4 Steps to Achieving High Performance Sales

Sales Coaching Can Teach Employees How To Be Top Performers

Sometime last week I had the honor to learn from Bill Eckstrom, President and founder of the EcSell Institute – a business whose mission is to impact performance of sales departments by increasing quality of sales coaching. Bill came all the way from Nebraska to Link’s headquarters in Houston, TX, to share with us his knowledge and wisdom to help us achieve high performance sales, and impact businesses in a positive way, with employee satisfaction and solutions to sales departments. Bill teaches us that, before understanding how to coach, we must first learn why coaching is important and what coaching is.

Why coaching?

  • 65% of workers surveyed said they would rather have a new boss—versus an increase in pay
  • 80% of existing managers do not have the talent or skills to maximize the performance of their team
  • Only 19% of millennials receive routine feedback. Only 17% claim feedback to be meaningful
  • 30% of managers are de-motivating their teams – meaning the team would sell more without them

Data collected from Bill’s research shows that there is room for growth in employee satisfaction and how these employees are being led / coached.

What is coaching?

The act of coaching can be defined as to “Develop processes, relationships, and grow experiences to maximize individual and team performance.”

But what does this mean? Bill explained in a simple way, with a formula to success.


P = D (M + L + C)


Performance = Development x (Management + Leadership + Catalyst)


Let me explain.


Management is the set of tools that we (coaches) put in place to enable people to operate efficiently. Examples of these tools could be hours of operations, dress code, numeric goals, reports, deadlines, and so on. Management is the foundation of growth that will lead to predictable outcomes and consistent outputs. Without management, we go into chaos.

Leadership is establishing collaborative relationships to influence and create positive change. An effective leader will create a relationship with his/her team. A relationship leads to trust. A trusting relationship leads to collaboration and collective wisdom (or as I like to call it, brainstorming). When you get people engaged, ideas start flowing, culture is effective, and the outcomes are positive.

A Catalyst effect is change. Something that gets things going. In chemistry, a catalyst is added to speed up a reaction. In business too. When you add a catalyst to your company or team, the goal is to change the way things are done, for better or for worse. An example of a catalyst would be hiring a Millennial – with no experience but fresh ideas that will get your team uncomfortable but out of their comfort zone.  If your team always does things the way they used to do, first there is a plateau, and then you start seeing the decline.

Alone, these 3 components are not effective and will not yield the outstanding results. It is the combination of them that makes a High Performance Coach, vs an average one.  Combine them with Development (continuously being able to learn, develop, change and see different perspectives), will yield outstanding performance from your sales team.

Developing High Performers With Sales Coaching Isn’t An Exact Science

It is important to note that the high performance zone is complex and somewhat unpredictable. When you change an input / order, we are wishing for an outcome that may or may not happen. This is where growth lives – in the complexity of coaching.

How To Achieve High Performance Sales In 4 Steps

  1. Measure / assess the quality of current coaching
  2. Educate and train your coaches
  3. Implement (note that coaching is an evolution & not a revolution)
  4. Track, analyze and change

Helpful Activities For Sales Coaching

  • 1-on-1 meetings (regularly, scheduled, and planned)
  • Joint-call plans
  • Sales call evaluations
  • Team meetings
  • Career development discussions

Bill is an incredibly reachable person – I am sure he would love to hear from you and your thoughts on his work. You can reach him through his LinkedIn profile or filling out this form.

You can also learn more about EcSell’s research and findings by downloading this Sales Coaching E-Book