Evaluating the Application of Coaching at Frontier Manufacturing

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Step 1: Administering and Analyzing the Written Survey

About two weeks before the Hitting the Mark session, the HR VP

e-mailed the survey questionnaire to the 12 RSMs. Figure 13.1 presents

the survey. All surveys were returned and analyzed. Table 13.1

presents the tabulated results of the survey. Before we examine the

results, there are a few technical points to be made:

1. The first item captures examples of what the RSMs are doing

differently as a result of their coaching. Each RSM mentioned

at least one of the four statements in his or her survey. There

were many other examples of application, but these were not

included in the data summary sheet.

2. The “yes” responses in item 2 show the percentage of respondents

who agreed that their coaching improved effectiveness

in each of the three categories mentioned (e.g., self, team, and

organization).

3. All of the percentages in Table 13.1 are based on all 12 respondents.

In this way, all percentages are comparable. So, for

What Are Leaders Doing Differently? 241

Figure 13.1 Hitting the Mark Quick Wins Score Sheet.

Name: ______________________________

Please take five minutes to respond to the following questions in preparation for the oneday

Hitting the Mark follow-up session. In addition to helping you prepare for this session,

your responses will help us to better learn from your experiences and ultimately achieve

more as a sales team. Please forward your completed worksheet to human resources at

least one week prior to your scheduled one-day follow-up session. Thank you!

1. What are you doing differently as a result of what you have learned from your

coaching?

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

2. Have these actions and what you learned from coaching improved:

a. Your effectiveness as an RSM? Yes _________ No _________

b. Your team’s effectiveness? Yes _________ No _________

c. Your organization’s performance? Yes _________ No _________

3. For each “Yes” answer above, please complete the appropriate set of questions on

the following two pages (e.g., a, b, and/or c):

a. What do you think was the impact of improving your effectiveness as an RSM?:

i. Increased your productivity _________

ii. Increased employee engagement _________

iii. Improved quality of your work _________

iv. Improved decision making _________

v. Increased clarity about priorities _________

vi. Reduced cost _________

vii. Reduced the time to complete project _________

viii. Other: ___________________________ _________

Please describe an example of how you improved you effectiveness as an RSM:

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

What Are Leaders Doing Differently? 243

Figure 13.1 Continued

b. What was the impact of improving your team’s effectiveness:

i. Increased productivity of your team _________

ii. Increased team’s engagement level _________

iii. Increased team’s level of prospecting _________

iv. Increased team’s collaboration _________

v. Improved team’ communications _________

vi. Improved quality of the team’s work _________

vii. Reduced cost of the team’s operations _________

viii. Other: ___________________________ _________

Please describe an example of how you improved your team’s effectiveness:

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

c. What was the impact of improving your organization’s performance:

i. Increased employee engagement _________

ii. Increased sales _________

iii. Increased results of prospect calls _________

iv. Increased productivity of organization _________

v. Increased customer satisfaction _________

vi. Reduced cost _________

vii. Other: _________

Please describe an example of how you improved your organization’s performance:

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

4. What other benefits have you personally, your team, and/or the organization realized

so far from the coaching?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Thank you for completing this survey! We will share the group results with you in the

Hitting the Mark session.

Table 13.1 Summary of Application Data From Frontier Manufacturing

Hitting the Mark Quick Wins Score Sheet Summary

1. What are you doing differently as a result of the coaching (examples)?

_ Conducting sales team meetings more effectively (5)

_ I spend more time with the sales reps on customer calls (4)

_ Posting individual and/or team sales performance metrics (3)

_ Implemented a new sales opportunity ranking process (2)

Yes No

2a. Did these actions improve your effectiveness as an RSM? 92% 8%

2b. Did these actions improve your team’s effectiveness? 83% 17%

2c. Did these actions improve your organization’s performance? 58% 42%

3a: Your effectiveness as an RSM (percent selected item)?

Increased your productivity? 33%

Increased employee engagement? 83% YES

Improved the quality of your work? 42%

Improved decision making? 75% YES

Increased clarity about priorities? 75% YES

Reduced cost? 0%

3b. Your team’s effectiveness?

