Although there are many issues that can keep B2B salespeople from maximizing their sales results, there are five common problems that seem to find their way to the top of the list.
This post identifies them and shows you how to address them.
1. Managing Time
You’d think salespeople would spend the majority of their time in front of prospects presenting their solutions.
According to an article in Forbes, that is not the case.
In fact, in a study where 721 reps were asked how they spent their time, they revealed they spent 35.2% of their time selling and 65% on everything else, but not selling.
Huh? You’re spending 2/3 of your day NOT selling? What ARE you doing?
Based on the study, administrative tasks dominate B2B sales reps’ time. In fact, 14.8% of an average week is spent on these tasks.
And the list goes on and on.
- “I deal with a lot of product issues.”
- “Sometimes, to get things done, I have to get so many internal approvals it’s crazy.”
- “The number of internal policies I have slows me down.”
Responding to emails and manual data entry sucked up a lot of time as well.
Effective time management is a challenge for most businesses.
The solution? Automate your sales process.
Sales reps shouldn’t be struggling to generate qualified sales leads when there is a myriad of software tools available that can generate leads for your business.
Leverage the technology. It will pay for itself many times over by increasing the time sales reps spend in front of potential customers.
2. Poor Qualification
Trying to market and grow your business and get more customers is a lot easier when you know who your ideal customer is.
No matter how great you are at writing sales emails and marketing material, if you’re targeting prospects who have no interest in your products, you’re wasting valuable time.
The solution? Fix your sights on prospects who are most likely to buy.
And how do you do it? By developing an ideal customer avatar – a detailed profile of what your ideal customer looks like. This profile should consist of a combination of physical characteristics such as their age, sex, and location along with their behavioural preferences.
A well-developed ideal customer avatar will allow you to understand how your ideal customers think and what they like.
Armed with that information, you can turn your selling sights on the market that is most likely to want the solution you’re offering.
3. The Sales and Marketing Department Disconnect
Many salespeople or marketing staff are all-too-familiar with a phenomenon that has been more responsible for so many missed selling opportunities:
The dreaded sales and marketing department silos.
According to new research from Walker Sands, less than half (44%) of respondents say that their marketing and sales teams aren’t siloed. Almost a third 32% say they are but that it isn’t a problem, which may not be entirely accurate in the long-run or could be because they’ve grown used to the disconnect, while 24% say teams are siloed and it is a problem.
Siloed teams can cause a number of issues within an organization, including lack of communication and unaligned goals, which can have a broader impact. This is why it is fairly worrying that 56% of salespeople and marketers say that their teams are siloed.
With this disconnect in effect, marketing teams will struggle to know what kind of material they should create because they aren’t always getting the right input from the sales team.
Worse yet, you won’t be able to prospect to potential customers if the marketing team doesn’t give you a list of qualified leads.
Make no mistake: the ability to make sales requires effective communication between multiple departments.
A commitment to aligning sales and marketing so that both department are working together solves this problem.
4. Sales Lead Isolation
Assuming you’ve been able to identify your ideal target prospect, the challenge is being able to easily contact them.
Today’s buyer likes to shop in anonymity. That’s why many refuse to leave their contact information when they visit your website.
Many are sick and tired of getting cheesy sales calls from amateurs sales reps (not you, of course!) That’s why you need to give them a reason to WANT to give you their email address.
The answer? A sales lead magnet.
A lead magnet is usually free information offered in the form of a guide, report or demo in exchange for the visitor’s email address.
Also, there are many services that will help you to identify someone’s email address. One of the more popular ones is Hunter.
5. Lack Of Training
This one is surprising.
Many business owners don’t believe or invest in comprehensive sales training.
When you ask them, they’ll offer up a limp excuse about sales reps undergoing the training and then bolting to other companies where they can out it to use for a perceived higher return.
Sure, that happens but not nearly as often as some would have people believe.
Besides, the benefits of a well-trained sales team far outweigh any impact of a few sales reps leaving the bullpen.
Proper sales training can almost always be tied to a direct increase in revenue.
Although the 5 problems listed above aren’t the only ones that prevent sales reps from hitting their targets, they ARE the ones that consistently contribute to poor performance