Tag Archives: Business Growth

The High Costs of Hiring Mediocre B2B Sales People

There is an increasing pool of research-from respected organizations like Gallup and the Harvard Business Review, and also many newer research firms- demonstrating that the costs of a bad hire in B2B sales, more than any other functional group, are enormous.

Most B2B companies tend to grossly underestimate the negative consequences a bad sales hire can bring to their company.

Some of the costs to consider include:

B2B Sales Direct costs


  • Lost revenue (lost and delayed business)
  • Extra training and management required
  • Costs of turnover (firing and replacing – from both time and direct hiring costs)


B2B Sales Indirect costs


  • Long-term impact on market share and brand – lost customers and brand loyalty
  • Impact on morale – leading to lower overall performance of other team members and higher turnover- and ultimately the loss of your best salespeople.


An Example of the Costs

Let’s look at an example for a company where the sales quota of the best salespeople is $1.5 million, and sub-par performers are delivering half of that ($750,000).

The annual impact of having a poor performer on the team can be estimated at $1,360,000 (including lost revenue, lost clients, and extra management costs). The costs of delaying action, to remove this individual, are $2.6 million over 2 years!

You must remember that B2B salespeople represent your company to your clients. Therefore, the impact of brand and market-share erosion over time, of a sub-par salesperson, can have grave consequences for your company.

Other Insights

CSO Insights, a sales research firm, puts out statistics it gathers every year from surveys it does with over 2500 companies.

They found that only 58.2% of B2B sales reps made quota in 2013 out of the 2500+ companies surveyed. That means that 42.8% of sales reps missed their quota.

That is a very alarming statistic.

A Typical Observation

CSO Insights had this conversation with a sales rep from one of their interview companies.

Sales rep: “Yeah, that program is great. Really powerful! In fact, the only time it doesn’t work is when I don’t use it”.

CSO Insights: “That’s quite an endorsement. How often would you say you use the principles you learned in the program?”

Sales rep: “Uh, maybe half the time.”

Now please think about that for a moment. If it works every time the rep uses it, why wouldn’t the rep use it all the time? Does he/she simply not need a win every time? Very unlikely!

It’s usually because the sales rep hasn’t had ongoing coaching to ingrain the sales training methodology into their daily routine.

Does Training & Coaching Pay Off?

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, although there is a slight dip right after training, the sales people who received coaching keep getting better and better results.

Through all of my 40+ years of coaching, 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.


Competing at the top level is very exacting and can be very trying mentally. Anyone who has ever played golf knows that for sure.

But in order to succeed at any level, people need coaching. This is true for executives, business owners, and especially for sales and marketing people.

You use coaching for two main reasons.

1. To help you learn new skills, and to perfect or change old ones,

2. To give you feedback on how you are performing those skills, and to correct mistakes.

Feedback needs to be timely, accurate, consistent, relevant, and individualized. The other four factors are fairly self-explanatory, but let’s have a look at what is needed to be accurate, and why it is important to be accurate.

In order to be accurate, you need to have some kind of measurement system in place to give you metrics about how someone is performing all the way through the sales cycle.

You need to measure things like;

1. Is she following up on leads? (I hope you have a good lead generation system)

2. Is he using the sales and marketing methodology that you have implemented? ( I hope you have one)

3. Does she qualify prospects well, so she’s not chasing people that aren’t going to buy right now?

4. Is he demonstrating your system properly, or does he do it too early or too late in the sales cycle?

5. Does she follow a correct proposal writing script that your company has implemented?

6. Does he follow-up properly with all prospects?

7. And all the way through the sales cycle.

You need to measure everything right through the sales cycle, until you either lose or win the business.

As you can see, in order for your company to meet its revenue targets in any year, you need to be implementing coaching in your business.

This coaching should also include the executives of your company, so everyone is on the same page.

It becomes pretty obvious that training with coaching pays off.

Are your sales reps, marketers and executives getting the training and coaching they need to understand sales and marketing better, and to able to reach quotas?

You already know that the B2B sales cycle can be anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. What if you could cut that time in half? Discover how you can do just that and at the same time stop chasing non-productive leads.

My name is Ian Dainty and I want to help you succeed. Visit my web site at http://maximizebusinessmarketing.com/ and tell me what you want to know about selling.

You can also contact me at ian@maximizebusinessmarketing.com at any time for any questions you have about selling and marketing. I look forward to working with you to help increase your income.

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Sales Coaching – 5 Reasons You Can’t Close

When you struggle to close the sale you think closing is the problem. But when you struggle to close the sale closing is a symptom of the problem not the problem itself. When you try to fix a symptom as though it were the problem the problem remains because you’re trying to put a band-aid on a wound that isn’t ready to heal.

Here are 5 reasons you may be struggling to close the sale:

  1. You lack confidence in yourself and/or your supporting products.
  2. You fear rejection and avoid it by avoiding asking for the sale.
  3. You didn’t help the buyer to uncover a motivating reason for buying and buying now.
  4. You didn’t understand the clients most important wants and needs and went down the wrong path offering a solution for problems that aren’t all that important to the prospect.
  5. You didn’t do a good job of connecting with and starting a relationship with the prospect so asking for the close feels awkward, and isn’t likely to result in a “yes” decision.


When you struggle with closing you think you just need a perfect pitch, or the right closing lines and the problem will go away; but that simply isn’t the case. You can have a “perfect” pitch and “perfect” closing statements, and still blow the sale. Why, because a pitch and closing statements treat the symptom not the underlying real problem.

