The Winner's Playbook

The Winner’s Playbook

Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

“We do one thing right in this country: the NCAA tournament. It is, from start to finish, the best sporting event in America.” – Mark Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated

With 68 teams, over 1000 players, and 98 referees, March Madness takes a significant amount of time and energy to plan and execute. The tournament is successfully executed every year because the coaches, players and referees each work hard to successfully perform their respective duties. Coaches lead their teams effectively in order to win, players work hard to achieve recognition for their team, and referees manage the games to create a successful and well-spirited event. Coaches head teams similar to how sales managers lead their teams by effectively aligning sales reps and territories. Just as players work hard to achieve recognition, sales reps work hard to meet and exceed their incentive compensation plan. Like referees managing and regulating March Madness, sales managers establish quotas to increase revenue for the company. This month, while you watch March Madness, think about how this sport’s philosophies impact your business in a similar way.

Lead your team effectively to win it all

In order for a team to win, it needs to have participants developing, directing, and delegating consistently (Forbes). Coaches know that teams perform better when each player understands their particular role as well as the roles of their teammates. Because of this, coaches speak to their teams as a whole instead of individuals. Similar to athletic coaches, sales managers need to ensure that their team understands everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Correctly aligned territories spread high potential opportunities equally among reps and eliminate wasted time and resources. With a territory management system, managers can delegate responsibilities to ensure that everyone knows their role and is working in sync with the rest of the team to achieve the best results.

Work hard to get rewarded

Whether an athlete or a sales rep, everyone wants to be a top contributor to their team. This desire is often driven by incentives of recognition, money and success. With an intelligent incentive compensation plan, managers can select the best method to maximize their team’s performance. In some cases, incentives can be assigned to an individual rep or player, but ultimately, a team’s performance is only as strong as its weakest link. Often it is better for a sales manager to incentivize individuals based on the performance of the entire team or company to ensure the best overall performance. With continuous incentives and motivation, managers can push their team to perform to their highest potential.

Manage the game to achieve success

Basketball leagues use foul quotas as one of the tools for evaluating performance, according to the NBA's Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson. The point of these quotas is to “improve the flow of the game” (WSJ). Just like referees manage the quotas of player fouls in a game, sales managers manage sales quotas to improve overall business performance. Establishing quotas and requiring teams to attain quota is an easy way to monitor achievement of the organization and determine who is a large contributor of success.

With territory, incentive, and quota management capabilities, organizations can run as smoothly as the NCAA basketball tournament. This year, as you fill out your brackets and watch March Madness, remember that with strong leadership, hard work, and effective management, your sales organization can have the same success as the skilled coaches, players and referees.

Want to find out more about how your sales organization can work and perform like top basketball teams? Join us in our Winning Team webcast on March 8th at 10am PST, 1pm EST. Register here today!

Sources

Sports Illustrated

Forbes

Wall Street Journal

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