You Don’t Need the Best Sales Talent to Win

Our job isn’t to assemble the best players, it’s to put together the best team”   – Bill Belichick and Scot Pioli New England Patriots

I had to process this for a little while. For me it was a bit confusing. Doesn’t a great team require the best players?

As I kicked this around my head I kept being reminded of all the amazingly talented teams that fell on their face and failed.  This years Philadelphia Eagles is a perfect example. Labeled the “Dream Team” at the beginning of the season because of all the talent it had, they didn’t even make the playoffs.

As I gave it more thought, I realized Belichick and Pioli are right. Our job is to assemble the best team.

I’ve had the most success when I was able to put together the best sales teams not necessarily hire the best sales talent. Team work creates an unbelievable X-factor that can not be replicated. Great teams are without a doubt are the best examples of the sum being greater than the parts.

As the idea of teams being more valuable than talent bounced around my head, it began to occur to me. Talents biggest advantage is to be able to perform as a team. Talent without team is inconsistent, unreliable, and takes a lot of work to manage. People are going different directions, there are competing agendas, resources aren’t shared, and learnings remain in silos.  Talent without a team, in many ways, wastes talent.

It was easy to get my arms around organizations that lack teaming AND talent. They are useless.  Unfortunately, I see them more than one would think.

The great consolation prize is a strong, cohesive sales team that lacks the best sales talent.  I’m not suggesting there is NO talent, but just not the best talent. A lot can be done with a strong team, even if it lacks the best talent. Great sales teams can make up for weaker talent with cohesiveness, collaboration, commitment to the goal and camaraderie.  If you can’t get the best talent but can build the best team, it will pay off.

Obviously the ideal result is the best talent on the best team.  However, the best talent is expensive and hard to come by. Building an A-Team is very difficult and hard to maintain.  The best talent is in high-demand. They are mobile, they want more responsibility, etc. Even when the best talent can be had, few organizations have the capabilities to KEEP an A-Team together. They lack the resources, opportunities, leadership and more to keep an an entire team of A players over the long haul.

Team matters. It’s our job to build the best sales teams we can. If you can build an A-Team, a killer sales team with killer sales talent, then do it. It’s where you want to be. But if you can’t get the best sales talent, build a killer sales team. It will make up for a lot.

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