Review the 5 reasons you can’t close and identify where your struggles may be stemming from. This list isn’t comprehensive there could be other problems too that are keeping you from getting sales, but it will give you a good start. The first step to making closing a natural event is identifying the cause of the problem.

The next step is developing a plan for removing or overcoming the problem. Don’t think of your plan in terms of concepts think in terms of actions. When you know what the problem is, the actions you’ll take to overcome the problem, the only thing preventing you from closing is implementation of your plan.

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The Missing Piece in Sales Training

If the purpose of sales training is to share information, then using a classroom setting or on-line learning is the right forum. However, seeing, reading, and taking notes is passive learning and will not achieve sales competence. Add to this the generic nature of most courses, makes it difficult for a salesperson to relate the course to their selling environment. This often results in rejection of the content and old sales habits continue.

Small changes can make a difference.

Whether using an internal company resource such as learning and development or an external provider, sales training needs to be tailored so there is greater acceptance, and an openness to adopt the new behaviours. A competency-based structure with specific assessment criteria is essential and a variety of learning methods used to meet individual needs. With clearly articulated assessment criteria for each session, a salesperson will know what to expect in advance. This can help to reduce or eliminate the mental search for ‘what comes next?’

Once the structured classroom learning is completed, and a salesperson is rated competent according to the criteria, the real learning begins. To qualify – it does not mean a salesperson is an expert in sales. Learning how to ride a push bike when we were young, took time, on-going practice, patience and confidence to ride the bike competently in a range of situations. Developing sales competence requires the same level of commitment and determination.

Include field sales coaching

The next phase is crucial and depends on the structure of the sales function whether predominately business development or account management or a combination of both. The day is planned by the salesperson and accompanied by a sales coach who also needs to be a competent salesperson. The reason is they will need to be able to demonstrate specific sales skills in relation to the sales call objective/s and the skills to be developed. Prior to the sales call, sales interview protocols are discussed to ensure the right environment is created for the client. Throughout the day the sales coach’s role can be passive, so they do not get involvement in the sales process. When the sales coach demonstrates a skill in accordance with the objective/s, it becomes a powerful learning experience for the salesperson. This is because they have witnessed how the skill is applied and the outcome in a live sales situation. The experience is totally different from a role play and most often will motivate the salesperson to want to try it for themselves. The opportunity is the next sales call.

Behaviours that defeat effective sales coaching

1. Ego. This is when sales coaching is about the sales coach. They get involved in parts of the sales process to show the client their knowledge or expertise. The client in most instances will begin to relate to the sales coach and not the salesperson. This muddies the learning environment.

2. Taking over when it appears the sale is lost. It is tempting to save the sale, but sales coaching is about transferring skills and saving the sale is counterproductive. The emotional pain of losing the sale and the lesson/s learnt will be etched in their memory and the mistake will not be duplicated – ever. To quote Benjamin Franklin, ‘Those things that hurt, instruct.’

The missing piece in sales training is a skilled sales coach working in a structured manner with the salesperson. Field sales coaching has the potential to provide a strategic advantage for the organisation resulting in increased sales and profitability.

If you have any questions about this article or want to discuss a specific sales situation then contact me directly on +61 412 252 236 or email kurt@salesconsultants.com.au

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Cohesion and Its Importance: Four Strategies for Coaching Sales Teams

The Consistency to maintain cohesion amid sales team requires well define leadership style in terms of transmitting own culture to the team and values. Therefore, the coach’s personal confidence regulates the authoritative tone for a prosperous sales team fate.

How do you foster cohesion into new sales team?


The hierarchy of values is an entire set of principles and attitude intentionally designed to accomplish a sales coaching purpose. Successful leaders always possess own values written down to use as references in their path to success. Values are very important for a leader to depend upon, because they serve as aides-mémoires during the coaching journey. Furthermore, it is important to extend values to the sales team knowledge so that the vision can be coheres.


Every qualified sales coach comes from a specific sales experience upbringing, thus this background based skill has left a particular identity on him. So, associating individual rules for good harmony and connection with the sales team is unique to his coaching style. Consequently the team’s performance is a reflection of the coach’s personality. Moreover, social bond improvement with each salesperson should be the first thing to build before moving onto emotional connection. Thus, in order to implement decent supervision on sales team in general, good interpersonal skills are required.

Emotional implication

Astute sales coach avoids closing eyes like a watchman, as distraction can result in surprises. The need of differentiating positive and negative emotional behaviors amongst sales individuals is therefore vital at this level. Similarly skills like developing abilities to read attitudes, moods, and constant sensibility to connect with each one emotionally.

This is actually the most difficult part of coaching when it comes to influence a specific culture into a team. Sales coaches’ personalities vary since the aptitude to tell people’s emotions are determined by natural factors. One may be good at it while others may be average or worse, but the good news is there are so many ways to learn from and improve skills.

Cohesion and Culture

The coach’s obligation is to facilitate atmosphere that promotes cohesion, such that team members understand the significance of pursuing common-goal. The diversity of expertise and past experience in a team can either attract or isolate people from working together. Subsequently, cohesion becomes a culture within sales-crew when salespeople share same beliefs, and easily accept to work with one another. So cohesion and culture are coherent when the tone of authority is set from the beginning and along the process.

In conclusion, successful sales coach always has own culture and values in provision to nurture cohesion in his team. And also any sales personality can coach and influence cohesion to build sales team, provided there is a clear vision supported by the right skills.

Performsalez interests are on sales and sales coaching, to read our next up-date A4 equivalent posts for quick reading, visit us on [http://www.performsalez.com] or contact us for queries at admin@performsalez.com

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