We recently held a webinar on “How to Manage a Sales Team Like a Championship Football Coach,” and you can find a record of that webinar and the slides from the presentation here.

The goal of this webinar was to give you a few new ideas or tips for how to get more out of your sales team. The presentation is organized around looking at the metaphor of the things a football coach will do while trying to prepare his or her players to compete at the highest level and trying to see if there are some key things that we can take from that and apply to managing a sales team.

We go into each of these areas in fairly deep detail in the webinar, but here are some of the areas where we compare coaching a football team with managing a sales team.

Recruiting New Players
A professional football team will spend a tremendous amount of time analyzing the players that they might end up recruiting. They will perform scouting at live games, watch recordings of past performances, perform tryouts, interviews, etc.

Using a Playbook
A football team will utilize a detailed playbook that will tell the players what to do in all different situations. You never know how a play or game is going to go, but the players at least start out with clarity for what play they are going to run and what they are going to do.

Practice and Preparation
A football team will spend a tremendous amount of time practicing. They will spend months where all they do is practice before the season even starts, and then each week they spend the majority of the week practicing and running drills.

Leveraging Statistics and Analytics
The coaching staff of a professional football team will utilize a tremendous amount of statistics and analytics. While their main goals are to win games and the championship, they will look at all sorts of stats and how players are performing in order to make the changes that need to be made in order to continue to improve and operate at the highest level.

Reviewing and Analyzing Past Performance
A football team will spend a tremendous amount of time reviewing and analyzing past performance. This primarily consists of watching game film. The coaches will look at past performance in order to figure out what changes need to be made moving forward.

Teaching and Developing Skills
A football team will spend a tremendous amount of time and effort on teaching and developing skills. It can be easy to say that almost all the players on the team are incredible athletes with a ton of natural abilities. But that does not stop the coaching staff from working with each player to figure out what they can do to improve and get to the next level.


For each of those areas, there are many sales organizations that either don’t do anything at all or don’t do enough. And why not? The stakes for a football team and a sales team are the same. Both operate in incredibly competitive environments and don’t get a lot of credit or rewards for second place.