What can Inside Sales Managers learn from the ongoing Cricket World Cup 2019
Cricket, the game!
May not be as widespread across the globe as Football, but where ever it is played, commands huge following. The very recent India vs Pakistan encounter on 16th June 2019, was one of the biggest sporting events in terms of viewership (229 million). While the event is still on, we do not yet have all 4 semi-finalists for the knockout stage.
So, what’s the most important lesson Inside sales managers can pick up from this year’s world cup?
Let’s make an analogy between the unpredictability of the game and the life of a sales person (Inside Sales, in this case).
Cricket, unlike football, depends heavily on the weather conditions, pitch (strip on which the game is played), Ball condition (how the ball is maintained during the course of the match), the players who play the game (earlier stats, current form, etc.) and of course, a new ground every other match during a tournament like the world cup.
Many experts give their thoughts and opinions, and decide the pre-favourites even before the tournament starts, then there is media and social media making all the hype but it’s the day of the game and who plays well on the given day, that decides the winner. England, the hosts and the pre-tournament favourites, are stranded at 4th place needing to win today’s (3rd July) encounter with New Zealand to make it to top 4. Australia, on the other hand were not spoken about in the same breath as India and England to win this year’s trophy, is sitting at the top, smiling!
Unpredictability, they say is true till the very last ball bowled or the last run/wicket taken, which was evident with some of the closely contested matches.
So, how’s it like for the Inside Sales?
Inside Sales, unlike field sales, depends heavily on the remote connects made by executives sitting inside their office premises, the timing of the calls or messaging in the email, Pitch (not the cricket one! but the one about the product/service to be sold), and of course a new Prospect to sell to every time a call is made.
Challenges galore, unpredictability is also very rampant in inside sales. The main objective in Cricket is to win the match, while in Inside Sales the key objective is to follow the process and close the deal.
Just like the various stats in Cricket, metrics like calls, conversations, qualified leads and conversion rates are all really important in helping sales managers understand their model, capacity, and performance expectations. Most sales managers track number of calls, number of conversations, number of new opportunities, and number of closed deals. These are also numbers that when tracked, can be plugged into a model to understand conversion rates, and team capacity planning. But do little in changing the unpredictability of the nature of job, i.e., Inside sales.
We live in a world where time is valuable, and we have more data than we know what to do with, we need to focus on key metrics and build a strong winning strategy.
Preparation is important and so is going by the drill, but it all boils down to getting across the line with the deal closure!
Being an Indian, I am happy to see my National team in the Top 4, but the unpredictability is still there – play 2 more matches and win both to be crowned the world champion. Can Team India do it?
And you, the Inside Sales Manager, can you do the drill, go the distance and close the next deal for your company?