How effective is your sales team?
The sales process doesn’t stop with Internet lead generation. Sales representatives need to nurture prospects through the revenue funnel before they can win the deal, and this process doesn’t happen overnight in the B2B sector. In fact, there is a huge risk of losing the deal at the last minute because of gaps in the internal sales process. Companies need to prevent this because most B2B firms only have a small target audience and every lost sale is more detrimental than it would be for consumer-facing businesses. While many sales managers view closing as the problem, there are usually deeper issues within an organization that cause business to be lost, according to a blog post for Salesforce written by Joanne Black. An integrated marketing environment can streamline how sales reps approach closing.
Issues the impede sales success
Inability to close the deal can stem from a number of issues. Sales reps may not have received the training they need to succeed at the crucial moment in the process. However, the problem can go back to lead generation and nurturing. If your company is attracting unqualified prospects, even the most talented and convincing sales professional won’t be able to close. Black listed some other reasons why sales meetings may not have the desired outcome:
- Salesperson did not ask enough probing questions to get to the heart of the prospect’s needs.
- The meeting concluded without agreeing on next steps.
- Follow-up emails were too promotional, didn’t include a call to action or didn’t speak to the potential client’s pain points.
- The wrong salesperson was meeting with the prospect.
In addition, a lack of visibility can prevent salespeople from recognizing these problems. If these events occur, prospects probably aren’t going to get back in touch and salespeople may be clueless as to why this is happening. Some reps may not follow up after encountering total silence, which almost guarantees the deal will be lost.
If businesses want to change their sales success rates, managers need to ensure they are matching employees to the right prospects for the best chances of closing the deal. An integrated marketing platform can make assigning simpler and more effective. Certain members of your sales team may have an expertise when it comes to dealing with a particular type of client. Alternatively, younger reps can earn their dues and take on a more challenging workload to learn how to convert. Effectively matching prospects with the right salespeople increases your chances for success.
B2B firms deal with a lengthy sales cycle and many buyers are taking longer to make their decisions, exacerbating the issue. However, trying to push buyers to make a decision before they’re ready isn’t a good approach either, Jim Keenan wrote for Business 2 Community. Sales reps often try to rush toward the close to hit a certain deadline when there aren’t enough qualified leads in the pipeline. Even when working with previous clients who intend to repeat their business, you shouldn’t resort to force. Too much pressure can cause potential clients to turn to a less-aggressive competitor.
In addition, many of the tactics used to push a last-minute close can be detrimental to your business. For example, some reps will offer discounted prices to ensure the deal goes through by a specific deadline, but this can harm your bottom line. Because B2B sales relationships can last for many years, customers may not want to purchase again at a higher price when they got a discount the first time. If clients intend to buy and reps are too pushy, it can seriously harm long-term client satisfaction as well.
Rushing deals because of a lack of qualified leads in the pipeline speaks to a larger organizational failure, according to Keenan. Pipeline management is crucial for the health of your company’s bottom line. Businesses need to have the right systems in place to generate qualified leads.
Understand your target audience
Buyers have very little concern for your internal deadlines, which is one of the reasons they won’t respond to a false sense of urgency. Sales teams can’t focus on when they want to close the deal. Instead, it needs to be about the decision-maker. For complex B2B offerings, it may take some time for a buyer to secure the necessary budget.
Sales managers need to identify the root cause of issues with closing. In many cases, it isn’t just a failure on the rep’s part, although additional coaching may be needed to make meetings more effective. An integrated marketing environment can improve lead generation techniques to ensure you attract a higher number of qualified prospects. These platforms also help with assigning tasks so the right people are handling the responsibilities that suit them best.