The CRM, the Sales Manager, and the World Cup

How can intelligent CRM software help sales bosses compete like top FIFA World Cup managers? Read on, it’s easier than you might have thought.

Welcome to ‘The Beautiful Game’

Remember that Maradona goal? No, not the ‘Hand of God’, the other one.

1986, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, FIFA World Cup quarter-final – Diego Armando Maradona Franco, the diminutive Argentinian wizard, picking up the ball in his own half, athletically twisting and turning, with the footwork of a ballet dancer, to beat what seemed like the entire English team, before coolly slotting the ball past a floundering Peter Shilton? Sheer individual brilliance, from the one they call El Pibe de Oro – the Golden Boy.

Yes, we remember the individuals, like; Pele, Jairzhino, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Stoichkov, Tardelli, Suker, Ronaldo (feel free to add your own suggestion here), and we remember the great teams; Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, and Holland (again, it’s up to you).

But there are a combination of elements – like; fate, injury, refereeing decisions, and the woodwork – which go towards making these memories live forever in our minds.

Not least of these elements, are the managers.

There really is no ‘I’ in team

Unfortunately, I’m not going to make it to World Cup 2018, but, as a young boy I had a coach who probably already knew that. Somehow, that didn’t matter to him. It wasn’t the football that interested him. It was about getting the best from groups of boys who had nothing else to do.

He started a football club where nobody’s kit matched, where we changed in a cold leaking shed, where the balls were old, perpetually wet, and whose laces could remove and eye with an ill-timed header.

He would shout his own personal brand of encouragement from the sideline; “Kick the ball. Score a goal. Pass the ball. Don’t forget, you’re a team”. That was about it. Hardly the stuff of managerial legends like Vicente Del Bosque, or Marcello Lippi.

But it worked. And it worked because that manager really wanted the best from every boy in his charge. He wanted them to know how a team functioned, regardless of ability, he insisted that everyone was part of that team. That was his only strategy.

There’s more to management than managing

Whether it’s playing for your country at World Cup 2018, or part of a modern sales team, the structure is similar. A group of individuals aiming for a common goal, but each with their own unique skills.

At the team’s pinnacle is the manager. Again, whether football or sales, the manager is there to set the game plan, to organise and instil a structure, create the necessary motivation, and to encourage the ones lacking in confidence. The manager is also there to set the goalposts and to flatten the pitch for the whole team.

Some football management functions:

  • Team selection – Choosing the right players for the right position
  • Strategy planning – Deciding the game plan for individuals, and the entire team
  • Player motivation – Ensuring that each player is ready for the game ahead
  • Delegation – Issuing duties to various supporting roles and sharing of responsibilities
  • Talent search – Always on constant look-out for new, and emerging talent
  • PR and media – Being the public face of the team image
  • Marketing the team – Remaining in close contact with those responsible for marketing the team’s public image
  • Money management – Ensuring that targets are met and finances are available for future investment
  • Analysis – Even lost games can offer some form of insight for improvement

Just like football, sales managers share many of the same functions.

  • Sales managers choose the best team members. They ensure that these members play in the right position – that is, to be certain that the right talents are assigned to right duties, products, or geographic locations.
  • Some sales members may be lacking in confidence, it’s the duty of a great sales manager to get the best from their team. This may mean boosting the confidence of team members whose confidence may be flagging for one reason or another – not hitting targets, feeling frustrated at lack of opportunity, goals being set too high.
  • The sales manager is also responsible for delegation of tasks within the team. These tasks could be ensuring closer collaboration between sales and marketing, or sales and customer care teams.
  • Great sales teams – especially growing teams – are always on the look-out for new talent. It is the job of the sales manager to have these new talents brought to his or her attention.
  • In both good times and bad times, the sales manager will be the figurehead of the sales department. Delivering sales reports to board members, investors, and other executives. Keeping the right people informed about results, performance, and perceived complications.
  • Slightly different than football managers, sales managers need to constantly coordinate with their marketing team to ensure a constant supply of new leads and opportunities.
  • Money and financial issues are at the core of a sales manager’s role. Creating the resources for the success and expansion of the company, the sales manager’s role is allied to that of a football manager who identifies, and secures the talent needed to grow the team brand.
  • When sales are lost a good sales manager can see how, and why. They can learn from the process and correct these mistakes for the future.

Getting your tactics right – with CRM

Unlike top managers in ‘The Beautiful Game’, sales manager aren’t usually surrounded by a cohort of administrative supporters, waiting in the wings, at their beck and call.

That’s where a smartly designed, powerful, and analytical sales CRM comes to the fore.

With the ability to manage sales teams; coordinate their movements, set targets and goals, recognise where problems may exist, and suitably remedy those problems, analyse all aspects of the team’s performance, an intelligent sales CRM is pivotal in the quest for success.

A quality CRM allows the sales manager to nurture the best from star performers, while also helping those coming through the ranks to achieve their full potential. Instant access to all available information is central to achieving this full potential.

A CRM won’t solve all of your problems, but choosing the right one for your company’s needs will certainly enhance the qualities which you’ve been given, and allow you to set your sights on the trophy.

Use your resources wisely

At first glance football and sales may seem worlds apart.

But that’s not the case. Like a football manager’s quest for the ultimate prize, a sales manager is faced with many of the same challenges, which is, to get the best from their team players across all aspects of the game, both on, and off the field.

You’ll probably never have the backroom team enjoyed by Germany’s Joachim Low. You may not have the giant-killing ability of Iceland’s Heimir Hallgrimson. Or you may not be entrusted with the quality of players, like that of Didier Deschamps.

And, you may never get to manage at a FIFA World Cup, but, with a quality CRM like Teamgate on your side, and by using your resources wisely, you can prove your ability to compete with the best, on any sales playing field.

So, with that in mind, it’s time for the referee’s whistle, and to let the games begin. 

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Brendan Harding

Brendan is a writer and content creator at Teamgate specialising in general interest stories across all areas of the sales and marketing processes.

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