Last night my husband and I watched our DVR recording of The Haney Project's new season featuring Ray Romano. In this series Ray Romano is seeking the help of golf coach Hank Haney to break through his lowest score to date of 80.
I used to play a lot of golf. I was never great at it, but I love the game. While watching the antics of Ray as he tries to grasp Hank's tips and improve his swing - the commentary is hilarious, as you might expect - I started thinking about why golf is so challenging.
A few things on my list include:
- Too much to do at once - head down, don't dip your shoulder, bend your knees, stay in your swing plane, keep your club face in the right position...and about 90 other things critical to achieving perfection. But only if all done simultaneously.
- The wind can change everything. Even a skillfully hit shot can be taken down by a shift in wind currents.
- Water is only friendly to ducks.
- The rough isn't friendly to anyone.
- Trees. Why?
- Bunkers - just in case you haven't had enough fun already...
Yes, there are a lot of obstacles in golf. Lot's of things that can stop you from getting the ball onto the green and into the cup.
Golf has a lot in common with the B2B marketing-to-sales process.
Marketing tees it up and takes a swing. The more they know about the course (buyer's) and the conditions surrounding it (buyer's needs), the more forward progress they can make. If they take a misstep and hit the ball out of bounds, they must return to take a drop and start again. When marketing gets the ball on/near the green, sales takes over to execute the short game with as few additional strokes (sales calls) as possible.
The lower the handicap, the shorter the sales cycle.
Anyone who's spent much time watching Phil Mickelson over the years knows what happens when there are issues with hitting the long shots or in the short game. It's getting the two consistent that produces a champion—and that takes a lot of practice, coordination and highly-tuned skill.
When marketing and sales are working both ends of the game without collaborating on what works, tuning the transitions and eliminating obstacles, their results will be much worse than Ray's best score.
What golfers learn about the course on the way to the green plays into their efforts to sink the putt. If they can read the course well, they need less shots to finish out the hole. It takes practice and the honing of skills needed for every shot of the game to improve your score.
What handicap would you give your marketing-to-sales alignment efforts?