Can You Flick The Switch Like Eddie Jones' England?

The analytics of salesteams are surprisingly at the stage similar to how coach Eddie Jones describes rugby’s; “nursery school”. At least England now strive to move onward having won the Autumn “tournament” and prepare for this weekend’s Six Nations’ opener.

There’s not a big-ticket salesforce without Sales Op resource. Usually dedicated too. Whereas a couple of decades ago, they would be mainly in-house trainer or a ‘2 i/c’ boss ‘right-hand man’, such roles have become more the preserve of reporting system overseers. Yet how truly insightful is any ‘data’ they produce?

The colonising drive of Big Data may not stretch to Sales. The data not yet ‘big’. But many a salesteam surely can deduce the activities which when taking place on a bid, tend to ensure success.

And that’s before we get to soothsaying outcome percentages dependent upon starting position incumbent, competitor or requirement status ever matched to reality.

Take this paragraph of rugby reporting (via sub’n);

“Since the World Cup, Jones has been heavily invested in exploring the best metrics capturing off-the-ball data and especially in the transition of what he terms “flicking the switch” between defence and attack. In training, Jones acts as England’s flick the switch coordinator in unstructured games where the roles between attack and defence are randomly reversed. That was perfectly illustrated by England’s second try at Twickenham when they turned over an Irish lineout inside their own 22, spread the ball wide to May who went [zigzagging] 97 metres inside 15 seconds.”

I wonder how many salespeople think about ‘off-the-ball data’?

On-the-ball, well, that’s front and centre.

What happens in a meeting, on a call, with an email.

Actions that emerge, actions completed, actions left hanging.

Straight-forward to assimilate.

Off-the-ball can be trickier.

What’s happening prospect-side when you’re not present? Who contacts you? When does their inside intel get shared? What positions are being taken up? Who’s big picture, or self-absorbed in their personal mini-domain?

Then there’s the wider ‘transition’ ramifications.

When defence suddenly becomes attack. Or vice versa.

What are the chief roadblocks or traps that can halt progress?

Classics include recurrent potential showstopper objections or false competitor claims which bash you.

Have you plans in place for these?

Make sure you too can ‘flick the switch’.

So you too can instantly mobilise to head off trouble before its odour becomes faecal.

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.