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SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE

INTEGRATED SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Improve Rep Performance


Through Coaching

© 2009 The Corporate Executive Board Company. This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive
All Rights Reserved. Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports
should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its
programs are responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation
made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
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The Corporate Executive Board Company has worked to ensure the accuracy of the
information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many
sources, however, and the Corporate Executive Board Company cannot guarantee the
accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Corporate Executive
Board Company is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services.
Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or
circumstances.
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© 2009 The Corporate Executive Board Company. This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales
All Rights Reserved. Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
Sales Executive Council Creative Solutions Group
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Note to Members Legal Caveat


This project was researched and written to fulfi ll the research requests of several members of the Corporate The Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members.
Executive Board and as a result may not satisfy the information needs of all member companies. The Corporate This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Sales Executive Council cannot
Executive Board encourages members who have additional questions about this topic to contact the Board guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Sales Executive Council
staff for further discussion. Descriptions or viewpoints contained herein regarding organizations profi led in is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed
this report do not necessarily reflect the policies or viewpoints of those organizations. as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are
advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
Confidentiality of Findings responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether
caused by the Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the
This document has been prepared by the Corporate Executive Board for the exclusive use of its members. It Sales Executive Council.
contains valuable proprietary information belonging to the Corporate Executive Board, and each member
should make it available only to those employees who require such access in order to learn from the material
provided herein and who undertake not to disclose it to third parties. In the event that you are unwilling to
assume this confidentiality obligation, please return this document and all copies in your possession promptly © 2008 Corporate Executive Board. All Rights Reserved.
to the Corporate Executive Board. This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
SEC1A37SEL
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive
Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports
should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its
programs are responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation
made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
On Common Ground
Clarifying Terms Is Essential to Achieving Coaching’s Full Range of Benefits

Definition of Coaching
1 2 3
“…ongoing…” “…dynamic…” “…job-embedded…”
Coaching is not a single event or even a series of Coaching evolves over Unlike training, coaching is integrated real
events, but a focused, continuous improvement time as coachee needs and time with day-to-day workflow and directly
effort. Coachees never “graduate.” sales situations change. relevant to actual business situations.

An ongoing and dynamic series of job-embedded interactions


Coaching
between a sales manager and his or her direct report, designed to diagnose
Managing and correct or reinforce behaviors specific to that individual

4 5 6
“…sales manager…” “…diagnose…specific to that individual.” “…behaviors…”
Training While managers may offload some Coaching is completely customized to the Coaching is primarily about the
coaching to others (e.g., specialists, peers), individual. It targets only relevant and pressing application, not the acquisition, of
they do not relinquish responsibility for needs and is tailored to coachee’s specific skills and knowledge. It is concerned
overall coachee development. personality. with doing, not simply knowing.

Just Informal Training?


While many refer to training as “formal” and coaching as “informal,” this distinction is neither helpful nor
accurate. Effective coaching will tend to be formal, highly structured, deliberate, and regularly scheduled. The
unique advantages of coaching stem from how it is tailored to the individual and delivered at the point of need.

Same Thing as Managing?


Coaching is one component of managing, but not the same thing; when this distinction is
blurred, managers often fail to look beyond the numbers, assuming that “parachuting” in to save
deals is as much coaching as developing reps to overcome challenges themselves.
This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
Source: Sales Executive Council research.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales
Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
4
Return on Coaching
Coaching Continues to Have a Big Impact on Sales Performance

Rep Percentage to Goal by Coaching Effectiveness


Something to Write Home About
2005

“Targeted rep coaching is the primary way we drive customer


engagement. We’ve seen average revenue per rep rise 25% as
105% a result.”
102% SVP, Sales
Financial Services Company

97%
“We first launched our coaching efforts in our inside sales
group and saw an immediate $90/hour ($3,600/week/rep)
impact.”
EVP, Sales and Operations
90% Hospitality Company

“Coaching is helping with retention. Manager quality scores


83% and financial results are up. We’ve seen roughly $90 million
in productivity gains so far.”
VP, Sales Strategic Planning
Pharmaceuticals Company

75% “We implemented a coaching program in large part to improve


High Medium Low forecasting accuracy; nine months after implementing
our program, we saw a 30 to 40% increase in forecasting
Coaching Effectiveness* accuracy, which equated to a significant cost savings for the
manufacturing and distribution organizations.”
Manager, Organizational
Teams that report receiving low-quality coaching are far more likely Development
to underperform than teams receiving high-quality coaching. Biotech Company

n = 2,600.

* As determined by each manager’s direct reports.


This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
Source: Sales Executive Council research.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales
Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
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Moving the Middle
Coaching Has the Greatest Performance Impact When Focused on the Core

Sales Performance by Coaching Effectiveness


2005

The middle 50% of each population shifts as follows:


50% ● ■

Improvement in Sales Performance


Depending on Coaching Effectiveness
Gap to Goal
● ■ ● ■

107%
+8%
99%
Proportion 30% ● ■ ● ■
of Reps
Population Scoring Population Scoring
Coaching Effectiveness Coaching Effectiveness
in the Bottom Third in the Top Third
Performance improvements are
● ■ ● ■
likely to be marginal at either end
of the performance spectrum.

