Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions of your B2B sales process but aren’t gaining any new ground?
For lack of a better word, do you simply feel stuck?
If so, then there’s a good chance that you don’t just feel stuck, but you actually are stuck.
When you consider the fact that it takes most sales teams an average of a few months to close deals and that some customer conversion rate measures are as low as 6% despite working harder than ever, it’s no wonder why you feel stuck.
To help get you back on the path to sales success, I’m sharing 10 tips to help you get unstuck out of your selling process. By applying these types, you’ll start spinning your wheels and actually getting somewhere!
Feeling stuck isn’t just an internal problem that you can hide away, but a problem that’ll manifest into much larger sales issues. Unless you want to sink deeper into the mud, the time to get unstuck is now!
What Does it Mean to Get Stuck In the Steps of the B2B Sales Process?
Getting stuck in the B2B sales process is when you don’t get sales results that match your sales efforts. It’s often described as the feeling of getting stuck in a rut or a funk.
That said, getting stuck in the sales process is usually defined by a period in which your workload increases by a certain amount yet your sales results don’t increase accordingly.
Additionally, there are three very common sales ruts that salespeople tend to get stuck in during the B2B sales cycle, including:
- Sales plateaus
- Continuously ghosting prospects
- Mental blocks
Not only are these sales ruts common, but they’re extremely painful to get stuck in!
To begin with, sales plateaus occur when you suddenly stop making more and more sales from week to week despite increasing your workload. Most sales plateaus occur just after a period of sales growth.
Sales plateaus are the most common kind of rut that sales reps tend to get stuck in. They’re extremely common because they’re usually the result of mindset pitfalls, which just about every sales professional is vulnerable to!
Not only are sales plateaus extremely common, but they’re often one of the most debilitating ruts to get stuck in. Why? Because when most salespeople hit a plateau, they believe that the most obvious answer to overcoming it is simply working harder.
To their surprise, working harder doesn’t help solve their problem at all. In fact, it often only makes them more frustrated. Had they realized that mindset pitfalls cause plateaus, then they would realize that the solution is changing the way that they think and not working harder.
Prospect ghosting is another one of the most common and painful business-to-business sales ruts to get stuck in. In fact, by many accounts, it’s probably more debilitating than hitting plateaus!
Prospect ghosting occurs when a prospect suddenly stops responding to your phone calls, messages, and emails after you’ve already siphoned them into your sales pipeline. It often leaves sales reps feeling as if the B2B buyer has just fallen off the face of the earth.
Many sales reps fall into a rut when a considerable amount of their supposedly qualified leads start to ghost them.
Thanks to consistently getting ghosted, many sales and marketing teams are often left feeling completely helpless. They’re going all-in to please potential customers, yet those customers still feel inclined to stop responding.
Finally, many sales leaders experience an every-now-and-again feeling of something being “off”. While they can’t put their finger on what exactly is off, they have this rift in their mind which makes them feel as if something is not quite right.
I like to refer to these internal funks as mental blocks. You usually know that you’re experiencing a mental block when something about your selling process just doesn’t feel aligned but you can’t put your finger on it.
This is one of those cases in which, if something feels off, then there’s a good chance that something is actually off!
Like sales plateaus, mental blocks are another rut that is very difficult to overcome, because sales reps usually can’t pinpoint what's causing that internal rift.
The Secret to Getting Unstuck In Sales
The secret to getting unstuck out of your sales process is to implement positive habits.
Think of it like this: If you’re trying to improve your physical fitness, going to the gym once and then alternating between days of healthy eating and binging will do anything but help you climb out of your situation. On the other hand, making small changes like going for a 30-minute walk every day and sticking to your calorie restrictions on a consistent, daily basis, will surely help get you out of your rut.
So if you’re currently stuck in the middle of your selling process, know that the secret isn’t just applying a new tactic or tip once or twice. Rather, it’s about consistent application of it, and that goes for the 10 tips that I have below!
You can have all the best sales tools, tips, and techniques out there, but they’ll never help you get unstuck unless you use them consistently.
It’s like I always say, you don’t create the results you want. Instead, it’s your habits that create the results you want.
10 Tips to Get Unstuck Out of & Reignite Your Sales Process
Although most sales reps are in a constant state of being stuck in the mud, you don’t need to be in that same situation. That is, at least, if you apply these 10 tips, which include different techniques and tactics, to your everyday life, inside and outside of sales!
No more spinning your wheels in the mud only to get absolutely nowhere. Start applying these 10 tips now to get unstuck and back on track to sales success.
Most importantly, turn these 10 tips into habits applied on a consistent, regular basis. Without consistency, it’s nearly impossible to get yourself out of any rut.
1. Track Your Current Habits
Before throwing a bunch of new habits into your sales routine, take a step back and assess your current habits.
Whether they be mental patterns or your everyday sales techniques, take a step back and write down the habits that currently comprise your daily sales routine.
