If you could look back on the year so far, what would you say your top 5 sales challenges were? How would you like these problems to disappear before 2016? Here are the top 5 challenges reported in the B2B industry and how to solve them in a few, quick steps.
1. Gaining appointments
According to the 2015 Selling Challenges Study by Richardson, 18.95% claimed gaining appointments were the biggest challenge when prospecting a lead. This isn't exactly a surprise. Key decision makers are busy people who don't want to waste their time or money on a sales pitch for a product they haven't pursued.
To make sure your sales team are booking those meetings, make sure their first point of contact provides real value to the customer. This means they need to do their homework beforehand so they can personalise their sales pitch and intrigue their lead enough to agree to a meeting.
2. Provide valuable insights
Buyers are now demanding that businesses anticipate their needs. This means they need to know what is happening in the industry, be leading experts in their area and provide solutions before the buyer even knows they need it. 30.11% of businesses said this was the hardest challenge of expanding relationships and it's likely to continue as the demand for this only increases.
The best way to be seen by your leads as a business who can provide valuable insights is to give free access to valuable content that can help them in the decision buying process. By simply providing this information without plugging your own product, you build trust and rapport with buyers who are then more likely to turn to your business when they need a solution.
3. Making the most of social media
While not the top sales challenge in the study, social media did stand out as something that businesses feel they weren't making the most of. Again, this isn't surprising. Social selling was oversold and underperformed this year. This is because while it’s a great tool to connect with leads, it proved near impossible to close a deal over social media.
Moving forward, it's important to utilise social media properly to enhance sales effectively. It should be used to establish credibility and brand authenticity. Sales can then capitalise on this to build connections with leads and establish trust before preceding to a different sales method to close a sale.
4. Competing with lower costs
A never ending sales challenge remains low-cost competitors with 30.61% of businesses saying cheaper competitors made closing a deal difficult. If your product is not the cheapest in the market, it's important to establish why that is to your lead immediately.
You could offer a wider range of products, higher quality or give them a custom package which requires a custom price. Whatever the reason, establishing the value of your product in your leads mind and creating a 'win-win' buy between your lead and business will ensure you close more leads without having to cut your prices.
5. Negotiating with leads
As 80% of buyers research and settle on a product before contacting businesses, it has become harder to agree to a set price or contract. Businesses are seeing a rise in the "savvy buyer", who has not only done their market research but also knows how much they can push to maximise their ROI. The most effective way to combat this is to actually introduce yourself to a lead before they have established a solution they want to buy.