Has any salesperson ever accepted the fact that sales are an easy job? With pipelines to fill, quotations to prepare, and metrics to exceed; sales are indeed a complex and cumbersome activity. With the cut-throat market competition amongst bigger and aggressive players vying against each other chasing down the same leads, the B2B sales challenges are always on the upside. This article lists the B2B sales challenges that you need to overcome in the coming years – especially 2021.
A Brief About B2B Sales
Business-to-business sales, or most commonly known as B2B sales refers to companies or businesses that sell their products or services directly to other companies. B2B sales are mainly of three types – supply sales, distribution sales, and service sales.
Under supply sales, the business or supplier sells consumables to another business thereby supporting it – for example, office supplies, employee uniforms, canned water, etc. Under distribution sales, a wholesale business sells key manufacturing or retail components, for example, essential food products to other businesses that in turn sell it at a profit to its customers. Under service sales, the service providing business sells a service and not a product, for example, an accountancy firm offering its accounting services to a larger business.
Why B2B Sales Differ Drastically from B2C Sales
In B2C sales, businesses or salespersons directly sell to the customer, and such sales are usually smaller in scale when compared to B2B sales – B2C sales involve only the customer’s buying decision. The average transaction value of a B2B sales is mostly higher – though the transactions may be small its value often stretches to thousands or millions of currencies.
Unlike B2C consumers whose purchasing decisions are based on emotions and quick needs; B2B buyers look for a good ROI, or a great solution to a nagging problem. Also, to be noted, B2B buyers need to win the approval of several decision-makers. B2B buyers are extremely selective – they are choosy with whom they deal and they have their buying criteria. This has necessitated content to play an important role in the B2B sales process.
The Modern & Present-day B2B Sales Process
Unlike the B2B sales process in the past where marketing brought in the leads and sales reached out to them to close the deals; the modern B2B sales process has been complicated by the implosion of the internet.
Today, marketing and sales are synchronizing increasingly to generate leads and close deals. Keeping savvy buyers in mind, B2B sales processes today are designed to be more customer-centric. Let’s check out some of those tactics deployed today by many B2B businesses.
Account-based Sales (ABS)
With the differences of opinion between marketing and sales, attracting prospects into a funnel and keeping them engaged therein is no more a big thing. The roles and responsibilities of the two departments remain interconnected and the misalignment leads to damaging the productivity of the salespeople.
Account-Based Sales (ABS) enables sales and marketing to synchronize and collaborate. The ABS approach focuses on target accounts and turns a typical funnel on its head – begins with a solution that a buyer is searching for, and ensuring that it can solve. What all this means is that the sales and marketing departments need to agree on who the buying decision-makers are, and further, accordingly provide them a personalized solution to their problem. The ABS approach has made it possible to fix the issue arising out of rising bounce rates rising, decreasing page views, and leads dropping out of the funnel.
Compelling Content to Capture Imagination
B2B buyers are usually choosy, educated, and smart – they consume content pieces before making their buying decision. That’s the reason why more than 60 percent of successful B2B marketers today have implemented their content marketing strategy.
Content acts as a bridge between the buyer and the seller and facilitates tilting a purchase decision of a buyer. Along with sharing business news, effective content also gives solutions to problems thereby helping to build connections and establish trust – it bolsters the credibility of your brand. Example of the company – Hubspot can easily be cited which has grown from being a start-up to a multi-million business.
Social Selling to Convert Cold Leads
The social media platform has not only allowed B2B sales representatives to connect with followers but also enabled to close deals. Certainly, social selling has become the modern-day norm for B2B companies.
Most companies that relied on event and conference lists to generate new leads, discovered that their ROI was dwindling. Sales dropped as the representatives reached them after the leads had closed their buying decisions. It was the social media platform – LinkedIn that rescued them from their falling sales – it became their topmost solution!
