Freak sales athletes

I make no bones about it— I’m a huge fan of Baylor sports. People who know me say I’m about as rabid a fan as they come. I have been cheering on Baylor since I walked on to the campus as a student almost 25 years ago. And, being from Texas, for me football has always been king. So while most Baylor athletic teams have always been solid (including winning numerous national championships) it was devastating to see the football team struggle over the years. But that all changed when Coach Art Briles took the helm as Baylor Football’s head coach in 2008. Now Baylor is a perennial power, not only in the Big 12, but also on the national football scene.

How has Briles done it? By recruiting “freak athletes”, putting a great scheme and game plan in place for them and then coaching them up.

ESPN reported on Briles incoming freshmen, quoting, “…the Bears (are) reloaded with another batch of freaky talents.” When I read this article last week, it got me thinking how Baylor’s recipe for success is an incredible parallel to what sales leaders need to do to power to sustainable revenue performance. The formula for success is similar on the turf and in the sales arena:

  1. Recruit “freak athletes” to the team
  2. Enable them with necessary tools and strategies
  3. Coach them up

If you have great players, even freaky great players, on your team, but don’t take steps 2-3, your team will fail. Even the best salespeople, if not given the necessary tools to reach prospects (the right buyer profiles and lock-tight go-to-market strategies) and not provided with continued coaching and solid leadership, will quickly go from sales freak to just another sales geek.

Take the time to invest in your athletes with a programmatic enablement program and timely and relevant coaching coupled with that training regimen, and you might be surprised what your team can do.

Once your team recruits a new salesman, what steps do you take to empower them to win? How is this similar to building up a good sports team? Different? How surprised are you to see Baylor Football as a prominent player nationally? Snuck that one in on you! 🙂

Sic ’em Bears! And good selling!