Businessman in a hurry

A test was once conducted to compare the racing speed of world-famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo and professional sprinter Angel David Rodriguez. Predictably, when the two athletes ran in a straight line, Rodriguez was the faster of the two. But when they were asked to run on a zig-zagging course, Ronaldo was much quicker.

Watching the video in slow motion, Rodriguez’s technique is clearly better than Ronaldo’s. The sprinter’s movements all propel him very efficiently in a straight line, whereas the soccer player’s arms and legs move side to side. In a complex game where he’s constantly ducking and dancing around other players, however, it is Ronaldo’s agility that makes him such a powerful and effective athlete.

Running a profitable sales organization is much more complicated than a foot race. Sales is a team sport, and all of your reps need to be able to respond dynamically to constantly evolving situations: snags in the pipeline, changes in the market, and many other variables.

Some aspects of a sales operation are more straightforward, and in these cases, clear and decisive implementation of strategy—like the sprinter’s perfect running form—is a requisite. Take territory planning, for example. You create a baseline of how your team is performing, segment the customers, take stock of the existing pipeline, calculate costs, define territories, and set goals. These steps should be executed with as much science as possible.

But no matter how carefully you plan your territories, you won’t know how well they work until you actually put them into play. The most effective sales organizations conduct portfolio reviews on a regular basis and make continual adjustments based on the results. This is where the real finesse happens, and where agility matters most.

Unfortunately, many sales organizations lack the tools they need to be agile with their territory and quota management. To see how you can add responsiveness to your strategy, try a demo of Obero SPM.

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