The Coaching Effect Blog

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

How to Get 10% More From Your Sales Team

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

October 4, 2011

Productivity is output for a given input of labor.  Except for a few pauses caused by recessions, productivity in the United States has risen relentlessly. What would happen in your organization if sales productivity rose by 10%? John Dieseth of Business Performance Group spoke to the EcSELL Institute 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity Workshop participants on how to get that incremental 10%.

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Topics: Best Practice, mentoring, sales coaching, sales methodology & sales skills development

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

Research Reveals Secrets to Selling to Senior Executives

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

July 11, 2011

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Topics: Best Practice, EcSELL Institute Partner, c-level, Sales Strategy, sales methodology & sales skills development

Survey Shows Why 1 in 5 Lose a Sale

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

May 25, 2011

We found this article was written by Jason Hensel for One+ Magazine and thought this information on sales strategy was important to share with you.

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Topics: sales management research, Sales Strategy, Sales Management, sales methodology & sales skills development

6 Pillars of Sales Productivity

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

April 6, 2011

The pre-Summit Six Pillars of Sales Productivity Workshop kicked off on Wednesday morning. Bill Eckstrom, president of EcSELL Institute, set the stage by explaining the importance of understanding the six key areas a sales coach must manage.  He stressed the importance of always staying current on these six key Pillars as they are continually changing and the technology is constantly evolving.

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Topics: sales planning, compensation recognition rewards, sales analytics & performance tracking, professional development for sales management, talent identification & acquisition, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity, sales methodology & sales skills development

Discover the Best Lead Qualification Question

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

March 8, 2011

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Topics: sales producer, prospecting, sales coaching, sales methodology & sales skills development

Stop Competing on Price

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

November 22, 2010

Stop Competing on Price

Written by EcSELL Institute's friend,  Howard Shore, Executive and Business Coach. We hope you enjoy it!

It is not unusual to find companies that have made a lot of changes to the business only to find that those changes had little impact on its ability to increase market share, or worse yet, caused market share to decline. It is also common to go into companies and find only a small percentage of their clients/consumers showing loyalty. The predominant discussions among their salespeople revolve around price. Many business owners mistakenly believe there is nothing that can be done to change client/consumer focus on price.

Declining market share, stable market share, and disloyal clients/consumers mean that a company does not have a suitable strategy or that its strategy is not being executed well. There are some companies whose strategy is to have the lowest prices in the marketplace (e.g. Walmart), and they have the scale, systems, and infrastructure to continually keep costs lower than their competition, allowing them to earn a sizeable profit because of the volume they generate. As long as a company has the capacity and/or can find enough vendors willing to put products on their shelves so that price/volume mix is worth the return on effort, it is a good business model. The challenge is that this is a tough place to play. Technology is constantly changing, and many businesses find that there is always someone willing to sell cheaper. So then what?

People often spend more time figuring out how to build their fantasy football teams, plan their vacations, and handle other unimportant matters than they spend on building their business strategy. While strategic planning is more difficult and is likely to result in some mistakes, not putting the proper time into strategy is inexcusable. Business strategy should be revisited at least quarterly in every business. Most companies do not make the time, and it costs them millions in future revenue and profits that they’ll never see.

A big part of building a strategy that helps avoid price competition is having the ability to segment the potential client/consumer base and target ownership of specific segments. The more segments you want to own, the higher your cost structure. The better you position and execute your segment ownership plan, the more you will grow. The key to segmentation is not looking at market segments by customer size, geography, industry group, or other traditional demographics. The key is to look them by the need or want that your company can best serve. Here are some examples:

  • Are they the type of customer that only looks for lowest price, no matter what?
  • Are you in the hospitality business, and are they looking to be pampered?
  • Are you in the fitness business? Are your target customers the ones whose doctors have told them that they will die before they are 40 if they do not trim 40 pounds?
  • Are you in the hearing aid business? Are your target customers those who have lost their hearing and are very sensitive about the issue and want to do business with people that understand their pain and can provide them with a proper experience to deal with this sensitive issue?
  • Are you in the transportation, freight forwarding, and logistics industry, and your clients are always squeezing you for lowest price? Could you charge them a lot more and still save them a lot of money if you helped them solve the inefficiencies in their logistics functions?

When developing your strategy, you must understand the potential marketplace at least 3 years out and project how you think your industry is changing in terms of products, customers, technology, delivering products and services, sophistication of employees, and other pertinent matters. Once you have considered these factors, you need to segment the different types of clients you have and which segments you want to own. Then you need to build your strategy to own them. If you are primarily competing on pricing and do not own any segment today, you have a tremendous opportunity to improve your growth and profits. Just take the time to build a winning strategy.


Great article, thanks Howard.  If you enjoyed this, you might also find the article "Creating Willing Buyers" interesting as well. This white paper comes from our Resource Library and is a small sample of the way we keep our members abreast of the latest research, technology, tools,and best practices in sales management. As the sales coach, it will be your job to make sure your reps are prepared to sell solutions, not compete on price.  Need some help with this? That's what we are here for!  Call us anytime 402-850-4239. Just ask for Will.



Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To contact Howard Shore please call (305) 722-7216 or email him at .

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Topics: sales producer, EcSELL Institute Partner, sales coaching, Pillars, sales methodology & sales skills development

The Role Of Sales Managers At Customer Events

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

August 4, 2010

Does your company host client conferences? Don't miss these insights... 

The Role Of A Sales Manager At Customer Events

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Topics: Best Practice, sales planning, compensation recognition rewards, collaborative leadership, Accountability Coaching, Leadership & Management, collaboration, coaching, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity, sales methodology & sales skills development

Research Focus: Professional Development in Sales

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

July 8, 2010

By J Davis-Thomas, Research & Publications  

Each month, the EcSELL Institute Research & Publications Team focuses on one of the 6 Pillars of Sales Managment. This time, we're focusing on Professional Development in Sales.

At EcSELL Institute, we know professional development in sales -- management's ability to meet the individual reps' needs related to their own careers -- is one of the drivers of sales productivity. In fact, according to our survey of Sales Managers, 91% of sales managers polled believed that Professional Development strongly impacted the productivity of a sales team. 

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Topics: sales training, Career Development, sales management research, Research, sales coaching, Pillars, professional development, assessment tools, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity, time management, sales methodology & sales skills development

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