The “6 P’s of Sales Acceleration” gives any team, on the field or in the office, a big advantage. I always enjoy the playoff season, when an entire season comes down to one game. The first two weeks of the NFL playoffs proved that winning when the stakes are high is never easy. Nearly every game was a hard fought battle to the end. Turns out, the attributes needed to win a championship, aren’t that different than winning a big sale.
Follow the “6 P’s of Sales Acceleration”
Sales Acceleration “P” #1 – Prospecting
When I think about prospecting and sports analogies, what immediately comes to mind is a team at a disadvantage. The Steelers went into the second week of the playoffs without their All-Pro receiver, Antonio Brown, with a quarterback that had to receive a pain shot in his shoulder before heading onto the field, and with 40% of their starting offensive line on the injury list. Unless you are Microsoft or Salesforce, you are at a similar disadvantage when it comes to prospecting, and have to get creative to win. Those companies that do their research and focus their efforts in the areas where they have the best market fit based on a unique solution set will win, even against the biggest competitors in their market. As Aaron Ross says, you need to find the markets where you are a need-to-have rather than a nice-to-have.
Sales Acceleration “P” #2 – Promptness
Quarterbacks like Tom Brady have to be even quicker to get the pass off given injuries on their offensive line this playoff season. In fact, one second can make the difference between a 20 yard gain and a sack in the backfield. Similarly in sales, if your competitor makes the call to the prospect before you, your chances of winning the sale go down dramatically. So be quick to make a call to a new prospect. In fact, research shows that calling a prospect within two minutes can increase your chances of winning the sale by 160%.
Sales Acceleration “P” #3 – Prioritization
Prioritization – Most NFL teams have a few super stars on their roster, but a good coach is on a constant quest to identify and maximize the uniqueness of each player. These coaches don’t just put the same A-team on the field every play, they consider multiple situational elements in the game and play the right players at the right times. Similarly in sales, prioritization is about reading all signals to filter the “tire kickers” from the ready buyers, and get the right opportunities, to the right reps, at the right time.
Sales Acceleration “P” #4 – Persistence
In sports, just like in sales, you have to have amnesia – shacking off any bad plays or fumbles and persisting. The Cincinnati vs. Steelers week one game of the playoffs is a perfect example. When the momentum turned to the home-field Bengals who came back taking a 16-15 lead late in the fourth quarter, many had written off the Steelers season. And no one made that clearer than Vontaze Burfict, defensive linebacker who sprinted to the locker room after an interception with 1:37 left in the game. But despite all odds, the Steelers came back to win the game 18-15. Why, because they persisted at a time when other teams may have admitted defeat, forcing a turnover and driving their offense into field goal range. Similarly in sales, if you don’t connect with a prospect on the first call, keep following up. You’ll gain an advantage as your competitors give up.
Sales Acceleration “P” #5 – Performance
Performance – Perhaps one of the most talked about plays in the NFL of late is the one yard line interception thrown by the Seahawks in Super Bowl 49. Many viewers reaction was, “Why wouldn’t you give the ball to Marshawn Lynch, the number one running back in the NFL?” Similar with sales acceleration, it’s important to make sure the right sales opportunities are going to the reps most likely to convert them.
Sales Acceleration “P” #6 – Process
Process – Whether you are playing in the playoffs or the regular season it’s important that each player is focused on what needs to be done to win the game. Championship teams play with focus on the task at hand and have faith in their teammates and the bigger game plan set out by their coaches. Top sales teams do the same, they keep their reps focused on what they need to do to make their individual quota. They do this by having a strong “game plan” aka – well-defined sales process and role clarity.Sales is a competitive sport that takes a certain mindset, much like football. If you have a clear game plan and can help your reps get their game faces on daily, you’ll be scoring more touchdowns in 2016! Let us know what other inspiration you draw on from the NFL. About the author: Josh Evans joined Velocify in 2007, and is senior vice president of sales. Josh is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years building and growing sales, customer support and customer engagement organizations in the technology industry. Josh oversees Velocify’s sales organization, both the field and inside sales teams.