There are so many factors that can stand in the way of exceptional B2B sales performance—poor leadership, lack of organization, no sales process—the list goes on. While some of these problems are easily recognizable, some of the most common obstacles that stand in the way of your success are hard to identify.
Today, we explore some of the more common sales problems—problems you might not even know you’re facing. Continue reading to learn how you can improve your performance today!
1. Not Enough Time Spent Selling
Did you know that sales reps spend 64.3% of their time on non-selling activities (source)? Take a second to let that sink in. As SalesStaff put it, what if a factory worker only performed his function a third of the time? What if a web designer was only productive for 13 hours of each workweek? It just doesn’t make sense.
Instead, monitor how you’re spending your time. Is manual data entry eating up your time? Do you take all day to craft a single email? Struggle to find the right phone number? There’s likely a solution. Just because you’ve always done something a certain way, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way to do it.
Fortunately, we know a little something about increasing sales productivity. Check out these helpful blog posts:
- 4 Myths about Sales Productivity
- The Impact of Direct Dials on Sales Productivity
- 3 Key Metrics to Increase Sales Productivity
- How to Increase Sales Productivity and Stop Wasting Time [Infographic]
2. Selling to the Wrong People
As a sales rep, you can make the most calls and send the best emails, but if you’re targeting the wrong prospect, none of that matters; you won’t be able to close the deal. Stop wasting time with unqualified buyers and go after the people who are most likely to buy.
Do this by developing an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). An ICP is a detailed profile made up of a combination of firmographic and behavioral characteristics that define a company’s best buyers. Using this profile, sales reps can develop measurable outreach strategies that convert these top buyers.
3. Relying on Technology to Close Deals
The sales cycle is made up of a series of outreach activities that must happen in a very specific order. Most companies choose to automate much of this process using various sales enablement tools and technologies. Often, these tools can confuse reps, complicate the sales process, and—in general—do more harm than good. It’s important to remember that technology alone will not improve your sales performance.
Instead, work with your team to analyze your current process, brainstorm ways to cut out unnecessary steps, and test new systems. Only once you’ve established a process that works, should you invest in technology to support your new system. Then, document your process and make sure your reps know how to follow it.
4. Failing to Align with Other Departments
Marketing is annoyed with sales for not following up on leads and the sales team is annoyed with marketing for sending them unqualified leads. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, sales and marketing alignment is vital to a company’s growth and success. Not sure? Consider these statistics:
- Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate (source).
- Companies with poor sales and marketing alignment see a 4% revenue decline (source).
- Sales and marketing alignment can generate 209% more revenue from marketing (source).
- When sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates (source).
This is another topic we’ve covered extensively. Check out the following blog posts to learn why your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page and how to get them there.
- 20 Sales and Marketing Alignment Statistics
- Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Q&A
- 3 Best Practices for Sales and Marketing Alignment
- 5 Actions to Fool-Proof Your Sales and Marketing Alignment Plan
- How to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment through Events
- Lead Qualification: The Key to Sales and Marketing Alignment
5. Can’t Reach Your Sales Prospects
Even if you’ve already identified your best buyers, perfected your outreach, and have a rock-solid sales process—none of this matters if you just can’t get your prospects on the phone. If this sounds like your sales team, you likely have a data problem.
Stop relying on bad contact information. Work with a B2B data provider to fill in the gaps in your database, verify your contact information, and supply you with new, targeted leads.
6. Not Enough Training
Sales training can be time-consuming and expensive—but it’s worth it. In fact, according to CSO Insights, organizations that complete highly rated sales training programs can increase revenue by up to 106.7% (source).
If you don’t have resources to dedicate to sales training, you can still make training a priority. Regularly communicate with your team and establish an expected set of behaviors and processes. This is especially important when it comes to new hires.
Remember, training should be an ongoing process, not a one-time thing. Actively evaluate your training methods and make adjustments as you see fit.
Whether you’re new to B2B sales or a sales veteran, there’s always room for improvement. If your performance has hit a standstill, evaluate your sales process to see if you’re struggling with one of these six problems. You’ll be glad you did.
For more information about improving sales productivity, contact ZoomInfo today!