Inside Sales Best Practices

Would You Rather Build Your Sales Team Like the Lakers or Spurs?

Christopher Tuttle

Who do you like in the first-round playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs? Bragging rights aside, your answer might reveal a lot about your sales approach.

Do you prefer to hire high-paid reps who act like divas all day and night?

Or do you favor good coaching and proven systems over individual stars?

Let’s dive a little deeper into how these two playoff teams are built in search of some rock-solid nuggets of sales wisdom.

Luxury Tax Extravaganza

The Lakers boast the highest payroll of any team in the NBA. This year, they’re dishing out close to $100 million, which is about $30 million more than the Spurs.

What results have they reaped with all of that spending? Here’s a hint: The Lakers barely squeaked into the playoffs as a seventh seed with 45 wins, thanks to a big late-season push.

The Spurs, on the other hand, finished second in the Western Conference with 58 wins, while spending significantly less.

It’s pretty clear who’s getting the best bang for their buck.

XANT advocates the “Moneyball” method of building a sales team. This strategy requires financial discipline and a deep understanding of data. The idea is that you should only spend precious resources on talent and tactics that drive bottom-line results.

Can Coaching Make a Difference?

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is known for running an efficient system that punishes slow defensive rotations and relies on role players to support his stars. You might recall that Popovich waived Stephen Jackson at the end of the season because he values team chemistry so much.

The Lakers struggled for most of the season. One of the biggest knocks on their star-studded team was that their coach, Mike D’Antoni, couldn’t seem to figure out how to use future Hall-of-Famers Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol on the floor at the same time.

How Does This Apply to Your Inside Sales Team?

It’s your job to give your reps the right training and tools to improve their odds of success. If your sales process is broken or inefficient, you’re going to burn through a lot of reps and lose a ton of deals you should be closing.

Our reps use XANT dialing technology to reach more leads faster and to contact prospects at the best times. Managers use our actionable analytics to create more effective calling campaigns.

We’ve invested in a strong business development team that helps our closers spend more of their time talking to qualified prospects and making sales.

One of our mottos is: Data trumps intuition. It’s allowed us to build a more efficient — and profitable — sales team. We’re probably a little more like the Spurs than the Lakers.

What do you think? Is this the right approach? Let us know in the comments.

Find out how you can use data to drive sales results by downloading the free eBook below.

The Ultimate Revenue Engine

Free eBook: The Ultimate Revenue Engine

Learn how to dramatically increase revenue by combining sales and marketing automation.

Receive email updates from the Sales Insider

Photo Credit: ryan_fung