Inside Sales Best Practices

The Tale of Two Franchises – A Parable of Sales Management

Christopher Tuttle

With the Lakers having recently (and lamentably) completed their 16th NBA title run, it’s really easy to forget that Los Angeles actually has two NBA franchises located within it.

Of course, it should be easy to forget a franchise (the Clippers) that has repeatedly shown zero innovation, foresight, strategic planning, or leadership.

Consider this:

Though it was “officially” created in 1948, the NBA as we now know it entered what most would consider its truest formative “stage” during the 1954-55 season, when the league contracted to its original eight, continuous member franchises, and instituted the 24-second shot clock.

1955 until 2010 is a total of 55 years. And in those 55 years, two franchises—the Lakers and the Celtics—have won 33 of the 55 total possible championships. Throw in three more titles by the Pistons, six by the Bulls, and another four by the San Antonio Spurs, and a combined 46 of the last 55 NBA championships have been won by exactly five teams.

And in sales and marketing, just like in sports, winners generally keep on winning. Success simply breeds more success.

Think of every historically great sports franchise or entity. The Cowboys. The 49ers. The Celtics. The Alabama Crimson Tide. The Yankees. UCLA Basketball.

What’s the formula that sets these apart from their competitors? Exceptional talent built on dynamic leadership.

We discovered the exact same thing applies to sales teams. A few years ago, we indentified two of the top three classic 15 Time Wasters of Inside Sales were poor hiring practices, and having a bad sales manager.

Talent, and Leadership.

Talented sales reps backed by a scrappy sales manager gets results.

How much are people like this worth to your organization? How much would you be willing to pay a person who you knew could get championship-level results?

If you don’t have these kinds of men and women on your sales team right now, go find them. Raise the salary for your sales and sales manager positions to the level required to attract championship-level talent. Go hit the recruiting trail until you’ve found those people.

Obviously, having a great sales manager working with outstanding reps isn’t going to solve poor lead generation techniques, or misguided company strategy. But in my experience, settling for “merely adequate” in two of the most crucial positions at your company often ends up a one-way ticket to Clipper-land.


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