The Celtics & The Math

Celtics Parade 2024Today will be historic in Boston, which, as all of us who live here already know, is a wicked sports town!

Today, Boston will show off that everything-green pride for the Celtics in its Duckboat celebration bringing 1 million people to the city this morning. 

Whether you're in town today or you're watching on your phone this morning or tonight on the evening news, this is about celebrating the best ever in team success!


By taking a look at the Celts' record shattering success resulting in a 4-1 historic win over the Mavericks, there are a number of very solid takeaways for those of us who run businesses and especially sales organizations that you should think about.

  • This success was as much, maybe even more, about creating and living a team culture than individual skills.  Add to that comment about culture, an underlying drive to win that comes from within the team itself rather than from one or two individuals. 

    An Idea: Take a step back when you finish the quarter in two weeks and rate your perception of the team culture of your sales team.  Choose a 1-5 scale and simply write that down adding a couple of notes about why you think that way.  Then ask your sales team to do the same at a work meeting in July.   It may well be that you have a Celtics-level culture.  If you don't, then set out a plan to change.

  • The Celtics win had to do with solving a math problem, They ended with the best offense in the history of the NBA because that's where they deliberately focused one portion of their training figuring out how to high percentage shots.  Sales success is often about who has the most consistent training, and the application of that specific training depends on the math.  Everyone on the Celtics team understands the exactness of the math and where they need to be at any time in the completion of their own specific stats and the metrics of the entire team. That same thought process of understanding the details of the math needs to apply in our case as sales managers relative to where we are in the month, the quarter and the balance of the year.  

    An Idea: In July, spend a day with your sales team and work backgrounds from where you need to be at the end of Q4 and Q3 in your critical KPIs. Most importantly, figure out both the deal and revenue math moving up from the bottom of your sales funnel which is the number of closed deals that your sales plan requires.  As a group, do this math both for the team in total and then have everyone work through their own  math individually. Then work backgrounds as you walk up your sales funnel from the bottom until you get to the top SQL step. Now figure out your conversion rates from step to step and ask yourself whether the numbers make sense, which they may well not as you look out for the next six months. One question then become what's the type of training you can apply beginning now into the early fall. The other question is where do you need to make changes in the team..

  • Take a hard look at your team and figure out where you need to make changes now and bring in new talent. The Celtics excel in their recruiting and training. Interestingly, as a result, they do not have a player who finished in the top five of MVP voting during the season.  On the other hand, what they do have to a person are exceptional performers all unified around their unique culture of winning.

    An idea:  Do a specific sales skills assessment of your individual sales players and ask yourself is it time to make a change and make that judgement on the basis of your own assessment of that person's skills and whether you have the time to put into training and coaching that player to be an "A" level.  If not, it's time to make the change now and not get caught up in the false math that some level of sales from a B- player is better than no sales. That math never works.  Just make the move now and don't look back.  There's plenty of high caliber sales talent available right now. 

Good selling today and enjoy what's going to be a perfectly beautiful and memorable Friday!   


Executing on your Sales Plan in 2024!

After the quarter is finished, for a few ideas on your sales plan for the second half of the year and improving the productivity of your own team, you can click here for our new  "Writing the Winning Sales Plan in 2024", for a few ideas on structure, sales models, process funnels and a number of productivity tools and how to recruit and hire the best.  Or, just give me a call, and we can kick around a few ideas  
Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts.





Tags: Sales Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 sales and marketing best practices, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning