Can B2B coaching really make an impact in sales?

Could B2B coaching be your company's lightbulb moment?

Could B2B coaching be your company’s lightbulb moment?

High performing companies use B2B coaching between 15 and 20% more than organisations with low performing teams.

The claim comes in an article in the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s magazine Winning Edge and highlights a growing trend for employing the services of a professional coach to help with staff retention and other aspects of business growth.

But does B2B coaching really work for B2B sales? Some of the benefits, as outlined by the Chartered Management Institute, include:

  • improved performance
  • driving up sales figures
  • generating leads
  • containing costs
  • meeting quality standards
  • making work more appealing to improve staff retention and reduce sickness absence

In an article in the Harvard Business Review – The Employee-Customer-Profit Chain at Sears by Rucci, Kirn and Quinn – a model was identified which indicated that a five ‘unit’ increase in employee attitude had a knock on effect in customers’ positive impressions of 1.3 ‘units’ which in turn resulted in a 0.5% increase in revenue growth.

Another US study looked at the effects of coaching in a public sector agency where 31 managers underwent a conventional managerial training programme followed by an eight week one-to-one executive coaching programme.

Traditional training, which included goal-setting, collaborative problem solving, practice, feedback, supervisory involvement, evaluation of end results and a public presentation, increased productivity by 22.4%.

However, training in combination with the professional B2B coaching, saw an increase in productivity of 88% (Public Personnel Management; Washington; Winter 1997; Gerald Olivero; K Denise Bane; Richard E Kopelman).

Develop proficiency

Professional coaching works especially well, not only with executives but other employees also, to develop their proficiency in working with change. It helps them identify where teamwork is important and how to develop the skills to foster that element of business practice.

It also paves the way for decision makers to create higher levels of organisational effectiveness through establishing HPWPs (high performance work practices). These high performance work practices were identified in a study conducted by the CIPD.

A widely accepted definition of HPWPs is that they are a set of complementary work practices covering three broad areas. These broad areas are sometimes referred to as ‘bundles’ of practices and covered 35 work practices identified in the study’s research:

  1. High employee involvement practices – e.g. self-directed teams, quality circles and sharing/access to company information.
  2. Human resource practices – e.g. sophisticated recruitment processes, performance appraisals, work redesign and mentoring.
  3. Reward and commitment practices – the relationship between the level of adoption of high performance work practices and a range of organisational outcomes.

The report also demonstrated that the higher amount of HPWPs a company adopted, the greater it affected organisational performance. Companies which adopted more of the 35 HPWPs had greater employee involvement, were more effective in delivering training provision, motivating staff, managing change and providing career progression opportunities.

Common involvement practices included:

  • Circulating information on organisational performance and strategy
  • Providing all employees with a copy of the business plan and targets
  • Staff Association
  • Internal staff surveys
  • Staff suggestion schemes
  • Quality circles/total quality management
  • Self-managed or self-directed teams
  • Cross-function teams

The survey concluded that HPWPs can be implemented in a number of different ways so long as three basic principles are followed including senior management leading the process and developing a strong culture of support, people management policies were consistently and effectively applied, and that HPWPs were clearly linked to organisational objectives and business goals.

All the case studies examined in the survey showed that HPWPs need time to establish, nurture and improve. However, once established, HPWPs are capable of producing a range of business benefits, ranging from reduced staff turnover, higher levels of innovation, better quality goods and services and enhanced competitiveness.

If you’d like to find out how a professional business coach could help your organisation, why not take a look at how we supported Edge Gain , a cutting edge technology training provider, in developing a five-year plan for business growth. 

Coaching, Sales Consultancy , , , ,
About Tim Anderson
Tim has over thirty years’ experience within the sales environment as a sales person, a sales manager, a sales director and as a mentor and coach. He has run sales teams as a sales director within the IT sector as a direct re seller, a VAR and as an MSP. He has developed and exited from two IT businesses and supported three training and development organisations to grow their businesses by supporting their commercial offering. He has taken these teams through change initiatives . Tim continues to develop himself as a coach and has successfully taken his coaching into executive and leadership coaching. He has combined coaching with management and leadership development and regularly supports senior managers to take their next step upward in their careers. He is a qualified coach and a Chartered Manager and also holds a degree in professional consulting.

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