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What Every Sales Leader Should Learn from Moneyball

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The movie Moneyball teaches sales leaders a great lesson. In this episode of the Sales Management Minute, find out what every sales leader should learn from this movie.

If you aren’t a baseball aficionado, you may have missed one of the greatest sales management movies of all time – Moneyball. Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A’s, is faced with a challenge. His ownership group has limited funds to invest in players, but still expects to win the championship … competing against teams who have seemingly unlimited dollars to spend on players.

Beane hires an assistant general manager who takes a fresh look at the situation using sabermetrics. Through statistical analysis, he determines the number of wins it takes for a team to reach the playoffs. From there, he figures out how many runs the team must score and how few it must allow to achieve that wins total. Given the financial constraints, the team can’t hire the upper echelon of players so they focus on those who can make significant contributions to either score runs or stop runs from being scored. Their entire focus is on runs because they recognize that they can’t will the team to win.

Coming back to my point about Moneyball being a great sales management flick… This scenario is a metaphor for how we manage our sales teams. Most sales leaders are not blessed with unlimited hiring dollars, but are expected to achieve the revenue goal. Each of the sales people is tasked with contributing their piece of the revenue pie. However, executives focus on sales, but just like wins in baseball, they can’t make them happen. They can, however, develop a Success Model that focuses on the activities and behaviors that lead to the annual revenue goal being achieved. For example,

  • The number of leads needed to get one meeting
  • The number meetings needed to develop one proposal
  • The number of proposals needed to achieve one sale
  • The average sale size so you know how many wins you need
Focus your management on the team’s activity performance, and the sales take care of themselves.
See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.

Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitects.net or 763.416.4321.