Sales Coaching by Benedict

Sales Success with Clear Structures and with Heart

by Karl Herndl (Author)
©2014 Monographs 168 Pages


The starting point for this book was the author’s experience that much of what happens in sales happens randomly and incidentally. While searching for a proven structure he discovered the Rule of St Benedict, and transferred the content of these rules to sales. At first glance the undertaking seems a little ambitious, but it does succeed in delivering convincing results and practical benefits for the streamlining of sales processes. The central chapter of the book offers a sales structure which can be easily adapted for sales in all sectors.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Preface by Dr. Notker Wolf
  • Contents
  • Chapter 1: The Starting Point
  • Sales: an exciting challenge
  • How things stand
  • Lack of Organisation becomes a problem
  • Searching for Order and Organisation
  • The breakdown of society is reflected in sales
  • Attempted solutions that come to nothing
  • Sales success with humanity and Order
  • Order and Organisation
  • The pattern of Order
  • Chapter 2: My own pilgrimage
  • In the beginning there was longing
  • Withdrawal
  • A new path begins
  • On the way to becoming an expert in sales
  • Management in sales
  • The 15-minute target discussion
  • Management and sales through the power of Organisation
  • Chapter 3: Benedict of Nursia
  • Introduction
  • Phases in Benedict’s life
  • Chapter 4: The Benedictine Monks
  • In the beginning there was longing
  • The Order comes into being
  • The model: Ora et labora et lege
  • The vows
  • The organisation
  • The daily routine
  • Learning from one another
  • Chapter 5: The Rule of St Benedict
  • The origins
  • The Benedictine Rules in detail
  • The spreading of the Rule of St Benedict
  • Sales Coaching by Benedict
  • Chapter 6: Order and Organisation in sales
  • Why do we need Order and Organisation?
  • The principle
  • The person in focus
  • Entrepreneurs within a business
  • Sales structures
  • The salesperson
  • The Order of selling
  • Making an appointment
  • The sales meeting
  • The manager
  • The Order of management
  • Topics and questions in the management process
  • Team meeting
  • The Order for taking on new employees
  • Choice of employee
  • Training
  • The Order of the working week
  • The sales manager’s working week
  • Incentives
  • Controlling
  • Best Practice
  • Chapter 7: At the Benedictine Headquarters
  • The approach
  • Consolidation
  • The connection
  • References
  • For use of this Book – Legal Notice
  • The Author

Chapter 1: The Starting Point

Sales: an exciting challenge

Work in sales is one of the most exciting challenges in professional life. In no other sector can earnings be so strongly self-determined through hard work and good work as in sales. You are confronted with new challenges daily, meet many people and can make progress on a daily basis.

Salespeople in the field these days usually work as independent entrepreneurs, but using the know-how, the products and the infrastructure of a company. For this they pledge to work exclusively for that company.

In the last few years and decades many people in this sector have built up a stable existence, they have advised many customers in all possible walks of life and found ways to make people buy. Business has sometimes been better, sometimes worse, but in general a hard-working salesperson could achieve a good income.

Large sales structures emerged and offered salespeople a home. It still happens these days that salespeople work their whole life for the same firm and therefore feel a strong emotional attachment to it. So sales businesses can mostly count on a large number of reliable employees and organise their planning accordingly.

Up until a few years ago businesses made a big effort to bind employees. There were numerous incentives and rewards for exceptional performance, competitions and large events at which the entire sales power of the business could be felt.

Leadership was mostly by motivation. Anyone who was particularly good made it up onto the stage, and whoever didn’t make it aimed to be up there next time. Executives were close to the people, things were done together and it was important to produce a good atmosphere within the team.

This all went well for years. With the economic crisis in 2008, however, the general conditions changed quite dramatically. Successful salespeople ← 11 | 12 → suddenly realised that they were now in a completely new situation. And the companies weren’t exactly sure either, initially, how they should cope with the changes. However, the economic crisis was only a torch that shone a light on a problem that had been there for years, but up until then had been covered up by dedication and hard work: disorganised working practices.

A salesperson’s job was basically always a job that “one could just do”. A good approach to the job and a basic sales technique were enough for success. “Flexible time management” presented a major challenge to a salesperson’s discipline and often tempted them to spend a day without any definite plans. However, business was good, and there was neither need for action nor a reason to think about structure in sales. Most salespersons would probably not have liked it if a business manager had got too involved in their daily routine. After all, they were independent or had chosen sales because they wanted to be a bit more independent, and knew themselves how it worked best.

Of course, there were the managers too. The salespeople were assigned to them, and they worked together as a team. “Real” leadership with clearly defined processes didn’t, however, take place. Fear of conflict with independent salespeople was too high. They restricted themselves to accompanying and supporting and to professional input. To be fair it has to be said that the managers we are talking about were rarely trained for a managerial position. Often the best salesperson was given the position of manager, and it was assumed that their example would reflect on the others. That was true in some places but in general, specific “support and challenge” managerial work was in short supply.

When the economy started to destabilise, the sales structures also started to spin. Suddenly something had to be done. Production stagnated and profits shrank. Now action had to be taken. And this is exactly where we find ourselves today. In many businesses we can see (re-)action, which can change the course to a greater or lesser degree. In any event, something is going on in sales and managers are desperately looking for solutions. This actual situation gives businesses a big chance to start afresh and to establish some structure in the managerial and sales routines. Well set-up sales will be successful in difficult times too, because the answer to structural changes can grow from a ← 12 | 13 → solid foundation. It is, however, necessary before we take action, to thoroughly analyse the situation, so that the right steps can be taken. And we have to think that we have to take the employees with us, in whichever direction we go.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2014 (June)
Leadership Personalmanagement Personalverwaltung Sales coaching Rule of St Benedict
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 168 pp., 1 b/w fig.

Biographical notes

Karl Herndl (Author)

Karl Herndl is a self-employed management trainer and coach and the author of several books about sales.


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170 pages