I have a secret. I’ve kept it from most of my colleagues and coworkers for some time now.
The sad truth is this: Seven years ago, I weighed close to 205 pounds. And I stand all of 5 feet, 9 inches. So, when you weigh that much, are of limited stature, and don’t have “NFL Running Back” in your job title, you are officially in the “obese” category. I never planned to be that out of shape by the time I was in my early 30s. It just kind of happened.
Once I realized how out of shape I was, I attempted to do something about the excess weight. The problem was I only did some of the things necessary to achieve weight loss. For example, I would go for a run—but only every so often. I would join a gym, but I didn’t go consistently. I would go on healthy-eating kicks and stay away from fatty foods. That would last only until I traveled again. Then I’d inevitably opt for the bacon burger and fries instead of a chicken garden salad.
Even though I said I wanted to get in better shape and lose weight, I did not back up my words with actions. Not until I made consistent changes to my lifestyle did I see the difference. Once I committed to actionable change, the weight started to come off, and I eventually shed 40 pounds.
Was getting in shape easy? No. But all that work was worth it.
My weight-loss journey may serve as a lesson for marketing and sales organizations. Marketers and salespeople talk a lot about the desire to improve, to be more effective, and to “get in better shape.” However, the key components of commitment and action are not there.
The resistance to change was highlighted for me during a recent conversation with a senior director of marketing at a large enterprise company. The conversation focused on training personnel on demand generation and lead management best practices and on developing process for the organization.
Soon in our conversation, such phrases as “Well, we don’t do it that way here” and “That won’t be possible with us” began to come out. What the person was really saying was “We want to change, but we’re not all that committed to it.” That was just like my talking about my plans for weight loss while downing a heaping bowl of ice cream.
The action of change was not there to back up the words of change.
There is no doubt that marketers need to change. Recent studies by The Marketing Automation Institute, Focus and The Fournaise Group have shown that, although buyers have changed, marketers are still far behind in terms of skills and the knowledge needed to succeed.
So, despite a lot of talk about change, it won’t happen until commitment and action are part of the equation. Until that occurs, our marketing and sales groups will continue to be out of shape.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Weight Loss)
Tags: B2B, b2b marketing, b2b sales, change management, eduction, Marketing, marketing training, Sales, sales training