Detect Challenges that Hamper B2B Sales (and Neutralize Them)

In today’s business environment, it’s hard to generate quality leads, and it’s even harder to close deals. That is why you need to be all ears regarding the latest B2B challenges, just like the possible ways to overcome them.

So what hamper your sales? Let’s go through the three issues that might stand on the way to your success.

Challenge #1: Social Sales

It might be harder for sales reps to close deals because they miss all those big fat opportunities in front of them, like social sales.

Just think about it: 78% of salespeople using social selling reportedly outsell their competitors who are not engaged in this practice, yet only 7% of sales organizations view social selling as their priority.

Why is that so?

Some sales leaders don’t take social media seriously. They regard it as a platform for entertainment that is not meant to be used for making business deals. Others might acknowledge the power of social media but they simply don’t know how to leverage their capabilities.

How to overcome this challenge?

The best time to explore social selling and start implementing it into your company’s operation is right now. To understand how to engage with social business environment, start by acknowledging that buyer’s behaviour has changed. There is a clear difference between B2C and B2B sales, but the impact of Facebook “like” button left by someone from a peer network applies to both.

Selling to businesses is more complicated because ultimate buying decisions in B2B deals are made by the team of different stakeholders. Still, they are all real people, and they are also exposed to social influence. For example, a post of a popular marketing influencer can dramatically shift the way CEO feels about some industry trends or business instruments.

Social sales are awesome, but what if I do cold calls for a living?

That might be tricky. When it comes to sales via cold calling, there are the two opposite tendencies. Whereas LinkedIn advocates for social sales, telephony solutions encourage cold calls. However, you don’t have to choose because you can benefit from both. If we are talking about sales via cold calling, it’s a good idea to use social media for making the first contact with your prospect and clarifying the person’s needs. Next time you get in touch with this lead, they will be ready to talk to you.

Our solution for cold calls might also be of a great help. You can enter the information about prospects that you contact via social media into our Voiptime CRM system to start a client history. Then, you’ll be able to send follow-up emails or make further calls directly from our software.

Challenge #2: Focusing on C-Suite too much

What is wrong with targeting senior executives, you might ask? It’s B2B sales after all.

There’s no doubt that the final buying decision is made by a group of senior executives. Every time a company is about to purchase a product or service for their internal operations, such as a new CRM or a contact center solution, C-level people have the final word. However, it’s not all about a CEO and here’s why.

The problem is that by fixating on senior executives, you ignore other members of an organization.

The research conducted by Google shows that of all the senior executives, only 64% influence a final purchasing decision, whereas of all the lower level employees, 81% have a say in this process. Therefore, non-executive employees influence around 25% of a business deal.

Employee Influence on Purchase Decisions

The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

Source: Snyder, Kelsey (2015). The Changing Face of B2B Marketing. Think with Google.

Targeting decision makers is by no means essential, but you shouldn’t forget about the other employees in the company. Numbers say their opinion matters.

How to overcome this challenge?

When trying to close the deal next time, think out of the box of traditional B2B sales and look beyond the top-level executives. Develop a trustworthy relationship with other employees in the company, particularly with the ones who will actually be using the technology once it’s purchased. Department and sub-department managers, such as call center managers and supervisors, or sales department managers are often overlooked by sales, but their influence is significant.

Challenge #3: Providing Demos

People are online now, they Google different options before deciding on a final purchase, and 70% of potential customers will have already completed most of the buyer’s journey before contacting sales.

Present-day businesses research products they are about to buy more than ever before. So when you make the first sales call, it is most likely that your lead is waiting for you prepared. They have seen all there is to see about your product online, and now they expect you to show them something that is not readily available, such as a product demo.

But there’s a little discrepancy between when prospects want to see a demo and when salesmen are planning to show it.

Take the expectations from the first call; 54% of buyers would like to see a product demo already, but only 23% of sales reps are prepared to give one.

Why salespeople don’t give demos on the first call (and why they probably should)?

Traditionally, the first call was viewed as a chance to see whether a prospect presents a viable sales opportunity, and product demo used to be a final closing shot. However, it doesn’t work like this anymore. By the time you get to talk to your prospects in person, they might be more informed about your business than you about theirs. The problem is that companies want to see a product in action as early as possible, but most sales teams don’t want to show it until they are sure that the prospect is worth their time.

How to overcome this challenge?

You can publish a pre-recorded video demo on your website. This should satisfy buyers’ initial needs. Or you can choose a path of ninja and implement predictive analytics and lead intelligence. The insights gathered with such tools will help you qualify your prospects in advance. You might even use this intelligence to adapt your sales script before making a call.

Overall, sales industry has always been a dynamic one, but you shouldn't worry that your sales have temporarily dropped. Your business will be fine as long as you educate yourself and take action.

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