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How Coaching Drives Sales Success w/ Bill Eckstrom [Episode 625]

Bill Eckstrom, President of EcSell Institute, joins me on this episode.


  • Bill says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is poor coaching from leaders. Research says 30% of sales managers unknowingly block team performance.
  • Bill defines coaching as creating processes, relationships, and growth experiences. Coaching includes management, leadership, and individual development.
  • The economic value of a manager is how much more their team sells with the manager in the role. The coach’s role is to drive the differential — or discretionary effort — from the people on their team.
  • The discretionary effort is measured by the quantity and quality of coaching. By measuring a coach’s activities through the responses of the team, you can correlate coaching activities and behaviors to team performance.
  • Bill lists five primary and key coaching activities.
  • There are a quantity component and a quality component for each of the high-payoff coaching activities. Bill gives a case study of a company where half of the managers increased their coaching quality and half of them did not.
  • Organizations track their reps’ activities but very rarely do they track their coaches’ activities. Most companies do not invest in training for sales managers. Most sales managers don’t ask for training.
  • Every level of leadership needs a coach. At what moment do you become a finished product? Coach Vince Lombardi’s quotes are on development, not tactics.
  • Employees and reps model how they treat their customers on how management treats the employees. Organizations need to measure and quantify their managerial coaching behaviors to avoid bad outcomes.
  • It is fruitless to try to become customer-centric if your company treats employees badly. Bill and Andy point out two specific companies as examples of poor customer experience, presumably because of poor coaching.
  • Sports teams win or lose by their coaching. This also holds true in business. We should invest in managers and senior managers so they can coach their teams. Lacking that, seek development through reading and programs.
  • Great coaches see within individuals things they haven’t yet seen about themselves and they ignite those things. Author Peter Jensen calls this developmental bias.