Setting the Strike Zone

Imagine you are the manager of a minor league baseball team, watching your pitcher on the mound. You’ve been coaching this pitcher all week. All season for that matter. He has talent, but he takes too long to find the strike zone at the beginning of every game, and by the time he has warmed into each different umpire’s strike zone, a full inning or two have slipped away.

He lines one up and throws a curve. The umpire calls it a ball. Too far right. You groan inwardly, because if history repeats itself, your pitcher is about to overcorrect and throw a ball to the left, or low. Like a driver hearing their outside tires on the rumble strip and overcorrecting – shooting their car straight into the oncoming lane. He takes his time to reset, pulls the cap down over his eyes.

You think about calling the bullpen – telling the relief pitcher to start his warmup in earnest. Then your pitcher lets loose a fastball, and it’s perfect. Still to the right, low corner, the hitter swings wildly and the umpire calls it a strike. And you think maybe – just maybe, this guy will work out. If he has finally figured out how to find the strike zone, and if he can do it consistently, he might really start winning.

This may be a long analogy. But it’s an analogy – one of the myriad fitting sports analogies – that describes a part of what you and your team members work on, and how Scoreboard helps with the process. Each day your team members cold call potential customers, give out a quote, or try to pivot to a life policy, they are trying to find the strike zone – that sweet spot where they need to be pitching. Every person they talk to will have a slightly different strike zone. Persuasive tactics pitched outside of this strike zone will fall on unresponsive ears – and your sales person will only get so many tries before losing their chance. A pitcher only gets four balls before the hitter walks.

It is your job as the coach to coach them on tactics to find that strike zone more quickly and consistently every time they approach a potential new client. Maybe this involves some training with word-tracks fitted to different situations and customers. Maybe it involves role-playing with yourself or other team members, to see how quickly the team member can adapt their tactics to changing objections and hesitations by the customer. It is all about helping your team member become adaptable, quick-thinking, and consistent. Adaptable and quick-thinking as they find the zone where they can persuade and close each client. Consistent once they find that zone to hit it again and again.

Excelling in any sport takes time and practice and more practice. Members of a sales team can need the same type of intensive training. Scoreboard can be a great tool for that. With Scoreboard, you can help your team members focus on doing the activities and having the conversations that will help them find that strike zone again and again. With the complete flexibility you have to define your own trackables, you can set up anything as an activity you expect to be repeatable, and hold your team members accountable to it. These trackables can be changed and refined as needed, as your player grows and their needs and focus change. Using these kinds of individual trackables in player tracking games is a terrific way to make sure your team members stay focused and consistent on the things that are important to their current and future success!

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