Building the best team

Part of the beauty of baseball is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no clock. A game can take two hours, or it can take four. The season is long, filled with streaks and slumps, and designed to test every team so that only the best remains standing at the end.

In any given game, one player can carry a team to victory. But over 162 games, it takes an entire roster of players, not to mention coaches, trainers, scouts, and executives to build and sustain a championship team. 

Mike Trout, the centerfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, is considered one of the best players in baseball. He just recently signed the largest contract for any one player in Major League Baseball. However, in his seven full seasons, his team has never won a playoff game and only made the postseason once.

Also, this off-season we saw two other players, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign lucrative long term deals.  Bryce Harper is getting credit by the pundits for signing a contract that was friendly for the Phillies and he has already stated how he hopes his contract allows the Phillies to get more star players on the roster.

A team’s bench must be broad and deep to overcome the challenges every season presents. Teams are constantly adjusting their rosters by making trades, signing free agents, and bringing up young talent. The goal, at the end of the marathon, is that the Red Sox – I mean, your team – is holding the World Series Trophy.

For sales teams, having a strong team is important as well.  Many people may think selling is an individual endeavor.  But it requires a strong team to be successful.  The sales rep, sales manager, and VP of Sales all need to have a team around them that allows them to be successful. 

Sales reps, you can not do this alone.  Depending on your company’s structure, you may have a Business Development Rep who is helping you with prospecting.  You need help from your marketing team to develop content and nurture leads.  You may also have a sales engineer that helps you with the technical aspects of your product.  Once you sell the prospect, you may have a team that helps delivers on the company’s promises to the prospect.  Each of these team members is important and you need to make sure you all are prepared to work together to be successful. 

Sales Managers: Not only will you work with all of the same people your sales reps will work with, but you also need to build out a team of sales reps.  While it may be tempting to have one all-star on your team who is bringing in most of your revenue, you need to work to develop the whole team.  In addition, much like a General Manager in Baseball, you need to start looking at succession plans.  Who would replace you?  If a team member left, who would replace them?  Would you promote from within?  Are you looking outside the organization to back-fill the position? 

VP of Sales:  You should be having the same thought process as your Sales Managers, just at a higher level.  Are you building a bench of future managers? Are you prepared if a top sales rep leaves the organization?  Can you find new team members that could take on a new role that would help the organization?  

Hope this train of thought helps you as you build out your team.    

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