Strategic Issues in Sales
For any business today, customer satisfaction is an utmost important issue. Therefore, it’s become extremely important for sales managers to create a greater role for salespeople to generate customer satisfaction. Understanding the impact of raising and lowering expectations, and assessing expectations on satisfaction play an important role in improving sales strategies going forward.
Measuring your sales team performance by making use of the Social Selling Index (SSI), positioning yourself as an industry thought leader, and leveraging relevant content to increase interaction can effectively help you to overcome the strategic issues in sales and improve your ROI.
Sales Challenges in Entrepreneurship
There’s fierce competition in the market today. Many businesses are finding that their salespeople are unable to narrate a compelling value story that sets them apart. Though the major part of a sales journey takes place without the buyer’s knowledge, salespeople are however required to rise above existing challenges – regardless of their industry. Let’s find out the sales challenges in entrepreneurship and how aligning with the marketing team can enable them to overcome those challenges.
B2B Sales Challenges & Ways to Overcome Them
Are you aware, the sales professionals are the most in-demand personnel in the market? And, not forgetting, the sales job is the most demanding one! However, the various issues related to handling sales challenges support the fact that there has been only 3 percent sales growth making it the last option for the youth to opt for. B2B sales are even a bigger task to accomplish. So, let’s find out the prominent B2B sales challenges across industry verticals, and ways to overcome them.
Communicating Value Differentiators
The internet has not only brought the world together but also expanded the market size. Whenever you launch a new product, there are already several competitors to it. Customers today have a wide range of choices for products and services, and if you are unable or late in communicating the uniqueness of your offer as a market differentiator, you are likely to lose your prospect.
The solution to this case lies in showing and differentiating your product from your competitors as something unique. And, for this, you need to do some homework! You need to study about the industry, your customer, know the pain points. Knowing the pain points helps you to address them and in future upgrade if required. So, it’s most important to precisely demonstrate the unique features of your product or service.
Refining Cold Calling Strategy
People find it a real nuisance in receiving cold calls from a salesperson, and the same goes for B2B sales calls. The first call that your salesperson makes is the most important – it can make or break a deal. Researchers have analyzed and concluded that most cold calls fail when a salesperson pitches his product immediately after initiating the call.
The solution to this case lies in avoiding your first call to dish out the peculiarities of your product. Building a relationship with your customer is important at this stage, and if you can do that you can get back again and talk. It’s advisable to save some talk for the next time. At this stage, it’s better to start with some open-ended questions and give a brief introduction to your product.
Many times, your prospects may say that they aren’t yet decided about your product, or at other times they may give an excuse about some financial constraints. Further, some prospects may convey that they have postponed their decision. These are common tactics to delay or avoid but sometimes it could even be genuine. This is a delicate B2B sales challenge faced by sales professionals.
The solution for this lies in taking up the responsibility in identifying whether the prospect is merely giving an excuse or whether it is real. If the prospect has financial issues, you really can’t do much about it. However, if your prospect needs further information or inputs, your salesperson can do a lot in closing the deal.
This is one of the most common challenges that you will come across in the B2B sales deal. Your product may be highly valued but you will always see a customer that wants to bargain. It should be noted that if your salesperson gives the pricing details before conveying the value of the product, it could result in the prospects moving away. And, if the product is out of budget, prospects are likely to disappear.
The solution lies in giving price details only after explaining the differentiating and unique features of your product. The prospect will agree to buy your product only after being convinced about the worth of your product.
Successful sales happen when your salesperson knows the right sales techniques. If your salespersons can handle the sales challenges discussed so far, they are bound to derive success and help your business grow. However, if you are not sure about your lead generation or personalization strategies that help you to target a specific audience, it’s always a good idea to contact a reliable B2B sales consulting firm or a reputed data provider company.
BestDataProvider.com which is into the latest techniques in digital marketing and deals with robust databases that are thoroughly verified, regularly updated, and conforming to all guidelines can help you to grow your sales. For your sample database, you may reach us at email@example.com
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