Believe it or not, but if you're constantly running into B2B sales disasters, then odds are that you are fully capable of preventing them from happening in the first place.
In fact, even some of the worst sales disasters are completely preventable if you follow specific, simple, and straightforward sales techniques.
We're sharing 7 of the most preventable B2B sales disasters and how you can stop them from happening before they uproot all of your progress.
Not only that, but we're sharing how you can use each potentially disastrous situation into an opportunity to improve yourself and your business!
The best salespeople are the ones who learn from other people's disastrous situations instead of experiencing them themselves. In the end, they avoid the disaster while still learning the lesson from it!
Use this guide to do just that and achieve your highest sales goals with fewer major pitfalls in the road.
7 B2B Sales Disasters That You Can Prevent
As much as we don't like to admit it, most B2B sales disasters are almost completely preventable. And not just that, but some of the worst disasters are the most preventable ones.
While it's a hard pill to swallow, the good news is that once you accept the fact that most disasters are within your control to prevent, you empower yourself to actually keep those problems from ever popping their heads out!
So now without further ado, here are 7 sales disasters that you can prevent if you choose to do what it takes to stop them.
1. Being Ghosted By Qualified Leads
Starting off with a bang... There's probably nothing worse in sales than being ghosted by a highly qualified B2B lead who you are convinced would be a great fit.
One minute they’re moving down the sales pipeline and you believe that they're in the palm of your hand, but then all of a sudden you never hear from them again without any explanation as to why.
The good news is that, while being ghosted is a truly painful experience, it is almost completely preventable if you've already thoroughly qualified the lead during the lead generation phase of the sales process.
Here's exactly how to prevent being ghosted by your leads for good:
Shine a Spotlight on the Pain Point
The absolute most important thing you must do to prevent being ghosted is to create a sense of urgency in the prospect.
The way you do that... Shine a spotlight on their pain point. There are few worse feelings in the world than knowing you have a problem and then somebody pointing it out to you before you have the chance to fix it.
For example, if your job is to clean up the CRM but then all of a sudden your supervisor comes by and asks you why it's still so messy, you're going to feel uncomfortable and a sense of urgency light inside you to fix the situation.
That being said, you need to create that same sense of urgency in your prospect by making it clear that you've identified an evident problem in their company. Then, you can jump in and offer to help them solve it.
Keep shining a light on the pain point until you get a signature on the dotted line!
Be Assertive and Direct
Unless you are assertive with your prospects, you can kiss them goodbye.
Because, if you aren't assertive, then you'll lose control of the sales situation. And when you lose control of the sales situation, the prospect will gain control. And unfortunately, nothing good ever came out of a situation where the prospect was in control.
To be assertive, you must be completely direct with prospects. Let them know that they have a clear problem and you have an even clearer solution for it.
There is no need to be overly-aggressive... You just need to be direct!
By being assertive, you'll stay in control of the sale and prevent the prospect from slipping out of your hands.
2. Endless Hurdles Throughout the B2B Sales Process
How many times do you overcome one problem during the sales process, feel like you're on top of the world, but then all of a sudden run into an even bigger problem?
Also known as the B2B sales cycle or sales pipeline, far too many sales professionals find themselves in this never-ending cycle of problems. However, more often than not, those never-ending problems are self-inflicted and almost completely avoidable.
In an effort to achieve the best sales results, sales and marketing teams often develop overzealous and unnecessarily complicated sales strategies and processes. By more complicated, we mean that there are more steps to take and boxes to check than needed.
With more steps to take and boxes to check than necessary, you create breeding grounds for problems to grow from!
In the end, sales reps are left scratching their heads wondering why the problems throughout the implementation of the process just won't stop! If only they took a step back and realized that they are creating the problems for themselves...
De-Complicate Your B2B Sales Strategy and Sales Process
It's easy: If you want to run into fewer problems while carrying out your B2B selling process, then stop creating them for yourself!
The way to do that... Simplify everything.
Remove all the unnecessary steps and boxes to check, so that both your strategy and process are as simple as possible. Make them so basic that you could talk about them with a complete stranger and they would get the gist of what you're trying to do!
Sales certainly comes with inevitable challenges. But, while it can be challenging, that doesn't mean that it's difficult. If it starts to feel difficult, then it's likely because you're inflicting that difficulty upon yourself!
In short: Longer sales cycles that are more complicated are BAD sales cycles.
3. Hitting a Sales Plateau
Along with being ghosted by potential customers, hitting a sales plateau is another one of the most aggravating sales disasters.
However, just like ghosting, hitting a plateau is almost 100% preventable!
A sales plateau occurs when your sales progress begins to flatline. Instead of continuous sales growth, you hit a point at which you start making the same number of sales from week to week.
If you're a highly-motivated salesperson, then you know just how terrible it can feel to pound the pavement every day only to not see any progress being made.
