selling-the-pitch-three-sales-lessons-from-the-world-seriesBoston is a baseball town, and if you forget it for even a second we have an ample supply of beard-adorned fans to remind you…at every street corner, every T station, every restaurant, every- …well, you get the idea. Everywhere you turn in this neck of the woods, people are talking about baseball, so why would we be any different?

As we await the next oddity in a World Series that already includes a game-ending obstruction call and a game-ending pickoff, let’s talk about some of the aspects of baseball that you can plan for – and what sales reps can learn from all this baseball talk.

Know the landscape and adapt

For every American League team, the opportunity to play in the World Series is accompanied by the challenge of adapting to National League rules. In order to be successful, the Red Sox not only needed to study their competition, but also go into the game with a solid understanding of their strengths and how to capitalize on them within the National League style of play.

This is much the same for sales reps as they prepare to meet with potential customers.  In order to be the expert in the room and the best possible resource for the prospect, reps must be in tune with the competitive landscape, and how specific strengths of their solutions set them apart from the competition.  In addition, it’s essential that reps have a clear understanding of their potential customer’s needs and how their solutions can address key areas of those challenges.

The key to helping sales reps get trained up on product offerings, and prepare for client meetings is providing them with a way to efficiently access the content they need.  Portals that house training materials and content to engage prospects are both effective way to organize resources for the sales team.

Identify winning combinations at every stage of the game

The Red Sox success in the series so far can be attributed at least in part to their intelligent use of personnel.  Without the position of designated hitter on the National League scorecard, to Sox have employed some creative substitution to get the most out of David Ortiz’ bat throughout the meat of the game, before switching to Mike Napoli for his defense to solidify the victory.

Similar to how the right players, in the right positions, at the right point in the game can be crucial to the outcome, identifying the most relevant content for each stage of the sales cycle is vital to the success of the deal.  This infographic offers some useful tips for determining which types of content are best suited to engage potential customers in each part of the sales funnel.

Analyze the stats and act on the data

This series has had no shortage of unique and impressive statistics (not least of which is David Ortiz’ astounding .714 series batting average through five games), but what’s most important about all these statistics is the informed action that they have enabled the managers to take. With insights into the intricate details of things like how certain hitters fare against right or left-handed pitchers, the Sox have been able to make educated decisions about how to manage their bullpen to retire the Cardinals batting order.

The same is true for sales reps. Once they’ve shared a piece of content with a potential customer, they’ll want to know whether it was viewed, what parts of that content were most interesting to the buyer, and how best they can follow up.

As we head into game six of this iconic series, and as the sights and sounds of historic Fenway set the scene for what will surely be a record setting series on a number of fronts, let’s not overlook the valuable lessons that can be gleaned from the game.

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