It’s Super Bowl time again and one can’t help but think of all of the great coaches. Looking at names like Lombardi, Madden, Noll, Walsh, Johnson and Shanahan you know they all had one thing in common – Leadership. They took their teams to the promise land. They did what everyone else that year couldn’t. They won.
Super Bowl coaches, much like C-level executives or Small Business Owners have a lot of things to manage on a daily basis. There isn’t a shortage of moving parts, but somehow, great coaches make it look easy. So let’s beg the question. How would a Super Bowl 51 coach running a small business manage the CRM system?
Manage the Salary Cap
Not unlike a small business, NFL teams have to watch their salary cap. If you are running an insurance firm and have 10 employees do you really need to spend the big dollars and go with the top of the line CRM solution? Of course not. As a matter of fact, did you know that most enterprise level firms only use a fraction of the features in their bloated CRM software? Go with something simple. Go with something you can grow into. Go with something proven. Go with something affordable. Do not buy things you don’t need and won’t use.
The Free Agent Market
Every year NFL teams have to swap personnel in and out of their teams. Having the right players makes all of the difference. Some breakout players want big money and fail to deliver while others are quiet and consistently get the job done. As a small business owner you probably can’t afford the Running Back who ran for 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns last year. What you need is affordable players who understand the fundamentals of CRM. Someone who day in and day out gets the job done. They input their data, they write good notes and they know how to leverage the CRM system for results.
Training and Conditioning
All of the great NFL coaches take training seriously. Small business owners on the other hand – usually not. Training is probably the number one missed opportunity in most smaller organizations. Can you imagine an NFL team that ignored training? They wouldn’t win a single game. This is why Super Bowl coaches spend so much time training on fundamentals. Everyone has to know their job. They have to know what part of the field to be on and how to do their job. That also means accountability and if someone doesn’t do their job, they get benched. Set aside a training calendar for your team and stick to it.
Develop the Gameplan
Super Bowl coaches don’t take the field without knowing their competition and without having a gameplan, and neither should you. They know how many times they want to run the ball, they know where they have good match-ups, and they know where the might have troubles. They develop a scheme around all of these. As a small business you have to do the same. What are you good at? What are you bad at? Where can you leverage a favorable matchup against your competition? Are you managing the game with Key Performance Indicators and staying on plan? Your CRM can help get you the data you need via dashboards to help you manage what’s happening on the field.
A Good Offense
Let’s be honest, we love high-powered offenses. Watching your team run one across the goal-line is a special thing, especially when they do it over and over. As a small business, your offense is Sales and Marketing. If you have a well-oiled machine you know that you are going to put points on the scoreboard. Having a well-oiled CRM system makes doing that much easier. Marketing is pulling lists and sending out targeted campaigns. Sales is working down lead sheets, and having precision conversations with prospects. All of this leads to deals being closed. What you don’t want is fumbles or interceptions or penalties. They slow down your offense and get you out of synch. When small businesses have bad data, improper dispositions, spend time on the wrong people – all of this hurts your chances to score.
A Good Defense
While offense is sexy, defense is what wins championships. If Sales and Marketing is your offense, then Customer Service, Finance and Operations is your defense. If a small business wins 5 customers and loses 10 they aren’t going to get the confetti bath. A good defense will help you keep customers happy, fulfill orders, and manage the backend of the operations. Your CRM system is the backbone to a good defense. This means the back office has to have their own dedicated part of the CRM platform. They have to “Protect This House”!
Every small business owner will tell you that things change. They will tell you that things didn’t go according to plan. Just like in the NFL, you might find out that your running game isn’t working so well on the right side of the line, or your deep field threats aren’t getting open. When things aren’t working you have to be willing to call an audible. You have to change the play at the line. Having a highly tuned CRM system can help small businesses do this. Your system is full of data and if you can dig into it, if you can get accurate reports and charts of what’s going on, you can adjust. Just like in the NFL, when small business owners realize something isn’t working you call an audible.
The Halftime Speech
It’s exhausting just to get through the season and the playoffs let alone playing in the most important game of the year. Coaches have to constantly motivate their teams and Super Bowl coaches know exactly how to do this. As a small business owner you will be faced with team members that are tired, they start slacking off with their duties and maybe have the wrong mindset. Just like a coach, you have to get in there and light the fire. Each player might be different but as the leader, you set the tone. It’s not fun to motivate sales people to enter data or for customer service to input good notes, but all of you have one common goal. As the leader you have to motivate them to get it done. That’s the art of the halftime speech!
Post Game Analysis
At the end of the game, whether you won or lost, every Super Bowl coach knows that there is going to be a post-game press conference and lots of time watching the game film in the offseason. The scoreboard never lies and whatever happened on that field will be forever etched in the history books. One thing the NFL is fantastic at is keeping statistics. There are more statistics and data points than you can imagine. This is the exact thing that your CRM was meant to do. Really good teams have lots of data. They know how to analyze it and how to adjust their organizations base upon that data.
So there you have it. If you were going to take your small business to the Super Bowl, what kind of coach would you be? What aspects of your team would be strong? What would your post-game press conference sound like?