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Comparing 9 NFL Coaches in Ambition

Comparing 9 NFL Coaches in Ambition

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Comparing 9 NFL Coaches in Ambition

Another NFL Season is in the books. Enjoy this fun analysis of 9 NFL Head Coaches - using the Ambition Sales Management Platform.

Enjoy this fun look at the NFL coaching elite - through the lens of Ambition.


Ambition began with a singular vision - bring the excitement and energy of sports into modern call centers and sales bullpens.

After 5 years and counting, the verdict is in:

The positive responses from sales organizations like Wayfair, Outreach, Cloudinary, Kenco Group and more operate as our 12th man. And that's the very same principle we apply as a fully-loaded sales management solution. 

Just like any sports team, modern sales orgs need:

  • clear goals and incentives. 
  • consistent training and feedback.
  • constant coaching and collaboration.

Want to be a great coach? The best codify, implement, and automate the above systems into your sales culture, go-to-market strategy, and daily workflow. 

To illustrate our point - we put 9 NFL coaches into the Ambition ecosystem - with performance metrics corresponding to their real-world success. Read the (tongue-in-cheek) writeups below. 

NFL Coach #1. Bill Belichick | New England Patriots

Major Weaknesses: Imagining the NFL's winningest coach as a sales leader is tough. For starters, Belichick:

  • dresses like a Silicon Valley reject
  • has zero charisma
  • is a textbook misanthrope

Major Strengths: But wait. All those characteristics also signal:

  • bulletproof confidence.
  • unique thought process.
  • pathological obsession with work.

X-Factor: The corporate espionage Belichick would undertake to help his sales team win deals and steal clients. Laws would be broken.

  • Verdict: High-Performing Coach.

sales coaching

NFL Coach #2. Pete Carroll | Seattle Seahawks

We picture Pete Carroll's Ambition Profile looking similar to this:

sales coaching

Major Weaknesses: The most surefire signs a sales leader has lost his or her edge? 

While the team collapses in on itself like a dying star

Major Strengths: Look at this formidable track record:   

X-Factor: Who are we kidding? We'd kill to be on a Carroll-coached sales team.

  • Verdict: High-Performing Coach.

NFL coaching quadrant

NFL Coach #3. Mike Tomlin | Pittsburgh Steelers

Major Weaknesses: Biased Steelers fan here. This will be brief.

  • Belichick owns Tomlin. 2-7 lifetime record versus top rival? No bueno.  
  • My boss has coopted "The standard is the standard." Now code for, "Do better, Boudinet."

Major Strengths: Look at this formidable track record:   

  • 10 seasons as Head Coach. 0 losing records. Mediocrity is impossible under Tomlin.
  • Love Tomlin's poised-yet-loose sideline presence. Great fit for the sales bullpen.

X-Factor: The Steelers fanbase still sleeps on Tomlin. The chip on his shoulder equals the size of Bill Cowher's jaw.

  • Verdict: High-Performing Coach.

nfl sales coaches

NFL Coach #4. Mike McCarthy | Green Bay Packers

Major Weaknesses: The Cheesehead look doesn't translate to sales.

  • The nice-guy schtick? Didn't work for Jerry Lundergaard.
  • The post-Aaron Rodgers-era? No one's sold yet, Mike.

Major Strengths: Shooters shoot. Winners win.   

  • Won the NFC North 6 out of 10 years. 
  • Beat closest contemporary (Tomlin) to win Super Bowl.
  • A-Rodge seems to like him. 

X-Factor: Check out these December numbers - McCarthy is a remarkably bland, consistent winner.  

  • Verdict: High-Performing Coach.

sales coaching

NFL Coach #5. Andy Reid | Kansas City Chiefs

Major Weaknesses: Scientifically proven at this point.

  • Clock Management. Expect zero Q4 composure from an Andy Reid-led sales team. 
  • 2nd Tier-itis. Some sales leaders, great as they are, have an invisible ceiling.
  • Once that secret gets out, it's over.

Major Strengths: Again, scientifically proven.   

  • Developing Talent. Andy Reid works magic with teams that are young, raw, and hungry.
  • If there's an NFL coach who can turn around a team of talented misfits in any profession, it's Reid.
  • Calm, zen leadership style ... 95% of the time. 

X-Factor: Reid turns Jin Yiangs into Don Drapers overnight.  

  • Verdict: High-Performing Coach.

andy reid coaching breakdown

NFL Coach #6. Jason Garrett

The Bighead-Gavin Belson relationship dynamic between Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones needs no analysis.

There's only one KPI for Jason Garrett.

sales coaching

NFL Coach #7. Jon Gruden | Oakland Raiders

The only recent historical data sets for Jon Gruden are a) his salary; b) Q rating with the Black Hole.


NFL Coach #8. Marvin Lewis | Cincinnati Bengals

Major Weaknesses: The patron saint of winning when it doesn't matter.

  • Deathly allergic to clutchness, crunch-time heroics.
  • Look at this fake smile. Are we sure this man's even human?
  • Boring guy. Boring team. Horrifying smile.

Major Strengths: Let's see.   

X-Factor: Sales leadership forecast - best described in another Ambition feature.  

  • Verdict: (Sorta) High-Performing Coach.

marvin lewis sales coach

NFL Coach #9. Hue Jackson | Cleveland Browns

Major Weaknesses: You know what - let's skip the bullet points and just show you the chart.

sales coaching

Major Strengths: Record-breaking activity:output ratio signals three things.   

  • Hue Jackson lacked the basic enablement his team needed to succeed.
  • Owners and top executives are the primary cause of poor performance.
  • Jim Haslam is the worst owner / booster in all of sports. 

X-Factor: We got nothing.  

  • Verdict: Low-Performing Coach. 

The Real-Time Sales Performance Platform

Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization).  Fortune 1000 sales organizations like UPS, Aerotek and Wayfair use Ambition to enhance sales KPI clarity and drive their teams using real-time scorecards, dashboards, alerts, contests, and TV leaderboards. 

tennessee sales organizations

Contact us to schedule a demo of Ambition for your sales force today.

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About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.