B2B sales has become an increasingly competitive landscape in recent years. In fact, only 24.3% of surveyed salespeople exceeded their sales goal in 2020.
This means that the B2B sales world has become more and more difficult to excel in than before. Outlined next are the biggest challenges our own sales leaders have seen in recent memory:
A common misconception is that salespeople can only control so much of the outcome. However, there are many tactics you can use to minimize the negative impacts of these challenges.
In this post, we’ll cover these challenges more in-depth and provide solutions to get over them. You’ll soon see that some common themes for solutions are standardizing processes, improving communication, and creating specialized teams.
While the B2C sales cycle can be minutes, the B2B sales cycle can take weeks — even months. There are many factors that contribute to the prolonged sales cycle, such as the need to convince more than one person to buy into your sophisticated product and the higher average sales price (ASP).
To overcome this challenge, your sales team needs to find a way to speed up time-consuming parts of the process — such as generating leads and finalizing contract terms.
The best way to tackle a long sales cycle is to improve your sales messaging and target relevant stakeholders early on. Your goal is to prove your solution’s value quickly by outlining exactly how it’ll meet your potential buyers’ needs.
Here are some tactics you can use to shorten the sales cycle:
At the end of the day, your goal is to communicate your sales message to the people who matter most to the decision-making process. The faster you’re able to do this, the shorter your sales cycles will be.
Conveying your sales message effectively takes skilled salespeople. Our sales experts know from first-hand experience working with a wide range of B2B customers that you need to experiment repeatedly to find out what resonates with your market and what needs to be adjusted.
Did you know that 50% of your prospects in your sales pipeline right now are actually not a good fit for your solution? That can be a result of a poor contact data vendor or your prospects purposely withholding their information. Regardless, this makes it more difficult for your sales team to effectively identify and target decision makers in an organization.
To boost your chances of conversion, you’ll need to figure out who to target and how to prioritize which leads to pursue.
Your goal is to efficiently find members of your target account’s buying committee by creating a better targeting strategy. To do so, you need to:
We can’t emphasize the importance of investing in great prospect data enough. Studies have shown that companies that prioritize data hygiene create 7x the number of inquiries and 4x the number of leads than those who don’t. For your sales team, it means that it’ll take less effort to spark interest in your solution just by using cleaner data.
When you’re ready to take your contact data to the next level, be sure to get in touch with our data team. We use a mix of human verification with proprietary processes to make sure your database is accurate.
Surveys have shown that salespeople only spend a third of their day actually talking to prospects. The same survey shows salespeople spend a staggering amount of time on administrative tasks and internal meetings. In fact, they spend 17% of their day on data entry alone, on average.
What does this mean for your business? With less time spent actually selling, it means your team is not building relationships with prospects at the desired volume.
Over our 15+ years of experience helping B2B companies with their sales, we’ve found that the majority of salespeople who find it difficult to balance all of their tasks lack a standardized process to follow. Your goal is to find ways to make your sales process more efficient and easier to scale.
Here are some examples of how you can standardize your sales process:
One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen in other organizations is that they’re treating their playbook as a one-and-done document. A key aspect of perfecting any process is continued optimization — which takes the guesswork out of sales. We’ve found that honing in on a process that works will save your sales team time overall.
87% of sales and marketing leaders say that collaboration between sales and marketing enables critical business growth. However, many companies struggle with just how out of sync their sales and marketing divisions have become.
From a sales perspective, they feel as though the marketing leads aren’t always the highest quality. On the other hand, marketing feels as though sales aren’t doing enough to engage the prospects the marketing team has found through their campaigns and efforts.
To improve cross-department synergy, you’ll need to encourage collaboration and transparency between the two departments.
Here’s how you can boost sales-marketing team alignment:
At EBQ, we use our own EBRating to gauge our prospect’s level of interest in our solutions and in our client’s solutions. This granular rating system helps SDRs with follow-ups as sales and marketing gain visibility into where their prospects are in the pipeline.
Most B2B buyers say “no” four times before saying yes, but studies have shown that 48% of salespeople usually give up on the prospect after the first “no.”
From our experience, budget is often the most common roadblock that prevents a prospect from converting. This means that while the prospect sees the value of a solution, they are preemptively trying to figure out if the ROI is worth the investment.
It’s important to prepare your salespeople for common objections. That way, they’re minimizing the number of key opportunities that slip by from just a simple “no.”
To help with this initiative, we recommend:
Another common mistake is to discourage your salespeople from tailoring their sales messaging. Because their goal should be to create a human connection with your prospects, they should have the flexibility to figure out what works for them.
Hiring and retaining a sales team is a huge challenge; it’s why many organizations struggle with growing their sales team after initially building the team structure.
Growing the sales team is necessary for closing new businesses. For example, you may be struggling to keep up with a large volume of inbound leads. Or you may be looking to tap into new markets without taking focus away from your current markets. All in all, continuing to increase in revenue means you’ll eventually need to grow your sales team. However, hiring, training, and retaining new sales reps can be challenging.
Finding cost-effective ways to add new resources to your team or to give your existing sales reps more capacity will be key to scaling your sales team.
Your goal here is to make sure your business scales as your sales team grows. You can do this by creating opportunities to optimize your ROI while looking to hire top talent.
B2B sales is all about helping your business grow revenue, but it has become an increasingly competitive landscape. The best way to overcome your sales challenges is to optimize your processes, improve communication, and create specialized teams — such as an SDR team.
As a recap, the 6 biggest sales challenges today are:
If you’re looking to hire top sales talent, EBQ’s sales team can quickly get up to speed with your unique sales process — making it more efficient and cost-effective than hiring internally. We specialize in working as a part of your team to help you overcome your biggest sales challenges. Visit our outsourced sales page to learn more.