Believe it or not, many salespeople are totally unconscious of their regular habits! Then when they do finally take a step back to assess their situation, they realize that they’ve been sabotaging themselves with terrible habits.
For example, instead of doing several rounds of follow-up with new leads, they realize that they only make one cold call before giving up. AKA, they set themselves up for cold outreach failure.
Either today or tomorrow, write down the habits that currently make up your selling process. Then one week later, look at your list and assess. Continue to do this exercise on a monthly basis to stay vigilant of your habits.
Grow More Conscious of Your Habits
Successful sales professionals are conscious of their habits. They’re not the kind of people who unconsciously go through the motions without ever realizing that they’re even going through them. Rather, they’re highly self-aware.
That said, the key to tracking your habits is to consciously become more aware of your bad habits that, up until this point, you have been doing unconsciously.
Choose 1 New Habit at a Time
When it comes to turning these 10 tips into new habits, don’t overwhelm yourself right off the bat. Instead, focus on implementing one new habit at a time.
Sure, you might be able to keep up with a bunch of new habits for a little while, but eventually, it’ll start to feel difficult to keep up with so many sudden changes.
Moreover, sustaining new habits for the long run is a matter of adding only one new habit to your routine at a time. Once a new habit becomes automatic, then add the next one to your routine.
2. Create Distance Between You and Your Thoughts
How often do you get so consumed with the thought of being stuck that you sit there staring out into space contemplating the idea while anxiety starts to build in your chest?
If that happens on the regular, then create distance between you and those thoughts by writing them down on paper.
For example, if you’re having a difficult time prospecting target B2B companies and resultantly find yourself in a rut, then get that thought out of your head and down on paper.
That way, you can stop wasting time just thinking about the issue (which will only make your rut even deeper), and actually start assessing how to fix it.
Do a Daily Brain Dump
At the end of each day, grab your journal and spend 5 minutes doing a brain dump.
Doing a brain dump is when you take the thoughts swirling around in your head, particularly thoughts related to challenges you’re experiencing, and write them down on paper.
When the thoughts are on the paper and out of your head, then it’s easier to assess what to do about them. On the other hand, when thoughts are constantly swirling around in your head each day, all they do is distract you and increase anxiety.
For example, if you’ve given several consecutive final sales pitches only for leads to try and negotiate with you, getting that challenge down on paper helps you analyze it. When you analyze it, you’re able to come up with potential solutions for it.
Instead of letting challenges consume your mind, get them out of your head so that you can figure out what to do to solve them.
3. Redefine Your Sales Approach
When you walk into a sales meeting, how do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as just another sales rep, or do you see yourself as an expert sales professional who knows exactly what it takes to solve pain points?
Hopefully, you think of yourself as an expert, because the way that you think about yourself changes your demeanor, and your demeanor defines your entire sales approach, and your sales approach impacts the way that customers feel about you!
Ultimately, the way that customers feel about you, specifically whether or not they feel that you’re just another vendor or you’re an expert, determines whether or not they make a purchasing decision in your favor.
Step-Up as an Expert
You probably don’t need me to tell you that prospects prefer to work with expert sales professionals, not vendors!
In fact, a recent Salesforce survey revealed that 79% of B2B buyers say that it’s either absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor–not just a sales rep–who adds value to their business.
That said, changing the way that prospects feel about you starts with you changing the way you feel about yourself.
4. Clean Up Your Process
Let’s say that you’re at home and need to drive to the grocery store. There are two routes you can take to the store, with the first one being a straight shot on a flat highway and the second one being a longer route that takes you through a mountain range on thin back roads. If you want to get to the final destination in less time and with fewer hick-ups along the way, which route are you going to take?
Of course, you’ll choose route one.
While the answer is obvious, most salespeople don’t apply this same logic to sales. More specifically, instead of choosing the easy sales route, they pick a harder route thinking that it’s better for them!
By this, I mean that they choose the most difficult and complex selling process methodologies to help them get to their final destination.
Doesn’t something sound off here?
To put things simply, choosing to go the complex route when there are simpler pathways is like choosing to run a race with weights attached to your feet–you’ll only hold yourself back from winning the race.
That said, commit to cleaning up your sales process to remove any unneeded complexity! Or better yet, start following my simple 3-step selling process!
From here on out, reassess your selling process on a regular then basis, perhaps monthly, to re-optimize it according to what needs to be cleaned out!
Focus on Lead Generation
When it comes to cleaning up your selling process, start by examining the lead generation phase, because it’s lead gen that most salespeople overthink and resultantly overcomplicate.
Remember, lead generation is the simple combination of outbound sales tactics and inbound marketing aimed at your target audience... that’s it!
If you start to overthink it, you’ll overcomplicate it and eventually throw yourself into a rut.
