I was listening to an interview this week with a retired MMA fighter and one of his comments stuck with me all week. He was telling a story about one fight that he was losing badly and the advice he received from his trainer to “punch harder’ and that is what he set out to do. As he tried to “punch harder” he got knocked out losing the fight.
After the fight, he found a new trainer to whom he relayed the advice he received during the fight and the new trainer laughed. The fighter was caught off guard by the laugherter and was a bit offended. The trainer, sensing his frustration, explained that a strategy for winning is not just about “punching harder”, but it is also about using the correct techniques to punch more effectively and harder. If you are interested, I have added a link to some strategies for delivering a really hard punch http://www.wikihow.com/Punch-Harder.
Unfortunately, this is often how many sales managers approach ‘motivating’ their sales teams – telling them to make more calls, close better, sell consultatively – and they cannot understand why they are not seeing better results while continuing to blame their sales team for not meeting their sales goals. Ironically, it the sale leader who is not doing his or her job of taking the time to teach the sales team the correct techniques and strategies for increasing sales. They cannot understand why they are not punching harder.
Sale managers may sit in their offices and track their CRM reports, look at their sales team’s opportunity pipeline and send out e-mails to those who do not have a lot of “opportunities” in their pipeline. They are completing extensive reports to senior management detailing what is in the pipeline and bcc’ing their leaders on e-mails telling the “underperformers” to set more appointments. All this time many team members are still not meeting sales goals, but it appears as if they are doing all they can do.
If you are a sales manager and this sounds like your day, or you are a sales person and this is an accurate description of your sales manager then you are getting the same advice as the MMA fighter to ‘punch harder’, with no focus on techniques or strategies.
The best fighters don’t spend their days trying to punch harder. They spend their day in the ring sparring and trying different techniques and moves to improve their punching power and proficiency. Their time is spent working with their coach who is helping them to perfect their skills and style.
Sparring and coaching are the techniques used by the best sales managers to improve their sales teams. Exceptional sales managers set-up a virtual ring where they role play and have the sales people spar with each other and the sales manager. This is the manager as coach model, and it is how you crush your sales goal and WIN.
If your sales team is struggling and you are trying to find the right technique to improve sales, you may want to contact TruCore Business Development to go a couple of rounds in our virtual sales ring.