● ■ ● ■
10%
0.0 0.5 1.0 Key Takeaway
Bottom 10% Median Top 10%
(Equivalent to < 60% of Goal) (Equivalent to ~100% of Goal) (Equivalent to > 140% Coach the core for performance
of Goal)
and the stars for retention.
Relative Sales Performance*

Population Scoring Coaching Effectiveness in the Bottom Third


Population Scoring Coaching Effectiveness in the Top Third

* To account for different distributions depending on sales context, gap-to-goal numbers were converted to deciles. Source: Sales Executive Council research.
This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales
Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
6
Watch Your Step
“Land Mines” on the Path to High-Quality Coaching

Misplaced Priorities Incapable Managers Insufficient Metrics


“We’ve been focusing on coaching for three years now, but “Our sales managers’ idea of coaching is to go in and close “We focus on time, but, recently, we asked reps and
honestly, I’m not sure managers are even finding time to the deal for the rep. They just don’t know any better.” managers how much coaching is happening, and there’s a
coach.” Global Sales Development Lead huge disconnect. Bad coaches estimate high, good coaches
Director, Sales Education Energy Company estimate low, and, in both cases, reps say the opposite. Reps
Computer Hardware Company just want better coaching.”
SVP, Client Services
Financial Services Company

Ensure Coach
Recognize Train Incumbents Provide Coaches
Create Sufficient and Coachee Measure and World-Class
Coaching in (and Precertify with Tools and
Time/Capacity for Share Common Reward High- Coaching
Is Key Lever to New Hires for) Guidance to Drive
Coaching Understanding Quality Coaching Program
Boost Performance Coaching Skills Coaching Sessions
of Coaching

Misaligned View of Coaching Poor Execution


“As we integrated our recent merger, we realized their “We end up focusing our coaching on our low performers
culture didn’t embrace coaching, and interactions with because they are easier to identify.”
managers weren’t value-added. Our guys want to coach, and Global Sales Director
the new reps (from the acquired company) just see it as Business Services Company
criticism.”
EVP, Sales and Service
Medical Products Distributor

This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
Source: Sales Executive Council research.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales
Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
7
Boosting Sales Coaching Quality
Aligning Coaching Strategy to Individual and Business Needs

I. II. III.
Establishing a No-Exceptions Limiting Coaching Sustaining Focus
Threshold of Coaching Skill to Highest-Value Activities on Coaching Quality

Upskilling Incumbent Managers Reinforcing High-Performance Behaviors Expanding Coaching Beyond the Line

#1 Closed-Loop Coaching Development Process #3 Stage-Aligned Coaching Road Maps #5 Multilevel Coaching Framework
A simulation-based training program, accompanied by tailored Process-embedded coaching guidelines help managers surface Quarterly coaching sessions extend up and down the
in-field coaching support, ensures baseline coaching capability immediate development needs in the context of opportunity organization, ensuring focused coaching at each level
in management force. management. and overall alignment with corporate strategy.
p. 24 p. 46 p. 66

Certifying Managers Focusing Coaching Creating


for Coaching Competence on Evolving Development Needs Accountability for Coaching

#2 Tiered Coaching Accreditation Program #4 Dynamic Coaching Content Toolkit #6 Senior Executive Assessment Panel
Managers are stratified by the level of demonstrated coaching A field-accessible coaching toolkit enables managers to efficiently Sales leadership panels conduct qualitative territory and team
proficiency and incentized to pursue ongoing improvement. and effectively diagnose rep capabilities, prioritize needs, and build development reviews with each FLSM, creating manager
customized coaching plans. accountability for executing thoughtful team coaching
strategies.
p. 35 p. 53 p. 79

Appendix
*

Message Secondary Coaching Precertification Stage-Aligned Root-Cause Coaching Training Reinforcement


Gatekeeper Team Coaching Protocols and Onboarding Coaching Road Maps Analysis Coaching Aids Tracking Record Framework

* Pseudonym.
This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales
Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are
responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.
8
SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE
INTEGRATED SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

For additional information or to review the presentation in its entirety, please contact us.

E-mail us at EXBD_Support_SMAC@executiveboard.com

Call us at +1-866-913-6451

Or visit us online at www.sec.executiveboard.com

© 2009 The Corporate Executive Board Company. This document may not be reproduced or redistributed without the expressed permission of the Corporate Executive Board Company.
The Integrated Sales Executive Council has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. This report relies upon data obtained from many sources, however, and the Integrated Sales Executive
All Rights Reserved. Council cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. Furthermore, the Integrated Sales Executive Council is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Its reports
should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Neither the Corporate Executive Board nor its
programs are responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in their reports, whether caused by the Integrated Sales Executive Council or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation
made by the Integrated Sales Executive Council.