Can you adopt NFL coaching styles for managing your sales team? Find out which styles might work best for your team.

Managing your sales team is a lot like coaching football. Just like football coaches, sales managers are charged with leading, organizing, and motivating a team. They must teach and support their “players” as they aim to achieve their sales goals. Instead of touchdowns and championships, a sales manager must lead their team to repeatable sales victories. But if you look at the NFL, football coaching style varies greatly.  Different coaching styles affect the output of each team and ultimately determine if a team can achieve success. Let’s look at five NFL coaches and how their styles might translate to insurance sales team managing.

Bill Belichick – New England Patriots

Starting with the polarizing coach of the New England Patriots, the coaching style of Bill Belichick is nothing short of militant. He runs a tight ship and relies on expert strategy (and not emotions) to drive his decision-making. He excels at seeing the short-term, mid-term, and long-term effects and ramifications for every move, play, and coaching decision. He also understands the football market and pays attention to the competition.

Managing your sales team like Coach Belichick requires a disciplined approach. Considerable time must be spent strategizing your current and future goals. Review what your competitors are doing and keep an eye on insurance sales trends and data.

Jon Gruden – Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders coach, Jon Gruden coaches with a big personality. He’s seen as a player-friendly coach who specializes in offensive plays and strategies. Known for some fiery language, coach Gruden’s passion for the game is palpable by anyone within earshot. He treats his players like they are family and holds them accountable in much the same way, with no holds barred.

Managing your sales team like Coach Gruden requires an ability to diversify sales tactics. Review each of your sales strategies and come up with ways to enhance them. Put your team’s strengths to good use by capitalizing on strategies that work best for them.

Mike Vrabel – Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel relates to players on a personal level since he himself played in the NFL for 14 seasons. His all-around approach has him paying attention to all team members and their various roles, making sure everyone has an opportunity to learn and grow. His time on the field earns him additional street cred from his team and he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty.

Managing your sales team like Coach Vrabel requires a willingness to put in sweat equity. When sales deadlines are approaching, pick up the phone and start dialing right alongside your team. Draw from your own experience as a salesperson and use your successes and failures as teachable moments for your own sales team.

Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, likes to keep the joy in the game. From springing unexpected friendly scrimmages onto his team to incorporating yoga and meditation into practices, Carroll likes to keep his players on their toes. He sees the unique personalities on his team and allows them to shine while maintaining a respectful and accepting environment for all.

Managing your sales team like Coach Carroll requires leaning into a sense of play with your sales team. Create friendly sales competitions and think outside of the box when it comes to team-building activities. Build a community of respect and support by making sure every voice on your team is heard.

Mike Tomlin – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin connects with players, teaching them valuable football and life lessons. His coaching style is often oversimplified as a cheerleader for his team. But Coach Tomlin does more than boost his team’s morale. He takes a vested interest in his players and takes a holistic approach to guide them as well-rounded people both on and off the field.

Managing your sales team like Coach Tomlin requires the patience and dedication of a teacher. Learn about each of your sales team members and what their individual professional goals are. Find ways of incorporating their goals into your team goals and help them grow as individuals.

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