There's a lot at stake for everyone in the B2B sales ecosystem: Buyers are trying to secure competitive advantages and reach their biggest goals while sellers pursue sales that can have a strategic impact.
Longer sales cycles and more complex buying environments have given rise to a whole new set of problems for sellers to solve – and the old ones haven't gone away, either. With the right approach, however, B2B sales can be a rewarding and accessible part of growing your business.
Let's dive into some of the most mind-bending B2B sales issues out there today.
1. “The Sales Cycle Is Too Long!”
That's for sure! Longer sales cycles are a fact of life across most B2B sectors, but you can still smooth the path as much as possible. That starts with ensuring that you have visibility into what prospects are doing on your site, so you can estimate where they stand in their purchase process.
If you don't have one already, consider implementing a Customer Relationship Management suite that can help you keep track of prospects from the moment they enter your funnel until the final sale. Then, contact them strategically when they reach certain milestones in interaction with your content.
2. “I Hear From Prospects Once and Then Never Again.”
It's all about following up! Follow-up is often neglected in B2B sales, but it is worth it: Virtually none of your potential buyers will be ready to make a move when they first meet you. They need time to marinate – and they'll definitely be looking at their other options while they do that.
When you are committed to following up, you are much more likely to catch your decision-maker at a time when he or she is interested in talking in detail about what you have to offer. It may take 5-6 tries before you reach that point: That's another great reason to leverage CRM and automation.
3. “My Buyers Keep Raising Strange New Objections!”
This is a sign that sales and marketing need to work together more closely. Prospects might be getting ideas from your marketing that aren't borne out during your sales talks. If marketing messaging isn't meeting prospects' needs, it usually means that buyer personas need to be updated.
There is an alternative explanation, however: That the would-be seller is simply making excuses.
In that case …
4. “Buyers are Dragging Their Feet on a Final Purchase.”
It could be that you've reached someone who lacks the authority or the budget to move on the purchase. That comes down to making sure you're collecting enough information from leads as they access your Web content.
Update your emails and discovery calls with questions that can help you decipher whether you have the right person or not. Update your offers to “disqualify” the wrong kind of prospect.
5. “Buyers Get to the Table But Become Defensive When Talking About Their Business.”
Like it or not, not everyone enjoys talking to a B2B sales pro. That said, there is one subject virtually everybody you meet loves to talk about: Themselves.
If you can't get your prospects to open up, you might not be giving them enough time to lower their guard. That comes from asking plenty of open-ended questions that get them thinking about their needs.
Active listening is key, here. Prospects can tell if you are absorbing what they have to say or tuning them out. An hour-long discovery call may entail 45 minutes of hearing what's on a prospect's mind. Guide the conversation by reflecting what you hear and asking follow-up questions.
With these tips, you'll stop spinning your wheels and put the pedal to the metal on your B2B sales challenges. Remember: In B2B, any problem can be overcome. You and your team play an essential role providing effective solutions to others – turn that creativity inward and unlock your full sales potential.