Another Connection Between Sales and Baseball

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 06, 2007 @ 23:09 PM

Seems like I'll never stop coming up with these connections.  Ever since I published Baseline Selling, I've been able to connect baseball to selling in so many new ways.  In tonight's game between the Red Sox and the Orioles I noticed that J.D. Drew, the Sox overpaid right fielder, left four more men on base.  For those who don't follow baseball, that means that he came to the plate with runners on base and failed to drive them in - again.  A guess.  He must lead the major leagues in runners left on base.  He is as frustrating to watch as Bob, the salesperson from my post last week.

Let's use the Visual Pipeline - suspects on the first base line, prospects on the base path between 1st and 2nd, qualified opportunities on the base paths between 2nd and 3rd and closable opportunities on the base path between 3rd and home. When Bob, or any salesperson, fails to drive in those opportunities by either not moving them forward, not closing them at the first closing opportunity or having them get picked off, he too is leaving opportunities on the bases.

What's the solution?  

During 2003-2006 there was probably nobody better at driving in runners than David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.  He lived for those situations, especially the pressure situations, late in the game, with a very close score.  He had a sense of urgency about the situation and just did what was needed.

Salespeople must have the same sense of urgency, the ability to sense that this is the only chance they're going to have to get that piece of business closed, or that account signed up, or that deal done.  And they have to execute. They can't be tentative, they can't let the prospect control it and they have to be aggressive.  It may be the only chance they'll get.

You have to make sure your salespeople are prepared for those situations.  Do you coach them so that when the opportunity presents itself they're able to capitalize on it?  That's the essence of your role as their sales manager!

© Copyright 2007 Objective Management Group, Inc. 

Topics: coaching, Baseline_Selling

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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