Sales Performance

Better Sales Management, Performance Starts with “Scrappy”

Christopher Tuttle

If you’ve read my “15 Time-wasters of Inside Sales and Marketing,” you’ve heard me say that one of the biggest culprits of poor sales performance and poor motivation is having a bad sales manager.

And if you’ve read my “15 Time Wasters,” you’ve also heard me say that regardless of where they come from or how they’re “wired,” all good sales managers share one, common trait:

They’re “scrappy.”

“Scrappy” is one of the terms that’s hard to define. Inherently we “get” the general concept, but it’s not easy to put it into words.

When we think of “scrappy” in the sports world, we think of the “blue collar” athlete, the guy or gal who wasn’t necessarily the most gifted player on the field, but who works at it the most, studies the most, prepares the most. Does the little things that other players aren’t willing to do to get an edge.

The one who digs down and finds something that the other players don’t have.

Larry Bird was the epitome of “scrappy.”

The Court-Inside sales scrappy managers

In the world of sales, the concept doesn’t change. Scrappy means being persistent, almost tenacious, but not in a forced, overly aggressive way. Scrappy is internal motivation. It’s building your own skills and talents, not tearing others down to get them out of the way.

Scrappy doesn’t mean putting blinders on. It’s working hard with your eyes open, constantly looking for ways to improve. Scrappy sales managers expect to get results, but aren’t blind to conditions. If something needs to change to have success, they find the solution. Scrappy sales managers feel for their charges. If a rep isn’t meeting quota, they take it personally.

Scrappy managers are willing to innovate. They’re willing to train and be trained.

Scrappy means finding something that works, and tweaking it as you go along. If a much better option appears on the horizon, they take it, but they’re not worried about having the perfect solution before they start.

Scrappy means being aware of how your actions affect other people. It means standing up for what you believe, want, and need, but it also means making sure other people are getting the same opportunity.

We want to be a “scrappy” company, with “scrappy” sales reps and sales managers, and a “scrappy” attitude toward getting things done, and done right for our customers.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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