The Simpler, the Better
I’ve said it many times before and I will say it again: The simpler your sales process is, the better it is!
You might think that you need some big and complex master plan to win prospects over, but the hard truth is that the opposite is true. The more basic your process is, the more likely you are to win prospects over.
Because with less complexity, the more straightforward the buying process is and the sooner leads can make purchasing decisions!
5. Delegate More to Your Sales Team
You can’t tackle an entire sales strategy all on your own. That’s why you have a sales team!
Despite this fact, many sales leaders do little to no delegation of sales tasks. Instead of delegating, they overwhelm themselves with more work than they can handle. All this ends up doing is slowing down the selling process, which forces sales teams into a difficult rut to get unstuck from.
The simple solution... delegation!
Rather than forcing yourself into the weeds, delegate as many tasks as you can amongst your team members.
Focus on Leadership
As a sales leader or sales manager, do you know what your most important job is?
Believe it or not, your most important job is to lead the team and manage the process!
However, how will you have time to lead and manage if you’re always stuck in the weeds doing the tasks that somebody else could easily be doing?
To get unstuck again, you need to do your job. AKA, you need to lead!
6. Up your Follow-Up Game
If you do an initial round of outbound outreach, including cold calling, emailing, and messaging on LinkedIn, but you don’t follow up within 24 hours, then you might as well not do the initial round of outreach at all.
Because consistent and quick follow-up is the absolute key to outbound sales success as most leads don’t respond on the first outreach attempt.
Therefore, if you’re not consistently putting yourself out there, they don’t expect to gain any momentum.
From now on, follow these two follow-up golden rules:
- Follow-up until you get a response
- Follow-up within 24 hours of your initial attempt, and then within 12 hours after each additional attempt
Unlike you whose primary goal is to siphon leads into the sales pipeline, your leads have their own priorities, which probably don’t include answering your messages the second they receive them. Therefore, keep following up until leads make you a priority!
7. Challenge Your Own Opinions
As much as nobody likes to admit it, we’re all biased toward our own opinions.
When it comes to sales, letting biases go unchallenged can get you stuck in a rut, as those opinions might not be doing your sales process any good.
To get your biases and opinions in check, surround yourself with people who will give you honest and genuine feedback. Then, take that feedback to heart and use it to get unstuck again.
Talk to Existing Customers
Perhaps the best people to get honest feedback about your selling process from is your current customer base.
To gather feedback, set up what I like to call 10-Minute Customer Success meetings, in which you ask targeted questions regarding the customer’s buying experience.
For example, questions such as, “What’s something that we could have done better to make your buyer’s journey better?”
The answers to these questions will give you clarity on which parts of your selling process need to improve.
Don’t just end the meetings with, “Thanks for your help!” Instead, end meetings with a referral by saying, “Thanks for your feedback, do you know of anybody else who needs our products or services right now?”.
8. Target Decision-Makers
When you do cold outreach, who are you sending the messages to?
Ideally, you’re connecting with the top stakeholders at your target B2B companies, because when you target these top decision-makers, your selling process flows with less resistance.
More specifically, you should be targeting the decision-makers who fit your ideal buyer persona.
If you’re sending outreach messages to people lower on the food chain, then you’re inevitably going to be met with messages such as, “I’ll need to contact my superior and then get back to you.” All this does is reduce sales flow.
From now on, keep your process moving along by following a top-down approach instead of a bottom-up approach.
9. Start Tracking Your Progress
You’ll never know if you’re really getting unstuck unless you keep tabs on progress. By that, I mean that you’ll never really know if you’re making progress unless you choose specific metrics or KPIs that help you determine whether or not you’re actually gaining ground.
For example, if you’re currently stuck in a sales plateau, then you need to be on top of your sales growth metrics.
Far too often, sales leaders feel as if they’re gaining traction, but then they eventually take a step back only to realize that they were just spinning their wheels.
If you want to get unstuck, then you need to track your progress with measurable KPIs.
10. Take Regular Breaks
Despite what you see online or read about in books, sales leaders take breaks. They don’t work 24/7 because they know that working 24/7 doesn’t give them the time they need to reflect on their processes.
With reflection comes clarity, and with clarity comes breakthroughs, particularly the kinds of breakthroughs that’ll show you the way to getting unstuck.
Sometimes, you just need to know how to take a step back and stop! Oftentimes, the moment that people throw their hands in the air is the moment they get the breakthrough they’ve been searching for.
Final Thoughts on Getting Unstuck Out of Your B2B Selling Process
If you feel stuck in your B2B sales process, then don’t keep pushing forward without making any changes! That feeling of being stuck isn’t just something you should ignore, because it’s a sign that you have some bigger problem on your hands.
Furthermore, get unstuck now so that you can get back on the right track! Instead of getting more frustrated about being stuck, simply apply these no-nonsense tips. Because sometimes, you can make the biggest impact by making the smallest moves.
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