A recent Harvard Business Review article summarizes lessons businesses can learn from the greatest comeback in sports history: the Oracle team’s unexpected victory over New Zealand in the 2013 America’s Cup.
It highlights the value of 'performing with speed' by 'learning at speed', and what it takes to do so. This includes the importance of analytics that let you see and understand performance in a new light. Such analytics sharpen your resolve to try things you wouldn’t otherwise think to try (or be motivated to try).
Here are the 6 key takeaways for B2B sales teams:
Dump rigid routines on specialized tasks; replace them with approaches that "allow people to make smart, spontaneous moves to create customer value, in coordination with others."
When disruption strikes, transform instantly.
Make your own luck with an endless curiosity.
Use setbacks to steel your resolve. It's not whether or not something you try fails, it's your persistence in trying other things, with resolve, that matters.
Experiment, fast, in the pursuit of improving performance. "If an experienced crew and skipper agree a change might [improve performance], you must try it."
If you have good data, respect it (and park your instincts). "Better metrics often produce surprises"—and results no one would normally expect to see.
This kind of approach works in B2B sales. It’s team-based. It’s learning-centric. It’s experimentation-driven. It’s analytics-enabled. It’s aimed at triggering small wins that can create big momentum.
Last month, I was privileged to participate in one firm’s use of the approach. It produced what might have been ‘the greatest comeback in sales performance history.’ In just two and a half hours, a sales team:
The firm’s president witnessed it firsthand. He was in the ‘war room’ as the ‘experienced skipper.’ His feedback: "That was amazing."
Just like Oracle’s unexpected win at the America’s Cup.
John is the founder and CEO of innovative information inc., makers of Amacus. His firm provokes improved B2B sales productivity by helping sales teams see + improve the buyer value of their sales practices.
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