6 Lessons About Sales that We Can Learn from the All Blacks

6 Lessons About Sales that We Can Learn from the All Blacks

So why should we learn from the All Blacks when the Springboks are the current Rugby World Cup champions? Put simply, because they’re still the best. In rugby, just like in sales, long-term results cannot be faked. The All Blacks' win ratio (doesn’t include draws as they don’t care about draws!) is 77% when counted over a century. The next best team’s win ratio is South Africa’s, which is under 60%. This means that the All Blacks usually win around 2 extra games in every 10 that they play, compared to those in second place.

Related: Lessons about Sales we can Learn from America

So ‘world-class’ looks in rugby means winning 77% of the time. In business that would mean smashing your targets for 9 months of every year. Let’s run through ways the All Blacks have done it:

  1. Non-negotiable core values. They only recruit people they feel will fit the culture and they’re brave enough to let go of people who don’t, no matter what their skills are.
  2. Make the vision bigger than the current team. The All Blacks aim to be the most successful international team in the history of the world across any sport. This means that every member of the organisation has to be fully aligned to something bigger than themselves.
  3. Develop the right team. The All Blacks are so good at ‘people development’ that many of their stars turn down over half a million dollars in salary and endorsements per year to stay in New Zealand.
  4. No one is bigger than the team. It is often the senior members of the team who sweep the changing rooms after a game to make sure it’s easier for the stadium cleaners. This keeps their feet firmly on the ground.
  5. Honour those before you. Every All Black is expected to respect those that wore their jersey before them, and to leave it in a better place for those that follow.
  6. Transparency is key. Every Monday after each game the team reviews their performance with brutal honesty. This weekly process is a no holds barred open communication session, totally transparent, with no judgement. Once finished, the discussion is considered over for good.

So what are some practical ways your business can keep winning?

  1. Don’t ‘make do’ with people who don’t fit your culture, if someone is undermining team culture or motivation, let them go somewhere they’ll fit more. The same goes for ‘job fit’: don’t keep people in the wrong roles – we’ve often had clients pay us to profile their team members from sales to operations to marketing to admin, only to find that they’ve been put into the ‘wrong seat on the bus’.
  2. Set lofty goals and make sure the entire team understand how they can help achieve them.
  3. Don’t worry about developing people so well that they may leave, create long-term training and coaching programmes for every member of your team so that they’ll never want to leave.
  4. Create a culture where even the senior members of your organisation will sweep the sheds for others.
  5. Honour those who have given your business it’s current opportunities such as the business owners and contribute to building the organisation to be something even better for those that follow you.
  6. Run weekly or monthly ‘honesty sessions’ to review the good and the bad. Once these end, don’t rehash old discussions, let them go.

As always, words are easy, action is not. Be sure to take action!

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