The good news is that you can prevent that feeling you get from hitting a plateau by doing these two things:
No More Complacency
Whenever a problem arises, there are usually two causes of the problem, including:
- A surface-level cause
- A root cause
When it comes to a plateau, there are countless potential surface level problems.
On the other hand, there is almost always a single root cause of the issue... And that root cause is complacency. While it might be a really hard pill to swallow, accepting the fact that your complacency is at the root of the issue is the first step to breaking out of the flatline.
What makes complacency the root cause of a plateau?
When you are complacent, you are willing to accept mediocrity for the sake of comfort. And unfortunately, growth never comes from a state of comfort.
That being said, in order to break out of the plateau and re-ignite sales growth, the first thing you need to do is accept that complacency exists, get comfortable again with being uncomfortable, and then start resetting your path.
Only until you overcome complacency by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable can you break out of the plateau for good.
Call In Reinforcement From a CEO Coach
If there is a single-best way to prevent ever becoming complacent and hitting a plateau, it's working with a CEO coach.
Working with a coach is powerful because the purpose of a coach is to help keep you on your toes. When you're always on your toes, you're less likely to fall into complacency and more likely to always be on the lookout for new ways to grow.
Not only that, but a coach is either a current or former CEO themselves, therefore they can share expertise based on direct experience from having stood in your very shoes before.
Bottom line: If you want the most straightforward path to business-to-business sales success, then working with a CEO coach is right for you.
4. Shoddy Sales Team Members
Unless you're superhuman or don't want to make the greatest positive impact possible, you need solid sales team members to help you achieve sales success.
Unfortunately though, many B2B salespeople and business owners have team members with high-potential who never seem to realize it. As a result, it's nearly impossible for them to achieve all of their goals because the team pulls them down.
That being said, shoddy team members can create an absolute sales disaster. Whether it be because they aren't putting in maximum effort or simply don't have the necessary skills, there are countless terrible situations that can happen when team members aren't all in it.
Here's how you can prevent team members from pulling you down and getting you into a bad situation:
Foster a Growth Mindset Culture
Do you have high-potential, expert team members who just don't seem to be doing the most?
Consider this: Maybe it's because the company culture is bringing them down.
To turn your team members around, foster a growth mindset culture. A company growth mindset culture is one in which every team member believes that they can improve their performance if they choose to learn and grow more.
The way you can get everyone on board is by getting team members more involved with the big-picture business visions and offering opportunities for professional and personal growth.
When every individual team member believes that they can be better, they grow more, and the overall company inevitably gets better.
Invest In Sales Enablement
Do you have high-potential team members who just need a little extra training to put their potential over the edge?
Consider this: Maybe the simple solution is a full-proof, online sales training program. And, not just any old pre-recorded webinar training that everyone has done before.
Rather, a live training taught by an industry insider who focuses on processes and methodologies rather than basic sales skills that your team probably already knows.
A top-tier training program can be the best sales tool you ever invest in. Will you step up to the plate and do what it takes to prevent a potential disaster?
5. Being Hit With a 'We’ll Get Back to You'
How many times has this happened to you before: You make your final sales pitch to a potential B2B customer. And, not just any sales pitch, but the best one you think you've ever made before. Just as you lay the deal down on the table, the potential customers hit you with a big fat 'This looks great, but we'll get back to you soon'.
In a matter of seconds, it's like the life is sucked right out of you! It's a terrible feeling to know that you and the B2B company would make a perfect fit only for them to hesitate to jump on the opportunity.
And here's the thing: When a potential buyer says something along the lines of 'we'll get back to you', it might not seem like a big deal at first, but the truth is that it is a big deal.
Because, with every second that goes by in-between them saying 'we'll get back to you' and them actually getting back to you, the odds of them signing the deal continue to decrease.
Moreover, every second in between the deal being laid down and it being taken up is a second that's working against you!
Because, while the client goes off on their way to supposedly think about the situation, they have more time to come up with objections against you. What would have been an ideal partnership suddenly never works out because the client's monkey mind convinced them to think twice about it.
Don't let this happen to you ever again... From now on, whenever you lay the deal down on the table, make sure that the prospect signs it right away to prevent disaster from happening.
Connect With the Decision-Makers Right Away
The simplest way to prevent being hit with a 'we'll get back to you' is to create a solid relationship with the top stakeholders at the B2B buyer company.
By the top stakeholders, we mean the people who have the authority to make purchasing decisions.
The second you get prospects into the sales funnel, create a touchpoint of contact with the people doing the decision-making. And, don't just connect with them, but form a relationship with them!
More often than not, the reason why prospects say that they need a moment before making a final decision is because they need to go and confirm the deal with the decision-makers first.
