Good salespeople who know their product and industry like the back of their hand tend to be some of the quickest and best problem solvers around. But even the best salespeople around can come unstuck every know and again with certain challenges.
As a sales manager or leader (either now or in the future), it’s down to you to ensure that your sales team are incubated in the exact environment and culture which they need to flourish.
If they’re constantly having to fight to do their job and sell effectively, it’s your bottom line that will ultimately suffer.
If you were to go and ask your sales team what’s preventing them from selling, they might not be able to offer you any answers. That’s because they’ve got so used to the processes by which they work, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.
However, if you were to spend a week just silently watching them work, you’d probably see at least one or two of these B2B sales problems hindering their abilities.
1. Wasting time on admin
According to Accenture, 64.3% of most sales reps' time is eclipsed by non-selling activities, and only 33% is spent actively selling.
How does that happen?!
Well, once you consider the time spent laying the foundations of a sale - preparing proposal documents, sending them, amending details - and the post-sale stuff, too, such as reporting and analysing data, it’s easy to understand why some salespeople feel more like glorified administrators.
You need to be asking yourself if any of these more administrative tasks can be automated, which would free up your sales team to close more deals.
In this day and age, the answer is most likely a yes.
Technology means allows us to automate almost everything, from conducting credit checks to producing proposal documents, leaving your time to spend more time selling.
2. Mistimed action
In sales, you’re only ever as good as your lead generation, but you also need to know exactly when the right time to strike is.
Judging exactly when prospects are ready to purchase or existing customers are ready for repurchase is a skill in itself; asking for the sale too soon or too late can be disastrous to the close rates of any sales team.
Generally, the big businesses have this down, but we’ve often seen in smaller businesses that budgets can’t always stretch to smart lead management software. As a result, it’s down to your salespeople to be proactive and keep track of deals and renewals, ensuring they make contact at the optimum time.
Juggling this with everything else they have on their plate isn’t easy.
However, with the right lead management tool, they could strike a balance much more effectively.
Take a look into software tools for the proper management of leads to ensure your team isn't over-reliant on Excel spreadsheets and a sharp memory.
3. Poor trust building
Trust is everything in sales. And yet only 3% of people consider salespeople to be trustworthy, according to a HubSpot report. Tough break.
Businesses need to take customers’ hang-ups about salespeople out of the reckoning and build a trusted brand that prospects can believe in.
When building trust, every interaction a customer has with a brand counts.
Ensuring your sales team's product and industry knowledge is constantly up to speed is key to building trust, as is good old-fashioned honesty; it's not always right to up-sell a customer and they'll definitely accept you as trustworthy if you tell them they don't need the most expensive package.
Another great way to build trust before your sales team even engages your prospects is by ensuring you have plenty of positive online reviews on Google, Trustpilot and any other platform where you're listed.
4. Lack of finance options
Customers want flexibility and personalisation. A one-size-fits-all approach leaves your sales team having to utter the word “unfortunately” far more than they’d like to when speaking with a prospect.
Options are everything – especially when it comes to finance.
The big banks have been criticised for failing to be flexible enough with small businesses, so business owners are looking for other means of financing new equipment.
Think about different product options you can offer to your customers and different ways of packaging them up that includes other products, too.
Also, however, think about how to be flexible in the way they pay. Most customers won't have all of the money to pay up front for a full telecomms system or a huge piece of machinery; if you can offer them a few different ways to pay for the package over a set period of time, not only will you build trust with them by being flexible, your team will also be more likely to close the deal.