Organizing a Sales 'Scramble'
If you are a golfer, you are probably familiar with the term, “scramble.” For the uninitiated, a scramble in golf is generally associated with one-day events (member/guest tournaments) and fundraisers. Teams of four compete and one score is submitted per team. A common type of Scramble (the Florida Scramble) is used to speed up the pace of play so to get to the bar faster (the REAL purpose of recreational golf). Here’s how they work: All four players hit a ball off of the tee. From there, one ball location is chosen and all four players hit from there (although each sequence only counts as one stroke). This process is repeated until the ball hits the bottom of the hole.
Do that 18 times and you’ve got yourself a damn fine day out of the office. The team that wins is typically made up of four people with four different skill sets.
Most teams are formed without much consideration for quality of the player. If you’ve got the time, a pulse, and (in the case of the fundraiser) if the check clears, you’re in! But some team captains select their players with precision and purpose. They aren’t just there to collect a gift bag of donated items that will never be used. They are in it to win it. So, their leader carefully scopes out just the right talent and creates the Dream Team:
- The Man!
- Mr. Pure
- The Old Guy
Each member of the team has a specialty and contributes to the whole. In theory, it works, and the combination of talent can walk away with prizes worth tens of dollars. But is this combo platter of skill limited only to golf? Let’s find out. Let’s bring the concept of creating a Dream Team to print sales and see if we can finish at the top of the leaderboard:
The Man! is your long-driver. He steps up and crushes it, causing others to gush, “You’re The Man!” Get it? This is the guy you want on your team to bag the elephant, land the Big Fish, hit the home runs. The Man! goes after large prospects. Exclusively. He probably also has a few years behind him, not only remembers the Old Days but is more than happy to share some stories with you.
But his strength is also his weakness and he has no other unique and prevalent skill set, nor does he have any interest in developing one. His is an all-or-nothing approach and his sales are either carrying the company or the reason for a big hole, depending on whether he is up or down at the moment.
What’s worse, The Man! has done little to advance his abilities over the years and keep up with technology. But for all his faults and lack of motivation, it is important to have someone on your team who has the moxie to grip it and rip it, come what may.
Mr. Pure comes straight out of Central Casting. Never a hair out of place, dressed impeccably and in possession of the most complete (if not wholly effective) game on the team, Mr. Pure fills the role of the chameleon. He is just as comfortable working with large accounts as he is small ones, with young buyers and old, and with all kinds of personalities.
You can plug him in anywhere and he will adjust. Though he is not someone who will ever reach Sales Superstar status, Mr. Pure is nonetheless a gamer and perfect for throwing at a problem account and having full faith that if anyone can save them, he can.
Occasionally, he will “pure” the shot and stick it next to the pin, turning a mediocre client into a Top Five account all because he clicks with them. But most of the time, Mr. Pure just plods around doing his job and contributing a modest amount of profitable work. All with perfect teeth.
The Old Guy is a magician around the green. His specialty is the short game. With the hands of a jeweler and the demeanor of Wilford Brimley, everyone loves The Old Guy. His clients have been with him forever. Not surprisingly, they are just as old. He is as reliable as the sunrise and as loyal as a black lab.
The Old Guy gets assigned clients that might never amount to much but are steady contributors just the same. He has a habit of pursuing small accounts with a “Need anything quoted?” approach that worked for him in the ’60s and, dang-it, should work now, too. The plant loves him because he enters orders that are complete and perfect. Prepress loves him because his draft sketches could be used as camera-ready copy.
He’d be the guy who would portray the turtle in the film version of The Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady, precise and even-tempered, The Old Guy doesn’t do much but what he does he does very well. The work he brings in is extremely profitable … all $200,000 of it.
Money is the guy who sinks everything from the double-breaking 12 footer to the knee-knocker you must have to avoid giving back a stroke. You put Money on an account or prospect that you absolutely, positively have. He has the skill of reading the situation and seeing something that others missed. All three of his fellow team members will play the putt to the left, but he goes back-of-the-cup and drills it home, to the surprise of everyone but him.
Sure, the same confidence that makes Money successful also rubs the plant the wrong way (and management. And his wife. And his friends. And … ), but where would you be without him? In a pinch, you need Money to be, well, money!
The interesting thing about a diverse sales team is that each attracts a different clientele. Someone who buys from The Man! would scoff at The Old Guy and vice versa.
As such, you need to assemble your own cast of characters remembering that you aren’t hiring you. You are hiring for a United Nations of customers and prospects. Digging deeper into the subject, you’ve got to consider race, gender and age of both rep and prospect/customer.
If your company is struggling to grow new business, perhaps the problem is a lack of diversity. For example, can your legacy sales team relate to the Millennial Buyer? It’s good to have someone swinging for the fences, a smooth operator, the steady Eddie and a closer. It makes for a Dream Team of salespeople.
And hey, that’s why they call it a Scramble! PI
About the Author
Bill Farquharson is vice president at Epicomm and a featured presenter on PI XChange. His Sales Resources page contains archived tips and Short Attention Span Webinars and is found at sales.epicomm.org. Farquharson can be reached at (781) 934-7036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org