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Why B2B Sales People Fail

50% of B2B sales people fail to make their quota each year. – CSO Insights

B2B sales and marketing are difficult. But once mastered, the rewards are extraordinary.

See why below.

The following headline in the National Post (one of Canada’s national newspapers) really got my attention.

Malcolm Gladwell got it wrong: “Deliberate practice — not 10,000 hours — key to achievement”, psychologist says.

The “10,000-hour rule” – enshrined in Gladwell’s best-selling 2008 book Outliers; (a book that every business person should read) – holds that mastery in any field can be achieved with 10,000 hours of practice.

But psychologist Anders Ericsson, a Florida State University researcher, who has spent his career breaking down the science of what makes people extraordinary, says Gladwell missed the point.

“If you’ve been doing your job for 10 years or 10,000 hours, the idea that you magically become a superior performer … is counterproductive,” he told a leading Canadian newspaper, The National Post.

As Ericsson explains in his new book, Peak, it’s not enough to engage in 10,000 hours of a task.

Cabbies are not transformed into virtuoso drivers over years of service.

why is b2b sales so tough?

What’s critical is “deliberate practice” – a scientific attention to specific improvement goals, a constant drive to move outside one’s comfort zone that is “generally not enjoyable,” and a good coach “to minimize the risk” of wasted, frustrated time.

What Gladwell got right, though, says the book, is that “expertise of any kind requires a tremendous amount of effort exerted over many years.”

If you’ve been reading any of my articles over the past few years, you know how adamant I am about getting your sales people and marketers trained and coached throughout their careers.

b2b sales training mistakes

Coaching also has an impact on an organization’s financial performance; according to an ICF and HCI study, 60% of respondents from organizations with strong coaching cultures report their revenue to be above average, compared to their peer group.

Here are some very interesting statistics on sales training and coaching.

· ROI in training quadruples from 22% to 88% when reinforced by in-field coaching and reinforcement.
Ventana Research

· Training + Coaching led to an increase of 88% in productivity, vs. 23% from training alone
Centre for Management and Organizational Effectiveness

My clients have seen a 3 to 5 times increase in revenues when coaching occurs over an extended period of time – minimum two years.

And if you’ve read my previous articles on coaching, you will have seen these two graphics before, about how powerful coaching is compared to a pep talk training program – which ends up being a total waste of time and money for any company.

B2B Sales Coaching Results

Let’s look at two graphics adapted from the “heart of coaching by Crane”.
b2b sales Training without coachingb2b sales Training with coaching

As you can see from the first graphic, training gives a one-time boost in sales behaviour and results, but people quickly slip back into their old familiar behaviour without coaching reinforcement, and increases in sales are negligible.

However, with B2B sales coaching after training, you can see that although there is a slight dip in both graphics right after training, the sales people who received coaching keep getting better and better results.

Through all of my coaching years, I have found that coaching costs very little compared to the increased results that have occurred. In many cases, coaching fees were less than 1% of the overall increase in revenues.

So, if you truly want to grow your business, you need to have your sales people trained and coached by professionals. And in most cases, this means hiring outside professional B2B sales coaches. You will see a very worthwhile ROI.

Training and coaching B2B sales and marketers usually doesn’t take 10,000 hours, but it does take time for someone to become an expert in those fields.

And the only way to ensure that your sales and marketers become experts in their chosen field is to give them the training and especially the ongoing coaching they need.

I have also found that the ROI, that occurs with the right coaching, is usually more than 5 times the cost of the training and coaching.

You read that right. It is not 50% to 100% ROI, coaching gives your B2B sales people and marketers 5 to 10 times the cost of the coaching.

So for instance, if you paid a coach $100,000 for training and coaching, then your company should reach at least $500,000 more in revenues within two to five years.

My coaching programs guarantee those results.

How’s that for a payback?

what’s needed for b2b sales and marketing expertise

If you really want to grow your B2B business, your sales people and marketers need to first be trained properly, and then they need ongoing coaching to ensure they keep using the methods taught in the training.

Of course classic examples of this type of training and coaching are found in the arts and in sports. All virtuoso actors and musicians have had great training and coaching, and it is ongoing.

Although I am not as familiar with the arts as I am with sports (after all I do have a Phys Ed degree), I know this as a fact.

And anyone who follows any sport, whether individual or team sports, or both, you know that every great athlete has had a coach move them along, and they still get coaching every day, in order to improve, and at a bare minimum, to stay at their current level.

So, if you want your sales and marketers to drive the business the way you want it, then get them the training, and especially the ongoing coaching that is absolutely necessary for them to succeed.

Notice that Ericsson states that you need “a scientific attention to specific improvement goals” and “deliberate practice” in order to become great at your job.

That is why my motto for my company is Get More Clients, with Sales Science.

What to do Now

You need to have a B2B sales and marketing scientific system that reflects the way you do business, and the way your clients buy, in order to succeed in today’s super competitive and connected world.

Contact me through my email in my signature below, and let’s have a discussion about your situation, and how you can drive your business 5 to 10 times in the next two years.

In the meantime, please download my book below.

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Kind regards,
Ian Dainty
Ian Dainty’s Email

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