This is Stephen Curry. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the starting point guard for the Golden State Warriors, and more importantly, repeat Most Valuable Player of the NBA. He’s a do-it-all player who is reinventing how to score baskets – absurdly effective at putting the ball in the hoop from virtually everywhere on the floor.
Take a look at this Heat Map (vorped.com) from the 2015-2016 season, a visual representation of his shooting percentages from different areas:
For those unfamiliar with NBA shooting averages, all of these (except for the red zone) are at or near the top of the league. And it’s paying huge dividends for the Warriors as a team – they finished 2015-2016 with the best record in league history at 73-9. He’s a phenomenal talent who all other players are measured against.
What I’d like to point out here is that these heat maps are available for every single player in the NBA. Every shot – every make, every miss – is trackable. Over the course of a season, you have a clear set of data that shows what your team is good at and where it needs work.
Picture yourself as the head coach – how much could you do with this information? First, you could prescribe a set of practice activities for each player that matches up with the skill gaps you’ve identified. Next, you could set a strategy for your offense that maximizes the talent that exists and hides your weaknesses. Additionally, you could explore the market for investing in players that fill the holes in your current roster.
Now, let’s do an exercise – pretend that Steph Curry is a sales executive and instead of basketball shots, each of those zones on the court are different pieces of your sales conversations. The shots closest to the basket are simple messages like setting an intro and agenda or overviewing your business model. As you move further away, the messages become more complex like differentiating yourself from the competition or identifying and addressing your customers’ business challenges. This makes sense – just as 3-pointers are worth more because they are harder, these messages may be harder to articulate but oftentimes they make the difference in closing a deal.
What if you had a heat map for every rep in your sales organization that showed which of these messages they can effectively articulate and which ones they can’t? Whoa.
Just like a basketball coach, this would drastically improve how you develop your salespeople, how you structure your sales conversation and your overall talent strategy. Here’s what this looks like:
Look at column 2 in the heat map, which corresponds with “Identifying Issues.” Across this team, you’ve got a serious problem with identifying business challenges. Are you losing deals because reps can’t see things from your customers’ perspective? You should make this a focal point for your team-wide training strategy or you should think about reframing your issue identification approach in general. Now, look at the reps in rows 7 and 8 – they’re underperforming on most of the messages and they aren’t superior in any. Red flag! You should immediately put them on a targeted coaching intervention plan and start thinking about additional remediation steps.
This is the just the tip of the iceberg as far as what we can do when we capture this information. As we’re seeing in the NBA, access to this type of data is no longer simply a nice-to-have, it’s the difference between setting records and falling short of expectations.
Like NBA coaches, our customers also want this kind of insight into the effectiveness of their sales teams. It was such a prevalent theme that we developed a service to provide this very type of visibility and insight. CommercialTribe Spotlight helps sales enablement leaders quickly and easily see and assess both the collective and individual ability of reps to articulate key business messages.
With Spotlight, now you won’t have to wonder how many Steph Currys you have on your sales team. The question you’ll be asking yourself now is: