Nick Saban and Sales: the Importance of Coaching

Nick Saban and Sales: the Importance of Coaching image importanceofcoachingThe Importance of CoachingAll through this past college football season, there was a constant buzz about the University of Alabama and their remarkable record of multiple national championships in the last several years. During the season, there were many articles in a variety of publications (see two news stories: one from Sports Illustrated and another from the Wall Street Journal), on the course of action Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban used to create this highly successful program. Saban refers to it as “The Process,” while the press often refers to it as “Sabanization”.

The Process looks beyond football tactics and strategy. And while those points are certainly important, Saban’s Process focuses on much more: nutrition, strength training, mental training, and recruiting. He brings in speakers who emphasize character and accountability. In short, The Process focuses on every aspect on and off the field that contributes to the success of the team. It’s both simple and complex: The simple is the forehead slap, “Duh! All of those aspects of training contribute to the team’s success!” It’s complex in that it’s difficult to coordinate all of those training components and keep focused on the task of winning football games (not to mention the investment the University of Alabama has to undertake to make all of these activities happen).

When I talk with sales managers who want Coach Saban/Alabama-type results from their sales teams, it puzzles me how many of those managers don’t do what Saban actually does: coach his players, and have them practice (train them). How can you reach a winning goal if you don’t practice and coach, coach and practice?

The two really go together:

  • Training without coaching gives knowledge and skills, but no reinforcement.
  • Coaching without training gives reinforcement, but you have no model to coach to.

Saban has created “The Process” to ensure the continued success of his team. While it doesn’t guarantee a national championship each year, it has created the most highly successful program in recent college football history.

So, what’s your process for your team or your organization? Have you thought or developed a road map for success? Are you investing in coaching your people? How can your team win without a plan, and the accountability and resources to coach them to success? Now is the time to invest in training and coaching your salespeople, to move them to championship performance.

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