Why Coaching is Critical w/ Bill Eckstrom & Sarah Wirth [Episode 728]

Bill Eckstrom, Founder and President of EcSell Institute and Sarah Wirth, VP of Client Services, who are the co-authors of The Coaching Effect: What Great Leaders Do to Increase Sales, Enhance Performance, and Sustain Growth, join me on this episode.


  • Bill and Sarah share how they came to write this book, based on their work together at EcSell Institute. Bill quietly submitted a draft for a book to a publisher. It was accepted; then they had to get to work finishing it!
  • Texting is no substitute for a one-on-one or a ride-along. The rate of attrition in sales is increasing. Managers that were formerly sales reps need to learn how to coach.
  • Your team leaves because you don’t invest in them. One-on-one meetings work if you do them well. Develop your individuals. Sarah explains coaching for order, relationships, and complexity. Bill discusses data.
  • How strong are the relationships between the manager and the sales reps? Andy spells out his POPE time allocation method for managers. Process — 40%, Opportunity — 30%, People — 20%, Educating — 10%.
  • Coaching has the strongest correlation with growing sales. To grow sales, help your team to grow skills.
  • You only succeed when your people succeed. If you don’t have the time, tools, or training, do the best coaching you can until you have the time, tools, and training.
  • Do you have any idea how your behaviors and activities are impacting your team? What can you change for them to help them succeed? Fewer than 50% of reps attain quota. Are quotas obsolete? Andy discusses productivity.
  • Many sales managers wish they were sales reps. They don’t fit their role. Bill suggests putting those managers in the field and replacing the manager role with a sales help desk. Selling and leading are separate and different skills.
  • A promotion to Sales Manager is not about money or prestige but serving. Coaches, managers, and leaders need to help their teams know their strengths. Management is not the right role for everyone.
  • What was your motivation to become a manager? Was it for your growth or to help others? Were you just tired of selling? You won’t be a good sales manager if you don’t love both selling and coaching.
  • A team’s discretionary effort (or the willingness to work harder and do more) comes through the quality of coaching they receive. Sarah explains order, accountability, and complexity.
  • Relationship-building and the desire to help people in their goals are attributes that serve you both in sales and management. Ask the Navy SEALS about building trust!