Last week I warned against blaming the goal keeper for not winning the match. In companies the sales team has to bring in sales. In football the players have to score goals. It is really that simple. Trying to distract from the central failure does not solve the problem. We saw that this week – first it was the goalie, then the players tried to corner the manager. Fortunately he is a stronger person than the rest of them combined and fortunately the players were not quite as bad as the French.
Today the team won. Not by much, but they won. Suddenly the tone changed. The blame is gone. Of course they now have to face what may be one of the strongest teams out there and our record against them is not very good.
Selling and closing the deal are central to the future of any company. In fact the quality of the product is not even key – Ryanair proves that every day. I have never heard of anyone who likes their product, yet they sell it brilliantly. Even I have been known to buy it.
Sales teams are notoriously difficult to manage and we see all kinds of styles. There was one company who routinely sacked the bottom 5% of the sales team in terms of performance. This does not score many points in terms of cool management, but they managed to take the value of their company up to over £1 billion before people figured out what they sold … rubbish.
At the root of this may lie our blame culture. The current government blames the last government. Parents blame the schools for the fact their kids are brats, whilst really they cannot bring up themselves and we all blame our councils for the rubbish we tip out over our streets. But blaming someone else does not take away our own responsibility to perform. The players on the English team need to look at themselves just like a failing sales person needs to look at what he or she can do to improve.
The English team has to score against Germany, just like they did in a small way today and has to focus on their own performance. They are extremely highly paid, they have a nation routing for them. Either goalie will do an excellent job, the manager is excellent so now get on with it and do the job you are all very capable of doing. I really hope you win.