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You can’t fix the score by focusing on the scoreboard itself. To improve the score, you have to focus instead on executing the plays that put points on the board.

You can’t help the players that run those plays improve their scores by focusing only on their personal scoreboard, be it their performance metrics or a non-emotional performance evaluation. You can only help them improve the score by improving all that goes into to their running the plays effectively.

Much of what allows people to produce results is about emotions and human psychology. It’s about all that make us human.

The Numbers, Divorced from the Human

It’s easy to get caught up in numbers. They are unemotional. They remove the subjectivity of human feelings and emotions from the performance and focus on the actual results. The numbers tell a story.

But the numbers tell only half a story and half as well as they should.

We humans are not objects that can be divorced from our emotions. We aren’t machines, or automatons, with results than can be measured separate from all the things that make up our being human. We are made up of a complex human psychology that underlies all that we do, all that we are, and all of our results (in life, in business, and yes, in sales).

What produced (or didn’t produce) the results on the scorecards are human beings. They have hopes and dreams. They are full of fear and apprehension. They have appetites, often for things that aren’t healthy. They have beliefs, both healthy and unhealthy. All of this underlies their results.

What Produces Better Scores

To produce better results, you have to run the plays well enough to score points. That means having players that run their internal plays well enough to succeed. Great managers and great leaders focus on building great people. This is what produces better players who run better plays and put up better scores.

You do that by focusing on the people.

You care deeply for and about your people. This underlies whether or not you have their trust and their respect, and whether they allow you to help them improve.

You help people adopt a healthier set of beliefs (this is what values do when they are brought to life in a real and meaningful way).

You help your people believe that they can be better than they are. You encourage their growth. You provide them with the belief that can compete and win, and that they can succeed.

You help them to find their own path, to identify the resources within themselves to overcome their internal obstacles.

You listen to your people. You listen to their concerns. You listen to their ideas. You let them know that you have heard them.

You provide your people with meaningful work. You empower them to achieve the results that you have asked of them. You make sure that they are in a role in which they can succeed, that the role fits their abilities and their desires.

You make them feel secure. You make them feel appreciated. You spend time with them, and you say “thank you.”

You ensure that they know what they need to know to succeed. You ensure that they know the results for which you are going to hold them accountable. You make sure that they know from whom to get help and how to get that help.

In short, you deal with the human.

More Than Lip Service

In sales, people are your only real assets. If people are your greatest (or only) assets, how do you take care of those assets? How do you make sure your assets produce the results they are capable of producing.

Paying lip service to the ideas above aren’t enough. If you measured yourself against the ideas above, how would focusing more of your attention on the human side of performance help your people produce better results?


What underlies the performance metrics and sales results your people produce? (Or, if you are a salesperson, what underlie your results and metrics?)

Is it fair to only look at the numbers when evaluating an employee’s performance? Do you get the best performance from your employees when you only look at numbers?

What investments do you make in your employee’s performance? What investments help them to produce the greatest results?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on October 1, 2011

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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