Blocking and Tackling for Sales

This is the time of year to talk about America’s sport and the love of football. If you are not a sports enthusiast, please read on, because even if you know nothing about football you could benefit from this post, and learn more about how sports conversations can help you in business.

I love football. Last year I joined a Fantasy Football League for the first time. The league was made up of some of my favorite sales guru colleagues and I ended up taking SECOND place. It was fun but I found it took away some of my enjoyment of watching football stress-free (yes, I am competitive) so I am not playing again this year. I think the Commissioner is happy because I was sort of “time intensive” with my questions.

Recently I gave a talk at Hubspot’s INBOUND 2013 marketing conference on Blocking and Tackling – Turning Leads into Sales in Five Simple Steps. With my former hometown team of the Seahawks in great position to go for broke this year, and my new local team, the Patriots – it will be a fun, exciting season. So what does this have to do with sales?

Being a winner in sales is a lot like being a professional athlete where attitude, planning, skills development, hard work, and practice are everything. Watching professional and collegiate teams work on and off the field leaves clues that you can transfer in your career.

Here’s how you can turn the keys to a sport into steps to improve your sales. Thanks to my friend, Jen Mueller, NFL sideline reporter and creator of Talk Sporty to Me for opening and closing my live presentation - you can see what she said in each of the videos at the top and bottom of this post.

Know nothing about sports but want to? The first 3 people to post a comment asking for a copy of Jen Mueller’s book, “Game Time – Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day” will receive one from me in the mail. (Must be in North America for free shipping - you can email me your mailing address and we'll get it out to you this week.)

Blocking and tackling in sales is all about doing those sales basics that grow your sales pipeline and give you more good sales opportunities with better odds for bringing them to closure. In working with hundreds of sales reps in recent months, I find the biggest productivity and revenue gains come from veteran reps who have forgotten some important basics - they go back to them - and close deals. This stuff really works!

Blocking consists of:

  • Quarterly and monthly sales planning
  • Weekly sales goals
  • Having a Monday morning meeting with an end-of-week review
  • Creating some sort of a sales dashboard

Tackling consists of:

  • Execution
  • Follow-up
  • Closure
  • Referrals

Pull it All Together with a Game Plan

Your “game plan” is the actual plan you use to grow sales and hit your revenue numbers. It is shared with those in the company who are involved in your success. If you are a sales rep, it's shared with sales leadership and possibly your account management team.

In order to create a great game plan, focus on these five steps:

  1. Activity and revenue goals
  2. Determine your strengths and gaps
  3. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your pipeline
  4. Get on the phone DAILY
  5. Learn new ways to bring a sales opportunity to closure

Each of these points has a lot of discussion around them. Contact us if you'd like to know more. For a checklist from the session and links to other posts that might be helpful, here's more.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.

Topics: B2B

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