As a B2B sales rep, you'll face a myriad of challenges when trying to sell your B2B company's products or services. While some of these challenges are minor, others are more severe. And if you don't address these challenges directly, you'll struggle to generate any meaningful amount of sales. Below, you'll learn about the seven top B2B sales challenges and how to overcome them.
#1) Setting Up Appointments With Potential Buyers
According to a report published by FinancesOnline, the single biggest challenge encountered by B2B sales reps is setting up appointments. After surveying hundreds of B2B sales reps, researchers found that 14% of B2B sales reps said setting up appointments was their biggest challenge. If a prospective buyer declines an appointment, it may be a struggle to set up any future meetings.
To overcome this challenge, ask prospective buyers if they have any plans in the current year for evaluating a product / service that you offer. If the answer is still 'no', let them know you'll be back in touch to find out if anything has changed. By giving buyers the freedom to choose the date and time, you'll have a better chance of landing appointments.
#2) Generating High-Quality Leads
It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that generating high-quality leads is a common B2B sales challenge. According to Jumplead, over two in three B2B sales reps say attracting high-quality leads is their top priority. The problem is that many B2B sales reps use rudimentary lead generation techniques that result in low-quality leads.
Many of our customers: sales managers, sales reps, owners and marketers, use our service to provide them the high quality, identified projects that they need. These identified projects are exactly that. Our researchers uncover the projects, find out the stage of the project, type of project, project value and an array of other information. This allows you to then make high quality calls where you can begin a critical dialogue that leads to setting that appointment.
#3) Excessively Long Sales Cycle
How long is your B2B company's sales cycle? You won't be able to convert all sales leads into buyers after just one communication. Rather, you'll probably have to communicate with sales leads multiple times to convince them to purchase your B2B company's products or services. If the sales cycle is too long, though, you'll end up consuming a significant amount of time and resources, all while generating a minimal amount of sales in the process.
To shorten your B2B company's sales cycle, consider the following tips:
#4) Reaching Prospective Buyers on the Phone
Another common B2B sales challenge is reaching potential buyers on the phone. We've talked about this before on our blog, but it's worth noting again that statistics show it takes an average of 18 calls to reach prospective buyers. Unfortunately, the only way to overcome this challenge is to keep trying. If a prospective buyer doesn't answer, make a note to call him or her back the following day. Of course, you can also leave a voicemail to increase your chances of reaching prospective buyers. By remaining persistent, you'll eventually reach prospective buyers on the phone.
Don't forget, there's usually more than one person to call. If you only have a single contact, use our Target Account Sales Intelligence database. You'll get more contacts to ensure account penetration. And get to the ultimate decision maker.
#5) Dealing With Gatekeepers
Assuming you contact prospective buyers by phone, you'll probably encounter gatekeepers. In the context of B2B sales, a "gatekeeper" is a low-level worker, such as a receptionist, who answers the phone on behalf of one or more higher-level workers, such as CEOs or CFOs. If a gatekeeper doesn't relay your call to a decision-maker, your chance of generating a sale will be slim to none.
You can check out this previous post for information on how to deal with gatekeepers. Calling decision-makers directly, for example, may allow you to bypass the gatekeeper. How can you find out their contact information? Again, use the Target Account Sales Intelligence database. At some time you'll need to speak to the gatekeeper. When you do, be sure to 'sound' like you've had previous conversations with the target person. Be kind, respectful and have a nice conversation. Then when you ask for their help, they will more inclined to help you out.
#6) Convincing Prospective Buyers to Switch
If a prospective buyer is already using a product or service offered by one of your B2B company's competitors, he or she may feel reluctant to make a purchase.
When you encounter a prospective buyer who's reluctant to make the switch, try to explain the benefits they will receive from your company's products or services. If you have some proof such as case studies, on-site visits, that certainly will help.
#7) Closing the Deal
Finally, closing the deal is a top B2B sales challenge that shouldn't be ignored. After investing your time and resources into finding and reaching a prospective buyer, you need to close the deal.
There's no magic formula for closing a deal. Rather, you need to use a customized approach that involves identifying the prospective buyer's objection -- the reason he or she doesn't want to make an immediate purchase -- and offering a solution. If a prospective buyer believes your B2B company's product or service is too expensive, for example, perhaps you can show a case study highlighting the long-term financial value it offers.
However, by the time you are asking for the order, you should have completed a few trial closes. If you've received positive results, and overcame the objections, closing the deal for the final time should come with no surprises.