By Joe O’Neill – As an avid baseball fan, specifically of the Blue Jays, I was impressed this past season as I watched the organization execute their strategy to build a winning team. It’s a fiercely competitive and unforgiving league…much like you face everyday in your business.
If you are looking to build a championship sales team, there’s a lot to learn from how The Jays are going about achieving their objective even though they aren’t quite there yet:
- Every successful team starts with a good coach. If you are in charge of the sales function, make sure that coaching your team is a big part of your day. If your team is larger, then you need to have a sales manager who regards coaching as a key element to managing their team and sees the benefit of being a good one.
- Identify salespeople who have the personality to thrive in a high-pressure sales environment. It’s not for everyone. Finding the right people is a huge advantage as you develop the team. Many of our clients use Prevue to assist them to identify optimal candidates.
- Make sure you understand the roles you need to be successful. Do you only need “Hunters”? Likely you need a roster of “Keepers” as well, to cultivate high quality sales among your customer base. The Jays can score tons of runs, but if they can’t play competent defence, they won’t win.
- Build confidence! You’ve identified the best people. Train them! The Jays young talent is outstanding. But to win in their league they have to train those players to perform at an even higher level. They can’t win on talent alone. Like baseball, selling is a highly technical skill requiring consistency in execution. Give your team every chance to win.
- Breakdown the objectives into achievable, measurable, and meaningful pieces. As my colleague Kristina Schmitt noted in a recent TAC blog post, “goals need to be tangible and measurable to be achieved.” Start with winning more than you lose. Build on that and eventually, you’ll win consistently.
- Recognize and celebrate the achievement, individually or as a team, of an agreed upon goal. Find creative and fun ways to do this, like the Blue Jays “Home Run Jacket.” I had a client who rang a massive ship’s bell in the office every time they made a sale anywhere in the world.
There’s no feeling like being on a winning team!