at a high level. The data from our Through the Eyes of the Sales Rep survey supports the idea that top individual performers are the ones promoted, because sales managers' individual performer skills are consistently rated more highly by their sales reps rather than their management skills.  However, strong individual selling skills may not make someone an effective manager. Indeed, our research indicates that individual selling ability is among the leadership skills least prized by sales reps.

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Topics: sales management research, sales coaching

A preliminary glimpse at the Sales Manager Activity Survey results

Posted by Stacia Jorgensen

July 22, 2014

My blog today ushers in what I believe will be one of the most unique and valuable research ventures we conduct here at the EcSell Institute.  Over the past few months, many of our team discussions have seemed to meander to a point were we ask ourselves questions about the sales coaching world where having empirical data would be quite useful. To help us expand, explore, and improve, we have created a plan for periodically releasing web-based surveys designed specifically for sales managers.  These surveys will be extremely precise containing only a handful of questions on very direct and sales-relevant topics.  You can get in and out of the survey in a matter of minutes. I’ll even go as far as to say these surveys will be a thought-provoking and enjoyable opportunity for participants.   I’m a bit giddy about the potential for this effort to collect sales management research.  Today is the first glance at the findings from this new project, so let’s jump into a peek at the good stuff. 

Recently, we made our Sales Manager Activity Survey available to sales managers across the globe.  The goal for this first survey is to gain a better understanding of the time demands of sales managers.  Each participant was asked to estimate the percentage of time they spend on a list of common activities during an average month.  Our results, currently, break out like this:

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Topics: sales management research, Research, sales coaching

Sales motivation: The Power of Losing

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

May 26, 2014

Sometimes when you lose you actually win. A statement that is very counterintuitive, but when it comes to sales and sales coaching it can be very valuable to learn. In my last blog I spoke about the importance of complexity, the concept of pushing sales people outside of their comfort zone to achieve higher levels of performance.

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Topics: sales management research, Sales Management Summit, sales management resources, sales team motivation

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

Why you can't "manage" your way to sustainable growth

Posted by Sarah Wirth

May 9, 2012

As we lead our sales teams, we do everything in our power to hit our sales goals and grow our business.  We define processes so we can have efficient execution.  We employ never ending searches for time saving, cutting edge technologies.  We develop strategic plans so we can have predictable outcomes.  We manage sales activity so we can ensure we hit our quarterly number and annual goals.  We constantly strive to do more, always looking for the next great growth tool and opportunity. This isn't enough anymore! Too often, sales leaders stop there.  They see the above processes, management processes, as the only items they can affect that lead to increases in performance.  Sadly, too many will never see the results, the exponential growth that can come from working beyond management.  Great management skills can temporarily raise the numbers, but without adapting and utilizing all the drivers of team performance, growth will inevitably wane and in most cases revenues will eventually decline. 

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Topics: Sales Management, sales management research, sales results, sales coaching

4 Steps to Manage in a Virtual Office Environment

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

April 2, 2012

Our friends at Sales Benchmarking Index revealed some interesting data.  In 2011, over 78% of all sales professionals worked virtually over 50% of their time.  The numbers who work 100% virtually is over 38% and growing each year. Sales Managers need to face the facts.  Your field sales people are virtual. No longer can you go into an office and have a face to face interaction daily.  No longer can you rely on the non-verbal communication.  No longer can Sales Managers rely on running into their sales people ‘in the hallway.’

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Topics: technology for the sales process, sales management research, Employee engagement, retaining top talent, ideas for sales leaders

What 90% of Sales Managers Do Wrong

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

January 23, 2012

Your job as a sales manager is to get things done. A study done by academics Heike Bruch and the late Sumantra Ghoshal  from London, investigated what they called "decisive purposeful action." Most companies, far from being hives of busy, effective executives, could instead be seen as "a few isolated islands of action amid an ocean of inaction," the researchers found. Does this ring any bells? Here are the highlights from their study.

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Topics: Career Development, sales management research, Accountability Coaching, Motivating Sales Team

Are You Lucky or Smart? Maximize Your Return On Luck.

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

November 16, 2011

Are great companies just luckier than the rest?  Luck is defined as events that to a large extent are outside of your control, unpredictable, and that can impact you significantly  (good or bad).  Morten T. Hansen author of the book Great by Choice, analyzed the history of luck events for a large number of companies. A key finding: the winners and average performers encountered essentially the same number of lucky and unlucky events. The upshot: it's not the luck you get that counts; it's what you do with it — your return on luck. Here are  highlights from his research.

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Topics: sales management research

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