Say, you’ve developed and launched a product or a service, which you know can solve some specific problems faced by small to big business enterprises. Your marketing team puts effort in reaching out to the VPs and CEOs of these enterprises with the right story, content and may be personalized campaign. By now your team knows who your potential clients are. But the challenge is how to get them to close and convert. This holds true in B2C sales as well as B2B sales. However an important difference is that in case of B2B sales, you and your team are pitching and selling to a team of individuals who have to agree unanimously on investing in your solution or service.
Hence, B2B sales is about longer sales cycles, bigger financial deals, fierce competition and reaching out to more than one decision maker in an organization, which unfolds different set of challenges. Through this post we will address some of these challenges in B2B sales with the focus on improving sales productivity.
According to Docurated’s report called the State of Sales Productivity, “organizations are investing more and more in sales productivity”.
Varied organizations doing B2B sales have different rules and metrics to measure their sales productivity but no one can ignore the conversion rate. The number of closures is directly proportional to the revenue growth. As a sales leader your job is to proactively address following challenges and improving your sales team productivity is in your organization’s best interest
A good marketing strategy doesn’t end at the campaign level. Marketing builds the foundation for your sales team to perform and to get business. Hence the main focus of your marketing team should be to support sales with quality leads.
Based on the survey conducted by Docurated, this is one of the major findings. “However, Sales Productivity is not resourced as a major priority within Marketing departments and this creates a significant alignment challenge for organizations.”
Marketing and sales team need to work in unison, former feeding the latter with right the number of ‘quality’ leads. As a B2B sales leader you need to make sure that both the departments talk and exchange data and information on efforts that work or don’t work. This will ensure that sales team doesn’t waste its efforts on pursuing the wrong leads.
After your marketing and sales teams have qualified leads in their kitty, the next step is communication. In B2B sales your reps’ significant number of hours should be spent in building relationship with the identified prospect, in influencing the decision makers and not on data entry and status updating.
You can help your sales team in being effective and efficient by cutting down on admin and manual work, which is often data entry and going through previous remarks/ communication. Hence, invest in a CRM that gives the option to automate and setup replies, alerts and notifications in advance. However, this unfolds another set of challenge for you as a sales leader. This means training your sales team, making them adopt and understand the importance of adopting CRM in sales cycle!
Having appropriate content accessible and available at the nick of time is the prerequisite for your sales teams smooth functioning. Usually it doesn’t work this way! Sales productivity gets diluted when your sales reps have to recreate the content that they need for their pitching to go well. Sales reps do their initial research on your prospects’ portfolio, needs and on what features of your products or services they might be interested in. Based on the prospect’s need sales requisite is to have access to fresh or edited or even old content created by marketing.
For improved sales revenue, make sure that your sales reps are well equipped and have all the content at their disposal to make that pitch work. They shouldn’t be wasting time in recreating or looking through multiple repositories to find the content they need because this definitely mars their productivity.