What is in Your Playbook?
By: Chris Farkas
My favorite time of year is upon us. I love fall…and no, not for the pumpkin spice lattes!
I love the cool temperatures, the beautiful array of colors on the trees, and yes, even the constant raking. But what I love most about fall is that it means that football is finally in full swing!
This time of year, my weekends are spent glued to the television watching as much football as my wife will allow. I have my teams that I follow passionately, but even when they’re not playing, I am still watching at least five different games.
I am naturally drawn to the physical aspect of the game, but even more so to the strategy involved by both teams.
Throughout the week, each team implements a game plan based on thorough review and research of their next opponent. On game day, they try to the best of their ability to execute that game plan flawlessly, and this is what I enjoy the most.
Throughout the game, both teams must make adjustments and alter their strategy based on the other teams various offensive and defensive strategies. It’s like full contact chess.
The strategy and preparation required to be successful in football are what drew me to playing the sport in the first place. My favorite part of the game was implementing a focused strategy and plan we had practiced over and over and put in place to win, and then making adjustments to the game plan as needed and required by our opponent. It challenged me and allowed my competitive nature to shine by always having to think on my toes.
With my peak athletic days behind me, I turned to a career in sales to fill the void left by playing football to fuel my competitive drive to continuously challenge myself every day. To me, there are a lot of comparisons between the strategy involved in selling, and the game plan implemented in a football game.
Developing a Playbook for a Successful Sales Strategy
To be a successful salesperson, I need to research my potential prospects. Learn how their business operates, discover pain points, understand the organizational hierarchy, and then determine their needs.
I need a plan of action and strategy when engaging each prospect. I need to know my clients’ strengths and weaknesses and how they align with each potential customer.
Most importantly, I have to have the process in place to be able to make adjustments to my strategy in response to variables in the market. In short, I need a playbook!
As in football, each prospect and each market segment require a different playbook. No two organizations or teams are the same. They have different strength and weaknesses, complicated buying systems and varying needs. This is why having the proper process and strategy in place is crucial.
Look at your current sales strategy. What is your approach to implementing your strategy? Are the proper resources available to research and qualify customers? When was the last time you adjusted your strategy?
Having the right process and strategy in place is instrumental to long-term, sustainable growth. It prepares your sales team and organization for the next fourth quarter drive!
What is in your playbook?
*Note: This article was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated and revised for relevance.