Are You Sharpening The Axe?

In a recent post within LinkedIn’s Sales Management Executive’s Group, Darren Mitchell, a professional sales coach based in Melbourne, Australia, suggested many sales managers put too much focus on the “scoreboard” and not enough focus on the sales team.

“Our Sales Team will be measured based on the scoreboard…, Mitchell said. “However, too many Sales Leaders focus all their attention on the scoreboard… Great coaches understand they cannot change the result after the end of the game.

“What they can change though, is the focus and activities that lead to the result. This is what they focus on:

  • Break the game into bite size chunks
  • Focus on activities & behaviours in each of the 4 quarters
  • Measure progress against these activities, not just measure the score
  • Adjust the activity & strategy as required.
  • Take full responsibility for the game plan
  • Gather feedback from the players on what’s working & what’s not.

With the focus on the activities, they know they Scoreboard will take care of itself.”

Mitchell then referenced a well-known, and relevant, Abraham Lincoln quote, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

This perspective is consistent with several of our posts, especially those focusing on the importance of people and skills development, coaching, and the fact that performance management is an everyday job and cannot be done through the “rear-view mirror.”

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