B2B Sales & NFL Training Camps

    By | Small Business

    X&OI know – you are wondering what in the world B2B Sales has got to do with a NFL training camp.

    Well – quite a bit actually.

    First of all, I should tell you that I am a fanatical NFL fan. And like almost all NFL fans, I have my favourite team, the Buffalo Bills, because I live in Toronto, and they are the closest team to me.

    I won’t go into the fan heartbreak I’ve had with the Bills over the past few years, as they have failed to make the playoffs.

    So, back to the connection of B2B sales and NFL training camps.

    Unfortunately, very few companies see the connection, and even fewer put the needed strategies into place.

    Also, if you are a sports fan for any sport, whether it be the NFL, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, and probably soccer, they all have training camps.

    As you say to yourself – “That’s great Ian, I know that, but what has that got to do with B2B sales and my company?”

    I’m glad you asked, so let me tell you.

    B2B Sales Has Changed – Or Has It?

    Although B2B sales has changed in the way we must market to our prospects and clients, you still need to know the basics of B2B selling. And there a lot of them, because there are a lot people you need to convince to buy.

    And all football fans know that all NFL teams must know the basics. These basics are, on offense;
    • Blocking and tackling
    • Running through gaps in the line
    • Pass routes
    • Passing properly
    • Knowing every play and your responsibility
    • Etc., etc., etc.

    And on defense;
    • How to break through blocks
    • How to tackle well
    • How to cover receivers
    • When to blitz
    • When to drop back in coverage
    • Etc., etc., etc.

    If you follow football, you know how complicated and sophisticated the game is, on both sides of the ball.

    Well guess what?

    B2B sales is also sophisticated, and can be extremely complicated if you don’t know what you are doing.

    Your Own Training Camp

    So let me ask you this – Do you have your own B2B sales training camp?

    I would guess that you don’t because I haven’t run across a company yet that does.

    Unfortunately, even the companies that used to have them, IBM and Xerox don’t have them anymore.

    As an example, when I joined IBM in 1974, they put me (and every other new sales person) through a nine month training camp. And I also had to spend at least two weeks, every year, taking further training or my pat was deducted.

    That is one of the biggest and most important reasons IBM dominated the technology marketplace for so many years.

    Everyone knew how to sell.

    Then one of their CEO’s decided it was too expensive, and IBM has not dominated since then.

    Xerox was also in a dominant position because they had a similar type training, or boot camp. And they don’t dominate anymore either.

    The IBM training consisted of three major elements.
    1. Marketing & Selling
    2. Products and Services
    3. How a Business Works

    And guess what we focused about 80% of our time on? That’s right – sales & marketing.

    Let me ask you this again – Do you have your own B2B sales training camp?

    Of course the questions begs another question.

    Why should you have a B2B sales training camp? You don’t have a training camp for any other function.

    The answer is because sales, and marketing, are the lifeblood of your B2B company.

    Sales and marketing bring in the clients, and then manage them for more business.

    And without any clients, you don’t have a company.

    Now, perhaps you don’t actually need a full training camp, but you certainly need a B2B sales training & coaching program.

    All athletes, even the great ones, like Michael Jordan, , Wayne Gretzky, Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, etc. all have/had coaches. And their coaches coach them all year long, and at the very least, all during the playing season.

    So, although a training, or boot camp would be fantastic to have, all B2B sales and marketing people need year-round coaching. Here’s why.

    Does Training & Coaching Pay Off?

    Below are two interesting graphics about training and coaching.

    Training without coaching

    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 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.

    So if you want to grow your business by getting the best clients for you, then you need to have year round coaching and training for your B2B sales and marketing people and teams.

    Please go here to download my free eBook: Why Can’t B2B Sales People Sell?

    This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: B2B Sales & NFL Training Camps

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