We were at the annual Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA) conference a few days ago. We presented there with Owens Corning (more on that in a later blog post).
Something that really caught my attention during the 3 1/2 days was a point made by Andris Zoltners, a professor at Kellog. He put the following numbers up on the screen with no explanation, as I am doing now:
After giving the audience a chance to think and make a few random guesses, he went on to explain.
20,000,000 is the number of sales professionals
675,000 is the number of marketing professionals
$800 billion is the money spent on selling and selling activity
$27.5 billion is the amount spent on advertising media
100 is the number of classroom hours taught on sales at Kellog last year
4,000 is the number of classroom hours taught on marketing at Kellog last year.
Wow! His point is not about Kellog, but about how generally we underinvest in sales capability relative to the amount of money spent on sales. I couldn't agree more, especially in the B2B market is so much more sales driven than the B2C market. In today's world, where sales professionals are expected to do so much more than just have great relationships, their need for capability to separate themselves from their competitive counterparts has never been higher. And the stuff they need isn't just more negotiation training!