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March Madness, I’m Getting Ready!

by David Brock on December 24th, 2009

(This was originally published on 12/16 in Sales Bloggers Union:  March Madness, I’m Getting Ready)

NCAA Basketball has a tremendous impact on my schedule starting now.  I’m looking at the schedule, kind of planning my time backward.  According to the NCAA Basketball site, final selection is on March 14, Opening Round Game is March 16, Fourth Round Completes on March 28 and the final four on April 3rd and 5th.

I’m getting my schedule ready in anticipation.  I think of the teams–all aiming to be part of March Madness.  Actually, they started months ago in their training.  Their seasons are just starting, each building a record of wins–hoping to develop a track record that enables them to qualify and compete in March Madness, each hoping to be in the final four.  Each team has to focus both on today–practicing, competing, and winning.  Each team has their eye on March, they know what they do today lays the groundwork for March. They are looking at their January and February schedules, preparing and strategizing for the teams they will compete against, knowing those performances impact that great event in March!

Oh wait—this is supposed to be an article about sales, sorry I got diverted.  Let me get back on target and talk about sales.  But isn’t what the NCAA basketball teams are going through similar to what we as sales people are going through?  Don’t we have to balance both our short term goals—winning every deal that we are competing for today, but laying the ground work for the deals we know we need to win in January, February, March, ……

Our success today impacts our ability to be successful in the coming months.  We need to focus on closing business today, our companies need it, our managers are looking for a great year end.  However, we need to keep an eye on the future.  Are we doing the right things today that enable us to compete and win in March?  For us in sales, this means looking at our prospecting, account development, territory development, and qualifying.  Are we identifying the opportunities today that enable us to be in the game in  March?

Teams that do great in December, but fall apart later in the season don’t get to the final four.  Like those teams, doing great this month, having a strong end to the calendar year, doesn’t mean we will continue to do well.  If we aren’t identifying and developing the opportunities that will close in January, February, and March, we won’t be in the game.

The only difference between sales and NCAA Basketball, is that for us, after March Madness, comes April Angst, May Mayhem, June Jamming…..  While closing deals today, we have to lay the groundwork for the future.  Do you have a strategy that will get you to “March Madness?”  Make sure you don’t have just a great December and fall apart for the rest of the season.

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