The Coaching Effect Blog

2014 Planning for Sales Leaders

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

December 19, 2013

Not too much left you can do to impact the results of 2013—it has come and gone.  You should now be looking at what you can do to impact 2014, and I don’t mean just reviewing new products, markets, etc.  You should be thinking hard about the impact you are having on the lives of those on your team. Here are some sales coaching questions to consider for 2014:

  • Are your skills and knowledge of how to drive sales team performance still relevant?
  • Do you act like more of a compliance officer or an effective coach?
  • Have you ever objectively measured your coaching effectiveness?
  • If you are a head of sales, do you know where your managers were last week, month, quarter?
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Topics: sales planning, sales leadership, sales coaching, Sales Management

Those who can’t do, teach.

Posted by Sarah Wirth

February 12, 2013

As the daughter of two educators, I’ve always hated that saying.   Teaching others, whether in a classroom or out on the road after a sales call, is one of the most valuable and meaningful things a person can do.  This is not only a belief that I hold dear, but it’s also one that is supported by performance data.  That is, the more effective a sales manager is at teaching their sales reps how to build their sales skills, the better the rep performs.  Teaching is definitely “doing.”

However, in spite of my visceral negative reaction to that saying, there is actually an important kernel of truth in it if you reverse the saying... “those that can do, can’t teach.”  Now, in the same way that the original saying is an obvious overstatement, so is it’s reverse.   However, take a moment to consider this idea… when you are naturally good at something, it is harder to teach that same skill to others.

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Topics: sales planning, collaborative leadership, sales leadership, sales coaching

Identify An Opportunity

Posted by Kerstin Olson

January 9, 2013

This week we have talked with a number of sales leaders who seem to have an extra pep in their step. And why not – they have closed the books on their 4th quarter, spent some well-deserved time relaxing with their families during the holidays, and now, like countless others, they are looking for “resolutions” to become better people and professionals in 2013.  Will they? Possibly, but the cards are stacked against them. A study conducted by Richard Wiseman a few years back showed that New Year’s resolutions were destined to fail at a rate of 88%. Some of the reasons for this absurdly high failure rate according to Wiseman consisted of people making too many resolutions, not telling others their goals, and not putting enough thought into the change they truly wanted to commit to, amongst a few others.


Let’s focus on the first reason that Wiseman gives; making too many resolutions. To me, this makes perfect sense. If you are an executive sales leader this week, coming off of an extended vacation, you likely could sit down and identify a multitude of areas you would like yourself and your management team to improve this next year, but the problem is you are busy due to that same extended vacation and thinking about those opportunities for improvement can become overwhelming, especially given the hectic nature of you and your teams day to day responsibilities on the horizon. However, do  not let this overwhelming feeling stop you from taking the time to set at least one very important opportunity for development this next year. We see this best practice be very effective at the EcSELL Institute with our new members and it most always leads to more sales team performance. Below is a list of 5 proven methods our members have used to ensure personal development will take place this year.

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Topics: sales planning, sales leadership, professional development for sales management, Sales Management, professional development

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

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

You are Tomorrow What You Plan for Today. Sales Plans.

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

December 20, 2010

You are Tomorrow What You Plan for Today.

Tips for Sales Plans based on the book "Non-Harvard Business School Business Plan"

EcSELL Institute would like to thank our contributing author, Anthony Cole. Please enjoy this guest blog post! 

Our business is teaching all aspects of selling; sales management, sales training, sales development, sales techniques, sales plans.  Our business is selling. We sell every day, all day.  In this article I’m going to talk about business plans and sales plans, the first step toward sales success.

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Topics: sales planning, Planning, Sales Plans, Leadership & Management

Daniel Pink on "The Surprising Science of Motivation"

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

October 25, 2010

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward. Source: on YouTube
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Topics: sales planning, sales management research, compensation recognition rewards, Engagement, Planning, goals, sales coaching, sales management skills, coaching, Wisdom, Resources for sales managers, Strengths

Sales Compensation Plans, Step 3: Total Target Pay by Role

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

September 15, 2010

Sales Compensation Planning, Step 3: Select Total Target Pay by Sales Role


Guest Article for the EcSELL Institute by Bob Malandruccolo

The third step in designing sales compensation plans is selecting the Total Target Pay Level for each sales role. Common practices that impact this step are competitive pay analysis, sales compensation philosophy, attraction and retention and total reward strategy

In the Diagnostic phase of a sales compensation project, a competitive pay analysis is normally conducted. A competitive pay analysis compares base salaries and total cash compensation against actual pay values in the market. This would be an input into the Design Team, and they would use that information along with other insights to determine what the total target pay level should be for each sales role. The 50th and 90th percentiles data points are important and are used as inputs for the Design Team.  

Another common practice is that the sales compensation philosophy can direct the Design Team on this step. Many companies select the 50th percentile in the market as the total target pay level for a sales role. Some companies select the 60th percentile in the market and is based on company philosophy and other issues such as the size of talent pool in the market, what is the comparative performance levels among competitors, turnover, other specific or general economic factors.  

The next common practice is attraction and retention. If attraction and retention issues are not problematic, some companies tend to not rely heavily on market pricing.   In addition to pay, total reward strategy has an impact on total target pay level. Some companies have valued their total reward package and determined where they should select their total target pay levels.  

The main topic here has been competitive pay analysis. So I wonder how competitive is your competitive pay analysis? Do you regularly conduct a competitive pay analysis? Are your direct competitors included in the analysis?  

However, there is a caution on this analysis. Unless you have specific data from your competitors and that their specific sales roles are exactly the same as yours, the data is only as good as their sources. Competitive pay analysis can help by setting the relative direction for a Design Team, but it is not just the end all. Specific insight is needed from the Design Team in addition to market data.  

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Topics: sales producer, Best Practice, sales planning, compensation recognition rewards, Research, sales team, collaboration, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity

10 Steps of Sales Compensation Planning

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

September 3, 2010

10 Steps of Sales Compensation Planning

Guest Article by Bob Malandruccolo

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Topics: sales producer, Best Practice, sales planning, compensation recognition rewards, sales analytics & performance tracking, Sales Management, Resources for sales managers, sales performance

3 Most Important Words for Sales Success

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

August 24, 2010

3 Most Important Words for Sales Success

Guest Author, Paul McCord

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Topics: sales producer, sales planning, Planning, sales results, Sales Management, Wisdom, sales performance, time management

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