the game of salesI’ve always enjoyed the game of baseball.  There’s something about its “simple complexity” that separates it from other ball or stick & ball contests.  Baseball is played at a slower pace than other sports and therefore might seem boring to some.  However, the strategic and tactical adjustments made during the course of the game make it extremely interesting.

Because baseball has no game clock, a team cannot win without getting the last batter out.  Rallies cannot be terminated with a whistle or constrained by time.  Both teams have equal opportunity to score the most runs and win the game.

Comparisons can also be made between baseball and your sales team.  The collection of manager, coaches and players function as a team, but the manager’s decisions and the players’ individual performances are uniquely and personally scrutinized.  Scholar Michael Mandelbaum makes the point in comparing baseball to other team sports:

“ … in baseball, by contrast, every player is more or less on his own … Baseball is therefore a realm of complete transparency and total responsibility.  A baseball player lives in a glass house, and in a stark moral universe … Everything that every player does is accounted for …”

And so it is with any sales team or organization – a collection of members with distinct strengths, weaknesses, experiences and perspectives bound together by a common goal or objective – all held individually accountable for specific responsibilities and results.  Consider the parallels between a baseball team and a sales organization.

  • The Coach – Successful teams have a leader that is an effective strategist and motivator. One that is held accountable with the same scrutiny as his/her team members.
  • The Challenge – Whether the goal is to win the Pennant or meet sales and revenue objectives, success depends on your ability to focus on the common cause.
  • The Comradery – Productivity soars with engaged team members and a common purpose. Clearly stated objectives and positive, consistent recognition of individuals are vital.
  • The Compilation of Statistics – One of the most interesting aspects of baseball is the compilation and analysis of individual and situational statistics. Accurate and relevant metrics are essential.
  • The Conquest – Nothing measures up to the feeling that accompanies a big win.

The College World Series is now concluded (congratulations to the Chanticleers!), but there’s still plenty of baseball to be experienced.  Make time to take in a game and ponder baseball’s “simple complexity.”  And contact us if we can assist with building your sales team into a winning organization.

As Vice President of QIC, Jeff oversees daily operations as well as the company’s strategic marketing initiatives. He has 20+ years in the incentive and recognition industry with prior lengthy experience in retail marketing/advertising and consumer loyalty.

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