Managers: Age of SPM

Greg Pisacane
Greg Pisacane
In Incentive Compensation, Sales Performance Management
Gregory Pisacane is a Marketing Content Editor at Xactly Corporation. He attended the University of San Diego and received a Bachelor of Art degree in English.

So, the Avengers is a movie that just came out. More specifically, Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Avengers 2, or “We have a Hulk” again – whatever you want to call it, the band is back together, and it’s time to buckle up for another adventure. That being said, this adventure will be spoiler-free – I’m not trying to end up on the Captain America naughty list, so this post is only going to focus on the dynamic of the team, and the lessons we can learn from their rising to the occasion -we may just learn how leveraging sales performance management can help us defeat Ultron (though probably not, he’s like, a super strong James Spader robot or whatever).

Here’s the thing about the Avengers – since Jump Street, this unruly bunch of super powered misfits has been something of a powder keg. With a solid 5-part team (sound familiar, sales roles?), they have a pretty good model to follow, but each individual member, while successful on their own, has the potential to either blend incredibly or crash spectacularly. In order for any team to work together, you need talent and management – on the sales side, you have your Hunters, Farmers, Prospects, Specialists, and your Captain. To ensure your sales performance management is being handled correctly, you then need a Manager to tie it all together.

On the Avengers front, you have Hawkeye, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, and Captain America – all fulfilling their role and all trying to work together in harmony. But throughout the movie we see that without clear leadership or team directive, things can start to spiral. It isn’t until an old mentor returns that the group is finally able to become a cohesive fighting force. The great success of this Avengers is showing front and center the spectacular results of this team when they are synched up perfectly. That doesn’t happen on accident, and it doesn’t get done with brute force; it requires guidance and finesse to pull off.

The lesson to take away on the sales performance management front is this: your sales team, with it’s 5 distinct parts and personalities, can only work together at peak performance if they are guided and managed properly. No team accidentally reaches the top of their potential; they get there through dedication and cooperation. Teams with ill-defined roles and lackluster sales performance management are being done a disservice, because as movies like the Avengers demonstrate, so much incredible activity can come from a harmonious team.

Captain America is at his best when he is using his shield and strength to set Black Widow up for kinetic acrobatics, Iron Man only makes it through some fights because of the surprising grace of the Hulk, and Hawkeye uses his talents to set up Thor for incredibly precise lightning strikes. The best shot of the movie is one where the action slows and you can savor the mechanics of this incredible team, watch them click by ever so slowly.

If you want to create a well-oiled sales team like this, you can’t leave it to chance; you need strong leaders and sales performance management software to set your team up for success.


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Managers: Age of SPM