What You Don’t Know About B2B Selling Best Practices Will Hurt You
Ever consider what the lifetime earnings differential is between an average B2B sales professional and a Top 10% performer? $100,000? $500,000?
Perhaps even more! If a sales professional works for 25 years and earns an average of just $40,000 more than the average salesperson, that’s $1 million over his or her 25-year earnings period. In some organizations, top sales professionals earn $100,000 or more each year, versus what the average salesperson earns annually. Any way you analyze it, the numbers are huge.
Sales training guru Tom Hopkins is right when he says, “Selling is the highest paid, hard work and the lowest paid easy work there is.” It takes hard work to perform at the top of your game, and to stay in that Top 10%.
Top Earners Possess More Complete B2B Selling Skills
So what do B2B sales professionals actually know about the current and emerging B2B selling best practices? To answer this question we spent six years of research (between 2008 to 2014), analyzing nearly 200,000 data points on what people know about effective B2B selling practices. Using standardized, validated assessments, we assessed B2B sales professionals to measure what they did and did not know about B2B selling in today’s environment. Ten B2B selling competencies were measured.
Consider the following results:
- The average sales professional scored just 62% correct in the area of Needs Assessment, arguably the most critical competency in selling.
- The competency in which people scored the highest was Post-Sale Follow-Up (79% correct), while the lowest competency was Account Management (57% correct).
- View this Infographic with summary details of the research: What Does the Average B2B Sales Professional Know About B2B Selling Best Practices.
Our research identified two primary drivers that influence what someone does and does not know about current and emerging B2B sales best practices:
- Rapid technological advances have created new best practices (and new applications of existing best practices). By way of example, many B2B sales professionals have heard of developments such as big data, virtual meeting technology, and social media. However, only a fraction of salespeople have gone on to apply these developments to their fullest.
- Each era has had its own selling approach. In the current sales era (since about 1995), the dominant selling philosophy is relational and consultative, not transactional. Our research shows that not everyone has transitioned to and mastered relational selling!
Sales Professionals Compete Against the Averages
The “international average” represents the average score of everyone who has taken the B2B sales assessment. Our research shows that approximately 80% of the salespeople measured in each of the ten B2B sales competencies scored within a narrow band relative to the international average. This means that it is pretty easy to understand your selling skills relative to the salespeople with whom you are competing every day.
The best news of all is that once someone identifies what he or she doesn’t know about B2B selling best practices, actions can be taken rather quickly to close the skills gap and turn the disadvantage into an advantage. The net effect of utilizing better selling skills is increased sales and happier customers.
An Inexpensive Solution to Get You Started
If you are reading this column, then you are likely a sales professional who wants to improve your personal sales, income, and standard of living. Click on the link http://bit.ly/XhZ8pX for information about B2BSE, the Business-to-Business Sales Essentials assessment and skills training. It may be the best move you make all week!
Boyer Management Group works with individuals and sales teams alike to help them become more successful. For employers, we offer world-class assessments, training, tools and programs to improve B2B, B2C, and retail sales and sales management effectiveness. To find out more, please visit us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 215-942-0982.