At The Center for Sales Strategy, we have a number of distance runners, cyclists and triathletes on staff--more than what you might expect from a company our size. At first, I thought it seemed unusual that we’d have such a high concentration of endurance athletes. As I've thought more about this, I've concluded it makes perfect sense. We turn talent into performance for our clients every day; it's logical we'd use the same tools to achieve success in our personal lives.
What sales coaching tools carry over to the world of endurance sports?
A Plan. I am a distance runner. At the start of every race season, I create a training plan that serves as a roadmap to prepare me for race day. In your role as an account manager, it’s also a wise idea to have a plan that helps you get to your sales goals.
A Coach. Even the most experienced athletes have coaches or mentors who help keep them on track. As someone who wants to improve sales performance, you should too. Use your sales manager, other sales stars in your organization, or someone on the team at The Center for Sales Strategy to help develop your talents.
Quantifiable Goals. One of the things I love about running is that it’s easy to see results: improvements in speed, endurance and body composition. There are many things you can measure to see improvements in sales performance too: number of phone calls converted to appointments, average dollar amount per sale, average length of contract, percentage of digital vs. traditional business... whatever statistics your sales organization finds it important to track.
Hard Work. You don’t prepare for a marathon or Ironman over night. It takes months of hard work and dedication. The same is true for sales performance. It takes commitment to achieve your goals.
Nourishment. An athlete’s body would not be able to keep up with the demands of an endurance event without proper fuel and hydration. Without nourishment, you run out of steam, and performance lags before you reach the finish line. Sales is the same—you need to fuel your mind with ideas and information from a variety of sources. Keep up on what’s taking place in other markets and the industry by working with your consultant, reading our blog (remember to subscribe!), keeping tabs on The Center for Sales Strategy Facebook page, and by checking in on blogs and news sites of interest to you and your clients.
Don’t over train. It’s hard to hold back a motivated, eager athlete, but over training leads to injury and burn out. When working toward a new sales goal, there is a point of diminishing returns. If you are spending too much time on one account, or working to the point of exhaustion, you are not using your time as efficiently as possible. Your performance improves when you take time to relax and recharge.
Endurance athletes are constantly chasing that Personal Record. As you look toward to your year-end goals, you can achieve a PR by using the techniques we use in the field every day at The Center for Sales Strategy. Keep us posted on your sales strategy! We’ll be cheering for you at the finish line!
Kimberly Peek is a digital sales coach and online trainer at The Center for Sales Strategy