Increased productivity of your team? 50% YES

Increased team’s engagement level? 75% YES

Increased team’s level of prospecting? 25%

Increased team’s collaboration? 67% YES

Improved team’s communication? 75% YES

Improved the quality of team’s work? 25%

Reduced cost of the team’s operations? 8%

3c. Your organization’s performance?

Increased employee engagement? 50% YES

Increased sales? 25%

Increased results of prospect calls? 33%

Increased productivity of organization? 25%

Increased customer satisfaction? 50% YES

Reduced cost? 8%

example, under 3a, 33 percent (or four respondents) indicated

that the coaching increased their personal productivity, while,

under 3b, 50 percent (or six respondents) indicated that coaching

increased the productivity of their teams. This also means

that the percentages listed in 3a each must be lower than the

percentage value (e.g., 92%) presented in item 2a. Likewise, the

percentage values in 3c all must be lower than the 58 percent

value in 2c because only those respondents who said yes to 2c

went on to address the items in 3c.

What do these results say about the coaching initiative at Frontier?

First, as illustrated in Question 1 in Table 13.1, all respondents

stated that the coaching positively impacted their behavior (note

that respondents could state more than one category). Whether it

was conducting sales meetings more effectively (5), spending more

time with the salespeople (4) posting performance metrics (3), or

implementing new processes (2), the RSMs took a series of actions

to improve performance. These actions improved performance

across a wide spectrum of the organization. All but one RSM

improved personal effectiveness (e.g., the 8% “no” for item 2a) and

all but two improved team effectiveness (83%). Seven RSMs believed

that their coaching positively impacted the overall performance of

the organization (58%).

The increase in personal effectiveness created many benefits.

More than 75 percent of the RSMs cited increases in employee engagement,

clarity about priorities, and improved decision making.

Team effectiveness was boosted by increased engagement, collaboration,

and communications. Clearly, coaching had a big impact on

the RSMs and enabled them to achieve far more than would have

been possible without coaching. The attention now shifts to sustaining

these gains and continuing to build on the momentum that

has been established. There is more work to be done. Coaching did

wonders for improving people management and engagement, but

revenue generation seemed to be lagging.

Four questions emerged from the data analysis that warranted

further investigation. It was hoped that the answers to these

What Are Leaders Doing Differently? 245

questions would unlock the secrets to increasing revenue. These

questions would be brought to the upcoming session for the RSMs

to deliberate. Collectively, in a collaborative atmosphere, the RSMs

could come up with strategies about how best to move forward. Each

question related to one or both of the original initiative objectives:

improving people management and increasing prospecting calls.

These questions (with the relevant initiative objective in parentheses)

were as follows:

1. What does higher engagement levels of the salespeople look

like, and how can we better manage our people to continue

this momentum (people management)?

2. What best practices can we share about leading our respective

sales teams, especially in the areas of people management and

prospecting (both objectives)?

3. Why does the impact of coaching on increasing sales seem to

be lagging (sales)?

4. What can we do to accelerate the impact on the organization,

especially to increase sales (sales)?

Step 2: Conducting the Hitting the Mark Session

Armed with these four focusing questions, the HR VP developed the

one-hour agenda for the Hitting the Mark session. The objectives

for this session were to:

1. Share ideas, perspectives, and best practices about effectively

managing people and increasing sales through prospecting

2. Agree on a plan of action to continue momentum

The agenda is presented in Table 13.2, which used the survey data

as a platform to encourage dialogue and information sharing. Each

focusing question guided the dialogue of the 12 RSMs to explore key

areas that emerged from the survey. Some of the major findings from

the session included the following:

_ Coaching was highly effective in enabling the RSMs to seek

their own solutions to improving how they managed people.

_ Immediate gains were realized in improving decision making,

setting priorities, and engaging their teams to achieve these

priorities.

_ Although prospecting calls had increased, the lead times were

too long for these prospects to be converted to customers and

to show up as increased revenue.

_ RSMs agreed that they needed to do more to coach their salespeople

on conversion strategies to accelerate the revenue

increase.