Overcoming obstacles is part of the sales process for any B2B company. The increasingly competitive landscape of B2B sales has created even more challenges for sales reps and made it ever more difficult to succeed. Many (errantly) assume that salespeople only control so much of the process and the potential outcomes.
However, with the proper training and tactics, you can reduce obstacles and better overcome challenges when they arise. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the most common challenges facing B2B sales leaders and their teams today. We’ll also discuss how you can work to overcome them and outshine the competition.
Let’s dive right in.
A simple consumer transaction can happen in seconds these days, but the average B2B sales cycle takes exponentially longer. It can take weeks, or even months, to close a B2B deal, depending on all the factors involved. While you can’t make companies move faster, your sales team can speed up some time-consuming aspects.
To overcome this, it’s helpful to identify and target key stakeholders as early as possible. This allows you to tailor your messaging better and reach decision-makers faster, automatically shortening any sales cycle. You can invest in sales development reps (SDRs) and account execs (AEs) to manage accounts and optimize the sales process.
You can also add urgency to your deals using some time-based incentives. For example, you might offer a 5% discount on all contracts signed by the end of Q3 to speed things up and boost Q3 profits. It may take some practice and tweaking, but you can overcome many issues and obstacles if you can shorten this process.
As many as 50% of the prospects in any sales pipeline are not the ideal customer for a product or service. Nonetheless, they’ve somehow found their way in, likely due to poor data collection efforts or prospects withholding information.
In either case, many sales teams need help finding decision-makers, identifying them, and then figuring out how to contact them to pitch their solution. Instead of thinking of gatekeepers as obstacles, think of them as guides who can help you find the necessary connections.
Again, an SDR or a team of them can also come in handy here. Having people to cultivate and validate information will make it easier to reach the right people at the right time. If you’re using a data vendor, make sure that you choose reputable places to buy leads and contacts so that you don’t get useless information.
Finally, create your own buyer personas that are clearly defined. This will allow you to more easily identify buyers, influencers, and others who may have a say in the final decision.
While salespeople spend about a third of their day on sales activities, they’re also spending valuable time on plenty of tasks that could be automated. According to HubSpot’s Sales Survey:
These things can be automated, at least to a certain degree. Thanks to AI, you can get a lot of support for intelligent automation. Then, your sales reps can focus on what matters: the sales.
What can you do besides automating routine work? Standardize contact data so your teams can create tailored pitches for each client. Use your SDRs here, too, because they can provide a lot of insight and support. And finally, keep honing your process and ensure that your sales teams are working on the right things at the right time.
Alongside the growing enterprise landscape, there’s a robust small business collective in the B2B space. Small companies and startups may not have access to the same resources or finances as larger organizations, making it more challenging to create a sales process that’s effective, efficient, and gets results.
Despite having a limited budget or human capital, however, you should realize that you have many options for support. Just as you can invest in AI tools and other resources, you can also invest in outsourced solutions for almost everything you need. These days, you can outsource:
Outsourcing allows you to access more resources than you can afford to hire in-house. It also allows you to partner with companies that can deliver multiple services and work as an extension of your business to improve the B2B sales process.
One of the biggest challenges for B2B sales teams is not just how to overcome obstacles with potential buyers, but how to utilize data insights to do so. Thanks to AI and machine learning, you have access to a wealth of data that can help you identify specific challenges for your buyers and deliver solutions that address their needs.
When strategizing your sales pipeline and trying to align it with the buyer’s journey, you have to do your own research. You can’t just read these obstacles and apply the suggested fixes without actually seeing where your business stands or what it needs.
No matter what challenges your B2B sales team might be facing, you need time to focus on overcoming them without dropping the ball on everything else. When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll have a team you can rely on for everything from live chat to lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even help with outreach campaigns.
Smith.ai can also be your 24/7 answering service, so you can take advantage of every opportunity. With our new AI voice assistant, you can streamline the customer experience and deliver better solutions. When we get together and customize a strategy for your B2B team, there’s nothing we can’t do.