Let's Call It Practice

Over a twelve-year period, John Wooden lead the UCLA men's basketball team to ten NCAA national championships. Many coaches have tried to emulate his success, but no other coach in any sport has achieved that level of consistent winning.

What did Wooden do so well? He created a continuous loop of learning and feedback for his teams. He didn't just find the best players and let them play. Wooden found the best ones he could and created an environment for them to get better. He called it practice.

When hiring sales representatives, sales leaders can be heard lamenting about the level of sales talent available. They marvel at the number of hires that don't work out and redouble their efforts to find better talent the next time. What if the problem isn't the people, but the practice?

Companies that provide their teams with quality coaching achieve a 20% sustained improvement in performance. In addition, companies whose sales managers devote 25% to 40% of their time to coaching lead in their sectors. These companies have created a continuous loop of learning and feedback for their sales teams that leads to better results. They train, role-play, go on sales calls, and give feedback to help reps integrate what they've learned into their daily activities. You could call that practice.

 
 

Here's Blue Tape's Quote of the Week:

"In the end, it's about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me."

John Wooden