Anyone in business knows that sales can come and go. Sometimes it’s about the economy or the time of year. The demand for your product or service can ebb and flow. But if your B2B brand has suffered stalling sales for months, it may be an internal problem. Take a look at your marketing, your pricing, and more to determine why your sales might be at a plateau.
Here are some common reasons that B2B sales stall:
#1 – More Decision-Makers
Single decision-making purchasers are becoming less and less common in business models. In fact, studies show that roughly 5 shareholders on average make purchasing decisions for any business. The more people who are involved in the process, the longer it will take to come to an agreement and the less likely they are to say yes. It’s important for B2B companies to have a strong marketing pitch that appeals to multiple angles of their potential customer’s business in order to make it through the rounds of discussion.
#2 – Poor Customer Experiences
Everyone knows how important it is to focus on the customer experience. A good customer experience could result not only in a sale but in continued business and recommendations to others within the customer’s network. A poor customer experience can easily drive sales away. The sale process should be smooth and transparent for customers. It should never be an inconvenience to purchase your product or service.
#3 – Poor Seller Experience
What’s talked about less often is the seller experience, encapsulating the way your sellers feel about their jobs. If your sellers are satisfied and feel fulfilled in their jobs, they are going to be more enthusiastic in their sales attempts, and those sales attempts will feel more genuine. They will have more patience with customers, raising the customer experience. A seller who is happy in their job can sometimes directly correlate to more sales.
On the other hand, an overworked, underappreciated, or burned out seller is likely to put the minimum effort into their work. They may become more impatient with customers, leading to rudeness, and you may find yourself with a quick turnover, meaning you bring in new sellers who are less experienced with your brand. Make sure you treat your sellers with respect and appreciation in order to create the best seller and customer service.
#4 – Weak Value Proposition
A value proposition is a statement that lays out what your company has to offer your customers. But if your value proposition is too broad, or if it sounds too much like the offerings of your competition, it’s less likely to draw in new customers.
Take a look at your company and what truly makes you stand out. What do you have that your competition does not offer? Make sure that is front and center of your value proposition.
#5 – Lack of Organization In Your Sales Process
What is your sales process? Do you have a set sales process? It may come as a surprise that many B2B brands do not have a repeated sales process. You need to have something solid and structured that you can repeat for each B2B deal in order to more confidently close and keep sales from stalling. This should include:
- Lead generation – from emails, cold calls, signup forms, etc.
- Screening leads for quality
- Reaching out to quality leads to express how your brand is the solution to their pain points
- A final sales pitch to close the deal
Have something prepared beforehand and stick to it for each deal.
#6 – Indirect Marketing
In everyday conversations, we often fear being too assertive. We may soften our words in order to seem less direct, less like a call out. But this is a poor method of marketing. If you beat around the bush, your leads will either miss your point or lose patience with you. You need to speak to them directly, with confident and assertive sales pitches and marketing. Ask to speak directly with decision makers, rather than leaving them a message, and speak directly to their needs.
#7 – Lack of Clear and Objective Content
Content marketing is essential for B2B brands. It can drive traffic to your website, show your leads what your brand is about, and pique interest in your offerings. However, all those blogs, infographics, videos, etc. go to waste if you are not clear and objective in your content.
People know a sales pitch when they see one. A blog that simply repeats over and over that your brand is “the best” is not going to do much to inspire confidence. You need objective data and sources to back up the points in your blog. And your content should be clear, easy for your customers to understand without talking down to them.