Do You Need a Coach to Be Successful in B2B Marketing?


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I read a posting by Patrick McClure at the Sales Lead Management website titled The First Fundamental of Success: Get a Coach. McClure points out that every Olympic athlete has a coach and this is one of the reasons why they are able to obtain such high levels of performance.  So how does coaching apply to B2B marketing and sales?

I must admit that I am partial to coaching since I have one of the best coaches in the country advising me – Chuck Kocher from Action International. Chuck is a highly experienced business person who has “been there and done that” so I get a good blend of motivation and practical advice. 

Some of us can benefit from a highly structured coaching program with regular meetings, checkpoints and so forth. But others will get great benefit from a less formal arrangement.  Here are some scenarios to consider:

Structured Coaching: There are all sorts of hybrid approaches but in a traditional coaching scenario, you meet on a regular basis with a single coach, who helps you set goals and monitors your progress toward achieving those goals.  Coaches may identify themselves as career coaches, personal coaches, business coaches or domain-specific coaches (e.g. marketing coach or sales coach).  This is the approach where you get the most personal attention but it is also the most costly. The best coaches are a blend of the friendly seasoned advisor and a Marine Corp drill sergeant.  

Mentoring: We can all use a mentor and most of the time, the mentoring relationship is not formally acknowledged. A mentor is someone who is usually older and much more experienced, and who has an interest in seeing you succeed.  I’ve mentored many marketing (and a few sales) people over the years and have had the great pleasure of having a few of these folks tell me that I had made a real difference in their careers. 

Mastermind Group: This type of group involves people who are committed to meeting on a regular basis (and being available at other times when needed) with a goal of supporting each others’ career objectives.  Mastermind groups have a couple of advantages over one-on-one coaching. First, you receive the benefit of several different viewpoints and second, there are typically no charges associated with mastermind groups, unless you count the coffee and meals if you meet at a restaurant.      

So what should you look for in a coach?  My first piece of advice is to choose a coach who has been successful in your field.  If you are a marketer, look for someone who knows a lot about marketing. If you are in sales, make sure your coach has carried a bag sometime in his or her career. There are a lot of coaches who got into coaching because they have not thrived in other endeavors. These people may be nice and articulate but you need to learn from someone who can model the success you want to achieve.

You can view the article I referenced above at:  Also, there are plenty of valuable marketing resources at

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


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