Just like the previous 45 games, the winner of this year’s Super Bowl came down to one stat. Turnovers.
According to Stats, LLC, the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game. Not the team to win the coin toss (that’s true only 49% of the time), scoring first (66%) or even the team that leads after the 3rd quarter (84%). Rather, the team that hangs onto the ball ultimately is the victor.
Winning the turnover battle is even a better stat to watch than the more sexy “average more yards per pass play” stat (78%).
|Odds of Winning|
|Win the coin toss||49% (22 of 45)|
|Score first||64% (29 of 45)|
|Gain the first play of 25-plus yards||58% (26 of 45)|
|Lead after the first quarter||68% (23 of 34)|
|Lead after the second quarter||79% (34 of 43)|
|Lead after the third quarter||84% (37 of 44)|
|Lead midway through the fourth quarter||95% (40 of 42)|
|Average more yards per pass play||78% (35 of 45)|
|Win the turnover battle||92% (33 of 36)|
|Source: Stats LLC and WSJ.com|
Sure, this year’s battle had only one turnover (an interception), but there could have been two turnovers had not NY been called for a penalty for having 12 men on the field (and who knows what the score would have then been).
Do Turnovers Predict Business Success?
I started my sales career with Intel—back in the go-go days of the late ‘70s. Intel was not the chip leader it is today. While we were dwarfed by Texas Instruments, Motorola and many others, Intel sales management was maniacally focused on customer wins.
When we won a new account, the Customer Win was celebrated. As a sales guy, it was a nice notch in your belt, especially when it was recognized with a Telex from the sales vp, Hank O’Hara, or a handwritten note from a regional manager like Frank Gill.
But the bigger prize was a Customer Win earned by taking away an account from a competitor. It didn’t even matter how big the account was or if the customer had some marquee value.
Nope. Stealing an account created heroes.
Same, too, for battling it out with a competitor for a current account. Nothing seemed to get management worked up into a lather like the prospect of losing an existing customer. Even a young field sales rep like me was given full license to call upon anyone in management to fly in for a customer presentation.
It was just part of Intel’s DNA to never ever lose an account and to pull out all the stops to win a new account.
Turnovers in Your Business?
Since I left Intel several years ago I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of small businesses with revenues under $50 million. Some are rising stars. Unfortunately, though, most have flat-lined—having reached a steady-state of customer wins vs. customer losses.
With eerie predictability, the “Turnover Stat” holds true. Even in slow-growth industries, those businesses driven by customer retention AND customer acquisition just do better.
They make more money, have happier customers and are better places to work. Everyone just seems to understand the priorities without mission statement plaques.
How about your business? Does this “Turnover Stat” apply to you? Do you track it?