What do Successful Sales Managers and Rugby Coaches Have in Common?

Sales Managers and rugby coaches have a lot in common. They manage, train and lead teams who dislike paperwork and have a winning mentality. They prepare them and then have little to no control of them when they are out in the field. They have a system-based approach and rely heavily on results-based reports, which are used to monitor, motivate and manage.

The rugby season and sales year has begun. Players and salespeople need to warm up and refocus to achieve their goals and targets.

Rugby is a business. Just as in any enterprise, the year starts with a game plan. The Sales Manager and the Coach have prepared their strategy. They have analysed what went well last year and where they want to see improvement. Their boards have outlined expectations of improved performance. The managers have documented measurable goals, broken down into time frames. Their Business Intelligence (BI) software will provide reports breaking down success into focus areas.

Rugby vs Sales

With the budget set, the training and practice over, the players and salespeople hit the field. It is now up to them to perform. The coach and the sales manager can’t go out and supervise in real-time. The rugby coach can observe from a distance, but the sales manager has no visibility of the sales team until the orders do or don’t come in, along with reports of their version of what took place. Salespeople hate paperwork.

Rugby players may drop the ball, incur penalties, have altercations with competitors, fail in defence and set plays, or even get sent off. Coaches observe performance and take notes. They can provide guidance at half time.

At the end of the match, they look at the statistics, identify what worked and what needs attention. Many sports players have GPS on their clothing, and just about everything they do is recorded electronically, and then broken down and measured in reports.

In the traditional sales world, it’s not so easy. There are only a few ways the Sales Managers gets information. They must wait for orders to be emailed or sent to the office. The accounting system then identifies whether salespeople are achieving their budgets.

Admin, accounting and warehouse staff feel the brunt when errors occur. The Manager will find out there is a problem when complaints surface from staff or customers. Otherwise, they have very little knowledge of what is happening in the field, good or bad, and to make things worse, often long after the event.

The Game Changer

Mobile CRM is the game changer for a Sales Manager providing them with all the information they need in near real-time. The territory and sales activity plans are designed at head office then executed by the team.

The mobile App provides the salesperson with all the knowledge they need about the customer, their history and future opportunities. If the salesperson isn’t following the plan, Business Intelligence (BI) can alert the Sales Manager very quickly, and any issues can be resolved in real-time.

Most of the costly errors associated with paper-based systems are eliminated with with sales force automation. It is easy to identify products that are out-of-stock and offer alternatives. Costly pricing errors can be avoided. Issues can be managed on the spot, and the salespeople can receive feedback in real-time.

“Play the Percentages”

And the icing on the cake? At the end of the day, instead of waiting for the dreaded paperwork, the Sales Manager has all the day’s reports on hand. The results can be quickly analysed and the team provided with feedback on their performance.As you will hear in every post-match interview, there is always room for improvement, to lift the game and move up the ladder.

The Sales Manager and the rugby coach indeed have a lot in common as they identify the gaps and opportunities and reinforce what went well. The cycle continues towards the next successful outing, with inspired team members and happy customers…and the crowd cheers!


About Opmetrix

Opmetrix is a leading provider of cloud based software as a service (Saas) for the consumer goods industry. Focussing on field team management, Opmetrix empowers field users with an intuitive mobile app that covers everything a rep needs to sell and merchandise in store including CRM, sales, surveys and retail execution whilst providing managers with real-time visibility and reporting to manage and optimise their team.