However, if you're already connected with the decision-makers yourself, it reduces the odds that the prospects need to go confirm with them before making a buying decision. Instead, they'll already have the permission to sign with you right away.
From now on, kick off the buying process by getting acquainted with the stakeholders. The sooner you do that, the fewer disasters there are likely to be.
Be Assertive Always
We said it above and we will say it again: You need to be assertive to stay in control of prospects.
Whenever a prospect tells you that they'll get back to you, you automatically let go of your control.
Therefore, stay on top of your assertiveness to stay in control and keep the prospect in your hands.
The next time they tell you that they need to talk before giving you an answer, remind them that there isn't unlimited time to close the deal and that it would be in their best interest to sign the dotted line now.
6. Not Knowing What to Do or Where You’re Going
How many times do you sit back and think to yourself 'I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going. I have goals, but there's a dense fog between where I am now and where I want to be'.
If that resonates with you at all, then not only are you not alone, but you're heading for many potential business and sales disasters.
Without having a clear path in front of you, you're significantly more likely to fall into traps and pitfalls on your way to achieving goals.
The simple solution: Clear the path in front of you so that you're less likely to hit pitfalls AND more likely to grab on to clear opportunities in front of you.
Here's how to do just that:
Find the Right Lens to Look Through
Everyone looks at life through their own unique lens. Think about a lens like a perspective... Your perspective shapes the way that you view life.
For example, you and your friend might be reading the same news article, but have two unique takeaways from it because you both have your own perspective through which you read it.
That being said, if you have fog in front of you that clouds your view of the path to your goals, it's not that there's literal fog… it's that your perspective itself is foggy.
If you would just change the lens you look through, your perspective would change and you would have a clearer path in front of you.
Therefore, if there’s currently fog clouding your path, it's likely because your lens is both:
- Too narrow; and
- Too complex!
What you need to do is exchange your current lens for one that is:
- Broader; and
- Less complex!
The sooner you change your perspective, the sooner you'll be able to clearly see the path in front of you. The sooner your path gets cleared, the sooner you'll change your sales approach, stop running into walls, and start snatching up the obvious opportunities in front of you.
7. Never Being Satisfied
When you hit your sales goals, do you find yourself happy but still not feeling satisfied?
Or, when you are going through the process of closing deals, do you feel like you're just kind of dragging yourself through it?
If so, then there is a current disaster going on, even though it doesn't exactly look like it on the outside. Moreover, it's a disaster going on inside of you!
Unfortunately, far too many sales representatives go through sales feeling unfulfilled. The reason: They've been conditioned to believe that sales is 100% about customer satisfaction and 0% about personal satisfaction.
Not only is that conditioned belief extremely far from the truth, but it sets the stage for internal, beneath-the-surface disasters.
In case you don't already know it... Business and sales is about you too!
Don't think for a second that you need to or should slash your own fulfillment for business success. Because, at the end of the day, not only will you be miserable, but those negative internal feelings will eventually manifest in bad business results.
The sales reps who experience the fewest number of disasters are usually the ones who are the most satisfied doing what they do. Therefore, you need to make the necessary changes that'll help you feel more fulfilled on the job.
Set Goals But Don’t Base Your Value On Them
Here's the thing: You should set specific sales and business goals, but you shouldn't base your value on whether or not you achieve them.
Because, once you achieve one goal, you celebrate for a moment and then set another one to achieve. Ultimately, it becomes a never-ending cycle of achieving one goal, setting another, and then doing it all over again.
Basing your value on achieving goals is a never-ending pursuit that you can’t ever truly win at. The truth is that there's always something else you can do to be better or improve.
And not only that, but the moment that you achieve a goal literally lasts for a second, so it's really sad to base your value on a single moment rather than the big picture.
That being said, every entrepreneur, business owner, and salesperson needs to find just as much joy in the process as they do completing the process. You need to love the climb to the top of the hill just as much as you love the view from the top.
Until you reset your mind to base value on the process, you'll never be satisfied. And never being satisfied is a disaster in itself.
Here's the thing: You can be happy but completely unsatisfied. The way that you become both happy and satisfied is by doing the thing that gives you enthusiasm in life.
You’ll know that you're doing something that makes you feel enthusiastic when you make a mistake, and then get back up feeling more motivated than what you were when you first fell down.
Enthusiasm is the thing that keeps you going through the challenges AND helps you steer clear of disasters.
Final Thoughts On the 7 Preventable B2B Sales Disasters
Is there anything worse than getting into a terrible situation that you're scrambling to fix only to find out later that you could have totally prevented the situation from happening in the first place?
Now that you've got this guide in your hands, there's no excuse for making one of these 7 sales mistakes. You now know not only how to prevent them from happening, but also how to become stronger in the process of preventing them.
Achieving all of your business and sales goes in less time and on a smoother path is a matter of choice. What choice will you make?
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