The Coaching Effect Blog

Sales Management: Oversight #2

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

January 9, 2015

When you accept a role in sales management, your most important clients are no longer your clients – they are the individuals on your team. Read that previous sentence one more time and let it sink in. Somehow this simple fact has been overlooked, if not completely neglected by so many sales departments. The sales world has done a pretty tremendous job of providing the proper resources, methodologies, metrics, and support for sales producers in order to help them understand how to most effectively hit their sales number. However, when you go up one layer to the sales management level, the sales world has done a pretty awful job of providing sales leaders with the same clarity, discipline, and structure that will help them understand how to effectively coach their teams so that they can hit their number on a consistent basis. There is very little attention paid to the behaviors and activities that need to consistently occur between manager and rep the way there is between rep and customer.

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Topics: sales coaching, Sales Management, sales management resources, sales coaching methodology

Sales Management Resources: Begin with the right mindset

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

October 10, 2014

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” – Thomas Jefferson


Executive sales leaders have a huge opportunity to grow more revenue, build a world-class sales department, and be the envy of their competitors. However, it is not going to be easy and therein lies the problem. Not too long ago I heard from an EVP of sales that he did not want to bring the same level of accountability to his sales management team that he has in place for his sales producers. What? How could you be against asking your sales managers to not be held to the same standard of accountability and expectations of their sales reps? I mean, that is leadership 101 – do not expect of others what you are not willing to expect of yourself. As we dialogued further however, I realized that while I absolutely did not agree with this EVP’s decision or mentality I did understand it.

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Topics: sales coaching, Sales Management, sales management resources, sales coaching mindset

Sales motivation: relationship with your reps

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

September 9, 2014

If an acquaintance asked you to help them move this weekend would you willingly raise your hand or might you quickly come up with a reason to opt yourself out? Likewise, if one of your good friends asked you to help them move would you willingly accept because it would make you feel good to lend a helping hand to a friend in need? When it comes to sales rep motivation and engagement do those on your team view you as an acquaintance or a good friend?

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Topics: sales management skills, sales management resources, sales motivation, sales coaching methodology

Sales team motivation: coach is the role

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

August 12, 2014

Do you think that switching a title could have an impact a sales team’s motivation – say switching from sales manager to sales coach?

I have been lobbying for sales departments to make this change for years. A while back 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. Very few are actually great at motivating their sales reps to sell more.

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Topics: Motivating Sales Team, sales coaching, sales management resources, sales team motivation

Coaching Sales Managers

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

July 2, 2014

Coaching sales coaches, managing sales managers or whatever you wish to call it, do you do it?  Or, do you assume since they are in a “management” role, they don't need coaching?  Coaching sales managers is a critical need and a great opportunity to grow sales. 

When we ask sales executives (VP, EVP’s, SVP’s, CSO’s, etc.) if they view their front line sales managers as an opportunity to grow sales, over 90% respond with “yes”.  However, most also hesitate prior to answering, for they have not considered managers as a way to sell more—that is typically reserved for the sales reps.  What a colossal waste of resources without good coaches.  Think about it… A front line manager is typically accountable for approx. $10M-$14M of revenue and a typical rep is accountable for $1M-$2M, yet sales execs rarely concern themselves with coaching managers.

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Topics: sales leadership, sales coaching, sales management resources

Sales Motivation: Have some fun

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

July 1, 2014

Anyone in sales knows that it is an absolute grind. Sales people live their lives one quarter at a time with the expectation that each year they are expected to produce more than they did the year prior. But that is the job that we signed up for and with the high pressure comes the high reward and recognition. That being said, it is critical for sales managers to be very cognizant about making sure their sales people are enjoying themselves during their day to day activities and allowing them the flexibility to be creative and stay loose. Sales Managers have an opportunity to influence more sales motivation by learning how to help each of their sales reps stay engaged with their high payoff activities and have fun while doing them.

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Topics: sales coaching, sales management skills, sales management resources, sales motivation

Sales Motivation: Most Impactful Sales Managers

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

June 3, 2014

I would like to ask you to participate in a quick exercise. First, think about all of the teachers, athletic coaches, business managers, etc. that you have had in your life. How many have you encountered along the way, 100? 200? Now, from that large pool of individuals who are responsible developing people, how many of them profoundly impacted your life that you can honestly say that you would not have achieved the success you have to date without them in your life?

If you are like the masses, you can likely count those critically impactful people you have had in your life on just one of your hands. It is unfortunate, and frankly a bit sad. Now I would like you to think about those amazing few who were able to truly engage you, teach you, and get you to a heightened level of sustained performance; what were they able to do that all of the others could not? Now write those characteristics down in big bold capital letters on a white piece of computer paper and ask yourself one more question. Am I living these words and allowing their impact to positively affect every sales rep on my team?

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Topics: Sales manager training, Sales Coaching Model, coaching sales people, sales management resources

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

Five Planning Tips for Sales Leaders

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

October 4, 2012

Budgeting, strategic thinking, historic analysis, trending… and don’t forget to close the year strong! These activities and expectations consume the thoughts and actions of most sales leaders as we enter the final quarter of the year.

Below are five sales management planning tips the EcSELL Institute states will prove to be more effective than traditional planning methods.

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Topics: sales planning, Planning, sales leadership, Sales Strategy, Sales Management, sales management resources, sales performance

Management Tips from Havard Business Review Experts

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

September 28, 2011

Sales management tips and leadership best practices from Harvard Business Review experts.  TIP ONE: Executing on major initiatives requires sales teams that are large, diverse, and virtual. Yet, as team size grows and the group disperses, team performance diminishes. You can build collaboration withing complex teams in three ways:

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Topics: sales management resources, ideas for sales leaders

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