Yes, you read the title right. No, we are not going to talk about cricket. But, there is a strong simile we wish to draw here. That is regarding the approach.

Test cricket is about thinking long term and cumulating enough to position yourself for a win.  On the other hand, 20-20 is about playing well in a short time and one is never far from a win.

Let us draw your attention to 2 sales parameters now: sales pipeline and sales forecast.

The pipeline consists of all contacts (leads, prospects, and customers) for a sales person. A sales person with a big pipeline is making more contacts. He is cumulating for a good performance. He may not show great results this month but is more likely to have good numbers in the long term, say the quarter or year. He is playing with the test match approach.

On the other hand, the sales forecast consists of prospects that are towards the end of the pipeline and are likely to convert soon. A sales person having a high forecast is on the verge of converting many prospects. He is going to be your star performer this month, but if his pipeline is not big enough, he may not bring in the numbers for the quarter or year. He is playing with the 20-20 approach.

A balance between the sales pipeline and forecast is what will make a sales person a consistent performer. It is towards this balance that a good sales manager should move his team toward.