In this article, I discuss "Huddles", the 3rd tool on the sales productivity tools list. Over the years, I have used football huddles as an example of how sales huddles work.
Your huddles should provide real-time information, so that you can make real-time decisions and provide real-time feedback or coaching. But just like in football, you must not only collect the data in a huddle, you must then gain business intelligence from the data and share that business information with the team.
I was first introduced to the idea of "Sales Huddles" when I heard Verne Harnish, Founder and President of Gazelles, speak at Objective Management Group’s Annual International Conference. At that conference, Verne described Huddles as:
- A communication process or system that allows for sharing of real-time information
- An opportunity to focus on "burning platform" issues for a team or company
- A way to bring sharp focus and attention to a critical business driver
- The most important 15 minutes in any company
Over the years, I have used football huddles as an example of how sales huddles work. Generally speaking, there are two types of huddles. One is what you see in the middle of a football field where the players gather around a single individual to get instruction on what they are going to do next. The other type of huddle is one that you would see on the sidelines after a unit comes off of the field. They gather around the offensive or defensive unit coach to receive information about what was seen in the press box, and how that relates to what they will attempt to do the next time on the field.
Your huddles should provide real-time information, so that you can make real-time decisions and provide real-time feedback or coaching.
This one very important point about huddles is what makes them so valuable to sales teams and salespeople. This is one of THE KEYS to driving more immediate and productive results from a sales team. If you wait 90 days as a manager to get data about how your team is conducting itself on a daily basis, it will be outdated and may not be of any use to you or your salespeople.
One of my favorite questions when working with sales managers in our Performance Management Class is this:
“When you get lost, when do you want to know that you're lost”?
The answer to that question 100% of the time is,
“As soon as possible."
And that is why you must have huddles!
Gathering real-time information allows you as a salesperson or manager to make real-time adjustments to either a specific sales situation or in your overall sales growth strategy. But just like in football, you must not only collect the data in a huddle, you must then gain business intelligence from the data and share that business information with the team.
Only then will the team benefit from the huddles, thus reducing resistance to the process. Additionally, you can make in-the-moment decisions on sales opportunities and long-term decisions on training and development, recruiting and talent.
To find out more about Huddles and other tools we offer, visit our Sales Productivity Tools resource below: