It requires at least ten years and/or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to achieve an expert level of performance in any given domain – Psychologist Dr. K. Anders Ericsson
Having used our B2BMI skills calculator you should have identified the areas of your team that needed to be strengthened and improved. The likelihood is that these team members were given B2B marketing training on the latest communication channels and marketing techniques etc. But is that the end of the story? Of course not.
Just because a golfer learned to swing a club, or a runner learned to cover long distances, doesn’t mean they’ve achieved their goals. In fact, now is when the work really begins. The golfer needs to lower his handicap and the runner needs to get faster. But how do they go about achieving these objectives? They practice… again and again and again. As Dr. K. Ericsson pointed out, it requires 10 years or 10,000 hours to really start reaching a competitive level… and this is the same for B2B marketers too.
If the runner doesn’t time his runs and the golfer doesn’t count how many shots he’s taken, then how will they know if they are improving? In order to identify the improvement from the training and practicing, there needs to be set metrics and benchmarks. In the realm of B2B marketing, these metrics are dependent on the channels being used. For example, when using social media, signs of improvement can be growing follower numbers or higher engagement levels. If using emails, the metrics can be email open rates and click-through rates.
As with all areas of life, in order to see the benefits of practice, it needs to be continually repeated, measured and improved. In B2B marketing for example, email subject lines should be tested, so should times of sending; and in social media the type of content and the social media channels used should all be tested and recorded. Only by continually measuring marketing metrics and trying to beat the previous result will any benefit be gained for the business. The purpose of practice in this environment is to ensure staff eliminate the underperforming techniques and practices and are left with great insight, huge experience and the ability to succeed.
Golfers want to win rounds of golf and runners want to win races, so what’s the ultimate goal for B2B marketers after all this practice… ROI. The purpose of B2B marketing is to increase leads, sales and revenue. If the practicing isn’t increasing the bottom line, then it’s time to review the metrics, update the tactics and practice harder. The revenue generated from B2B marketing is the ultimate indicator of success and should be the primary goal for all B2B marketers
The other alternative to all this practice, of course, is to seek help from existing experts who have hundreds of thousands of hours of practice and experience. In the B2B realm this would be a marketing agency who have previously worked in your industry and successfully generated ROI.
If however, you want to make sure your in-house team are fully-trained, practicing hard, smashing through the improvement goals and reaching the primary objective of ROI…