March 28th, 2011
NCAA Sales Management: Developing Winning Sales Strategy
Last week it was about golf and putting, this week after indulging in men’s and woman’s NCAA games all weekend it’s all about strategy.
In my view there are several levels of strategy to consider. First, putting the right players on the floor to match up against the competition is key, and is the reason my first book was written: Hiring High Performance Sales Teams. Without talent, you have not chance to win. The good basketball teams are deep with talent and can go “large or they can small and fast” or they can focus on defense as well as offense. Assessing and developing talent is what coaching is all about, watch the Final Four’s next week and evaluate your team and its ability to win. Are you accepting weak players or can your team push through the tough times and score. I stress that recruiting is the most important job for sales management, build a continuous hiring program to find top talent.
Secondly, strategy and execution during the sale or game time must be brilliant! This is where from a sales strategy your value proposition must sold, your prospect relationship developed and where you must out maneuver the competition. If they come out man-to-man or in zone defense can your salespeople adapt, if a full court press stresses out your team, can they break it with quick passes and move down the court for an easy layup? Do you have them trained well enough to react to the situation and not simply lose the sale or give up a turnover? During this phase Sales Managers also must coach. This is when your experience and creativity must take over by providing advice, insights and hopefully the right tactics to assist your sales team during this phase. If you would like Acumen’s four page Sales Strategy Guide, send me an email: Ken@AcumenMgmt.com We use it with our clients during their pipeline review and sales strategy meetings.
The third phase of strategy is the last two minutes. During the sales process this could occur during the last week or two when everything is on the line. The prospect could be confused, undecided or leaning towards your competition; what play would you call? Would you camp out at the prospects office? Have your president call their president? Drop your price? The best coaches in the NCAA would call a time out and make sure the next two plays are drawn out, ensure everyone understands whom to foul, how many timeouts are still available and who should take the last shot… Those situations are actually rehearsed during normal practice times; nothing is left for chance when the game is on the line. Do you have your sales training plans designed for a rolling 90 days with all aspects of sales strategies built in? The best sales managers do!
OK, I promise next week, I won’t use a sport’s analogy in my blog, but team work, practice, selection and development will win the 2011 NCAA Final Four.
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!