Many B2B sales teams struggle for many different reasons. To help these teams and your company succeed towards its growth goals, you need to diagnose the root cause before prescribing the solution.
In this video, you'll learn about three super-common struggles that B2B sales teams face... And just as importantly, what you can do to turn these struggles into opportunities!
1) Organize and Track Incoming Leads
As part of their research and decision-making process, prospects look for answers to their biggest questions on search engines and social media.
When your company's demand generation engine is firing on all cylinders, your company will start to get lots of inbound leads. Generally, most of these incoming leads will begin as people just researching in the early or awareness stage of their buyer’s journey.
Even when these incoming leads are from the right-sized companies in the right location and even in the right role, these prospects are in learning mode. So the sales reps that tend to be most effective at this stage contextualize their approach to that of a teacher, subject matter expert, or trusted advisor.
By simply offering to help prospects navigate their research process, sales teams build rapport, earn a seat at the table, and build the relationship equity they need to stay with the prospect throughout their entire buyer's journey. These relationships in the right context do wonders to stack the decks in your favor of ultimately winning this client’s business when they are ready to make their purchase.
But working with hundreds of prospects from different companies at all different stages of their buyer's journey is a lot of details to keep track of.
And prospects have very high expectations for you being available when they are ready and remembering all of their details from prior interactions.
To sell as effectively as possible, sales teams need a helpful way to organize and track their incoming leads. They’ll need some way to prioritize their efforts on prospects that are a great fit, showing high interest, strong recency, and opportunities in the later stages of getting closed-won.
So that this can happen more productively, where all of the reps on your sales team are aligned in their approach and focused on continuous improvement, your team will need a great CRM to help give them sales superpowers.
2) Get Your Marketing and Sales Teams Aligned on Roles and Responsibilities
Another common struggle and frustration for B2B sales teams is the relationship between marketing and sales teams.
In the modern buyer's journey, most prospects are doing a ton of self-directed research on their own using search engines, social media, and third-party review websites. Prospects download content, listen to podcasts, watch videos, read blog posts, and attend webinars to gather all of the information they need -- which helps prospects stay in control of the purchase process.
As a result, it’s not uncommon to find that prospects are often 60% to 80% of the way through their decision-making process before prospects are open to having a conversation with someone from your sales team.
It will be challenging for old-school traditional B2B sales teams to use an obsolete playbook from 10 years ago or more. But it's also an excellent opportunity for sales teams to update their approach to be more relevant to the way that modern buyers want to purchase.
In this context, marketing teams are the ones that will have the most impact on the first 60% to 80% of the buyer's journey. So as a result, high-performing sales teams need to work very closely with their colleagues to have strong alignment between sales and marketing.
Start by discussing roles and responsibilities. For example, how many qualified leads a month does marketing need to be delivering? And in return, how quickly does the sales team promise to review leads, make the first connection attempt, and follow up a certain amount of times in a certain amount of days?
These promises, which sound a little like wedding vows, usually get formalized into a service level agreement (SLA) between the marketing and sales teams.
3) More Effectively Engage Prospects and Locate Helpful, Relevant Content
The third super-common struggle that B2B sales teams face is making it easier to establish the first and subsequent contact with prospects. Teams also find it challenging to locate helpful thought leadership content and resources to share with prospects.
Because prospects no longer need to speak with sales teams to gather information, effective sales reps reposition themselves more like teachers, or aspire to have a true doctor-patient consultative relationship.
Within this positioning, sales reps need to have a much more effective way of engaging prospects.
Most of these interactions will focus on two areas:
Answering questions that prospects can't find the answers to elsewhere
Sharing unique insights that are especially valuable for this person's role in this person's kind of company. The goal: get the prospect thinking about things that they ought to be thinking about but haven't even yet considered -- the premise of The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson.
Much of your success with this approach depends on diagnosing a prospect’s needs and prescribing a set of treatments. These expert recommendations often include sharing thought leadership resources. So members of your B2B sales team need to be able to locate this helpful, relevant, educational content as rapidly as possible.
To make all of this happen consistently and at scale, your sales team needs both a CRM system and sales productivity tools that work within the CRM. The goal: make it easier to engage with prospects in various ways, including live chats, email, phone calls, and video conferencing.
Finally, and just as important, your sales team needs a document resource library that makes it easy to get their hands on the right content to share within seconds.
What does your B2B sales team struggle with the most? Let me know in the comments below.