If you have read many of my articles you realize that from time to time I like to use sports analogies. I was at yet another college lacrosse game several days ago, and sadly my team lost to end their season. We were tied at the half but then had gone down by three goals in the second half. Our team was struggling a little bit to get something going and seemed riddled with turnovers.
There are some tough players on the team and one particular player just seemed to kick it into high gear and by sheer will scored a crucial goal at a critical time. All the fans thought, “Great, here we go. Now we are going to get something started.” Then our coach called a time out.
One fan leaned over and said, “Oh great. She called a time out, because that always works out so well for us after we score,” (as thick with sarcasm and eye-rolling as you might imagine). And poof. The momentum was killed. Our team did not score another goal and we went on to lose.
As I frequently do, I saw parallels between this situation and sales management. Just as in any sport, momentum is real in sales. Momentum seems to be the confluence of effort and confidence. The actual definition of momentum has something to do with force and speed of movement and/or impetus. But in performance, either sports or in sales, momentum happens when the effort one puts in is combined with the confidence one has acquired to execute. At that critical moment when preparation takes over, the individual is able to make something good happen, and confidence blossoms. But, if not capitalized upon and reinforced and repeated, the confidence can disappear. Thus momentum is lost.
Capitalize On Momentum — Don't Stand In It's Way
Sales managers would be wise to pay attention to the sales momentum their sales team members are exhibiting. If you have a salesperson who seems to have a hot hand and is closing a higher percentage of opportunities, then give her more leads (assuming you have leads to dole out). If you have salespeople who close a big or important deal, make them get right back on the phone and talk to more sales opportunities. They will find that they have even greater success. The combination of effort, which is doing the work to get better, and the confidence created by having success will create momentum.
It is true in sports and is true in sales.
For more mixing of sales and sports, see:
- 3 Top Sales Coaching Tips Stolen from Lacrosse
- Batter Up! Applying Sports Theory to Sales Performance
- I Would Choose Nick Saban As My Sales Manager Every Time
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