June 1, 2017

4 Tips from the MLB to Ensure Your Sales Team Doesn’t Swing and Miss

Sales Management Lessons Taken From The MLB

Spring is one of the best seasons in the Northeast and not just because the weather is warming up. With spring comes the start of the Major-League Baseball season. Ask any Redsox fan from Boston, and they will tell you there is nothing better than going to Fenway Park to catch a game and singing Sweet Caroline during the seventh inning stretch.

As it turns out, sales managers can learn a few lessons from America’s favorite past time and apply that knowledge to set their sales teams up for success.

The Secret To Turning Ordinary Sales Reps Into Sales All-Stars!

Every team has a bona fide superstar. Whether it’s Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox or Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, some standouts play an integral role in the overall success of their team. What makes these players great is their ability to rise to any challenge.

Behind every great player is a standout manager who knows how to get the most out of every player on the team. They know what it takes to turn good players into great players and how to maximize every team member’s potential to win games.

Great managers know their player’s strengths and weaknesses and coach them to become better ball players.

This same logic can be said for managing a sales team. Every sales team has that one rep who exceeds his or her monthly goal while others may struggle to stay afloat and it is the sales managers job to provide the coaching and guidance to each rep to help them succeed.

Whether you manage a baseball team or a sales team, there are plenty of tools available to help you to achieve your goals. Both need some form of intelligence though.

4 Sales Management Lessons Managers Can Learn From The Top MLB Coaches To Drive Sales.

1. Continually evaluate your players

Every team has its mix of veterans and rookies, all-stars and underperformers. One thing that’s certain is that athletes and sales reps alike are extremely competitive by nature and want to be the best.

Using sales intelligence, managers can target specific behaviors to performance benchmarks and then automatically record them.

There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.- Tommy Lasorda

You will be able to identify trends and outcomes and see what your best reps are doing and compare their activity to that of your more inexperienced staff to see where the holes are.

Maybe it’s an easy fix like telling a rep to make more calls between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. because you have the data the proves more calls convert during those times.

Other times, you may notice a rep veering off-script. Speech analytics can help you dig deeper into conversational insights that include keywords and emotion detectors to help managers understand behaviors that lead to success or disappointment.

2. Know what your team is doing when they’re not at the office

During the off-season, professional baseball players are still on the job. Even though they are not on the field, that doesn’t stop coaches from checking in to make sure they’re still following their nutritional and training regimens.

It’s essential to performance that players keep up to the standards set by the team, and any player who doesn’t will likely get an earful from the coach — not to mention a more watchful eye.

With more teams becoming remote, it’s a challenge for sales managers to keep track of their team’s call activity but it’s just as critical to a team’s success to have this visibility into what their reps are doing.

Sales intelligence makes that easier than ever. Since certain tools automatically enter the data from every agent’s calls for a manager to track and no longer have to rely on manually generated reports from the individual.

By having an automated process, the data is 100% accurate. Now you know, without a doubt, if your player was eating grilled chicken and veggies or a Whopper for dinner, and you can manage accordingly decide to bench them or not.

3. Make adjustments

On the diamond, even the best coaches are blindsided by plays they didn’t see coming; it’s part of the game. That’s why the best coaches are those who can act quickly and adjust their strategy accordingly.

We’ve got to use every piece of data and piece of information, and hopefully, that will help us be accurate with our player evaluation. For us, that’s our life blood. – Billy Beane

In sales, if you notice a trend of prospects becoming agitated and hanging up when they hear the word “fee,” but they have a different reaction to the word “charge” and continue listening to the rep, you’ll likely change the script, won’t you?

4. Don’t be afraid to dip into your bag of tricks

Sales intelligence can be the secret weapon in your arsenal. Use it to your advantage in every way possible.

If your sales team is averaging three calls per prospect before giving up, but your sales intelligence data shows that your top-performing reps have been increasingly closing deals after seven calls, why wouldn’t you apply that to your sales strategy?

Set that standard across your entire sales organization, and win those big contracts over your competitors. This is the type of information that gives you a leg up on everyone else.

Is Sales Intelligence The Key To Sales Success? The Answer Is Yes!

Sales Performance data also gives you more opportunity to reward your team and keep them sticking to the standards you set. Instead of basing incentives purely on revenue, you can reward smaller goals like calls per lead and appointments set along the way to get your team in the habit of performing to the benchmarks that are proven to work.

As they say, the devil is in the details. Do you think there’s any detail out there that Joe Torre would have overlooked during preparation? Absolutely not.

So why would sales managers skim over anything?