Nick Saban just did, with spectacular results.
Yesterday I wrote about lessons sales leaders can learn from Alabama head coach Nick Saban. This isn’t the first time I’ve referenced coach Saban, despite the fact that I am definitely not an Alabama fan. In fact, I am a long-time Georgia Bulldogs fan, which makes it especially painful that today there is another important lesson to learn from the Alabama machine Saban has built.
If you’re still reading at this point, I suspect you know the story. Georgia is up by 13 at the half and the Alabama offense is looking more inept than the Simpson’s Hans Moleman. Entering the second half, Saban boldly replaces their starting quarterback with a true freshman who up to that point had only played sparingly. In fact, he only had a scholarship at Alabama because Georgia freshman quarterback phenome Jake Fromm flipped from Alabama to Georgia.
The easy observation is that Nick Saban is a genius at seeing opportunity, recognizing talent, and feeling the flow of the game, and while all this may be true, none of it would matter were it not for the system. And, I can easily understand why some pundits site the courage it must have taken to fight back one’s own anxiety and put the national championship on the shoulders of an untested freshman quarterback. But, the truth is that Coach Saban knew exactly how Tua Tagovailoa would perform because the system prepared him properly.
“I trust players, players that do things the right way, players who prepare the right way, practice the right way, they’re dependable,” Saban said after the 26-23 victory. “When players do that, I have total faith, trust and confidence to put them out there.” (Thanks to Steve Penn at Tekni-Plex for sending over the quote.)
For Nick Saban, his halftime adjustment was easy, because his system allowed him to know exactly what he needed to do to increase his chances of winning. Do that once and people may call you Les Miles (No offense to Coach Miles intended, he has many meaningful football games … But his nickname is the Mad Hatter for a reason). Do it as often as Saban, and they are probably calling you A Legend.
So, how about you? Does your sales operating system allow your sellers to practice and prep “the right way”? Does it ensure they receive the coaching and practice necessary to shine when they are given the opportunity? Are their performance indicators clear enough that you know how they will perform under pressure? Or, are you hoping to acquire talent that is so generational that they won’t need a system in order to excel in the face of stiff competition?
If you’d like to build your own sales dynasty, we’d like to talk. Our sales operating system allows you to get the best possible performance from every player on your team. Start as big or as small as you like, but begin building your dynasty now by visiting us at www.axiomsfd.com.
Bob Sanders has more than 25 years experience in sales, sales management, and marketing. Bob has served as President and CEO of AXIOM Sales Force Development from 2006 to 2018. His passion about sales behavior and coaching helps develop people into their best selves. Since Bob joined AXIOM as a partner in the fall of 1993, he's helped dozens of companies around the world generate hundreds of millions in additional revenue. Bob holds a degree in Marketing from Miami University. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous corporate events and industry conferences. He is a founding underwriter and frequent contributor to the Sales Management Association. He co-authored AXIOM's “Selling Sciences Program™” workbook and audio program, and is a contributor on "A Journey to Sales Transformation". When Bob is not advocating on behalf of buyers and sellers worldwide, he is an avid cyclist, father, and husband.