We’re entering the first days of spring training for baseball season – truly the most refreshing days of the year. Why?
All of the mistakes of the past can be left behind, and we can look to the future.
No matter how poorly a player and team performed in the prior year, it is a new opportunity. Win/loss ratios begin again and the cycle renews.
No matter how excellent the player and team, their prior year’s record is eliminated, and they begin from scratch.
There is a clear goal, a clear destination – the World Series championship. The pennant.
There are a million directions a team could take to get there. The possibilities are limitless and it is a fresh start.
Sounds liberating, right? Leaving behind the past and stepping into a new future? What’s done is behind us. Let’s solely look to the future.
On the other hand, it also sounds overwhelming. What can you do to improve? Do you reshuffle the deck and try the exact same thing as last year, but with a few adjustments? Or initiate a complete overhaul? What is the competition doing? How do different models and variations of the team lead to different results? On what key factors or strategies are you going to focus?
Just like a baseball team, a sales team needs analysts and strategists to identify and weigh options and set the direction. With a deep understanding of the dynamics and systems at play they can move towards success. By understanding the factors that tend to lead towards success you can optimize the opportunities and align resources for the greatest likelihood to win.
What information do YOU mine from your company (and the competition)? How deep do you go? How do you track it? And how do you use it to make decisions?
Let’s start with client retention – do you know your business’s monthly, quarterly, or annual attrition rate? How many clients do you retain, how many move on (and why)? To carry the baseball analogy forward, what would you do if your team constantly got on base, had a good scoring record, but constantly allowed the other team’s points to slip by? Why, you’d work on the defense.
The same thing goes for business. If you’re constantly bringing in new business, but it all slips out the back door, you should focus there, seek to understand the behaviors at work, project the impact of improvements, and allocate resources appropriately.
Understand all of the factors at work in your business. Then you can make good decisions on where to focus.
P.S. Go Cardinals!