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Want to Be In Command of B2B Sales Growth? Avoid These Negative Forces

Brian Cristiano Dec 2, 2021

Do you feel like you're doing absolutely everything you can to kickstart B2B sales growth only for it to never lift off the ground?

If so, there could be some potentially negative forces counteracting your efforts.

As a result, you work harder than ever just to have these forces push you backwards!  And, the worst part is that you're not even sure why you're not moving forward.

If this sounds even remotely familiar to you, we're sharing 10 of the most common negative forces working against CEO and salespeople's efforts to boost sales growth!

If one of these 10 forces resonates with you in the least bit, then it could be the invisible factor holding you back.

Want to know the good news in all of this? 

The great news is that each of these forces is easily within your power to eliminate.  Yep!  You alone have the ability to take what's working against you and throw it in the trash.

Bottom line: While you are currently struggling with business-to-business sales growth, that ends here.  The time to take back control of your growth potential is now.

 

These 10 Forces Work Against Your Sales Growth - Stop Them!

 

Sales is challenging enough as it is!  When you've got external factors pushing you back on top of the already inevitable challenges, it can feel overwhelming.

Therefore, if you can remove the negative forces from your path, you should see an immediate increase in growth.  And, thus, you will eventually see revenue growth.

So now without further ado, if any one of these 10 forces seems to pull at your heart a little bit, then it could be the thing that's holding you back.

Once you know what's holding you back, you've got the power to remove it from your path and see the kinds of results that reflect how much work you put in!

 

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1. Negative or Toxic Sales Team Members

 

Is there anything more frustrating than walking into a sales meeting and having members of your sales team slack off and blatantly not pay attention?  Or, even worse, they carry that slacking over into their daily sales activities.

Here's the thing... If you're putting 100% of your efforts into sales but your sales reps aren't, then you're obviously going to be held back.

Unless you are doing 99% of the work throughout the sales cycle, having salespeople or a sales manager who couldn't care less is a recipe for disaster. 

Not only will the slacking be extremely frustrating for you to deal with, but it'll also eventually show up in your sales results.  It’ll most likely show up in the form of:

  1. Not making quotas
  2. Holes in the sales process
  3. Terrible customer experience

While slacking sales reps will certainly make you miss quotas and leave gaps in processes, perhaps the most negative potential consequence is terrible customer experience.

If your new or existing customers feel like they're not getting the customer relationship they bargained for, then be prepared for them to walk out the door.

Because, at the end of the day, having solid relationships is a central pillar of success in every B2B sales organization!

If you find yourself in a situation where members of your team clearly aren't pulling their weight, then you need to decide to either use motivation tactics or find new people who are more committed to achieving growth.

 

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2. Using a ‘Slap in the Face’ Pricing System

 

Are you working harder than ever before to hit your sales benchmarks in terms of the number of sales made but still feel like you're falling behind?  

More specifically, you aren't seeing that increase in revenue that should match the new customers you've taken on?

If so, then you could be using a terrible pricing system.  That is, a terrible price system for you because it undercuts your value.  It’s basically like you’re slapping yourself in the face!

On the flip side, your customers love it because they feel like they’re getting your deliverable for a bargain!

Straight-up: The price of your deliverable should always match the value of your deliverable.  If you think that dropping the price below the value of your product or service is a good thing, it'll surely come back to bite you later on!

The truth is... When you undercut your price, what you're really doing is telling your customers that you aren't very confident in the value you bring to the table.  Even though your positive results might say that you offer extraordinary value, the price doesn't.

As a result, you put yourself in a position for customers to take advantage of that lack of confidence!

And, in the end, you'll have more work on your plate than ever but won't have the cash to match it.

While this is a terrible problem to have, all you need to do to fix it is increase your price to match your value.  By doing so, you will get the respect you deserve and your confidence will go up (and you’ll have more money)!

 

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3. The Modern Education System

 

School is unquestionably one of the keys to unlocking a better life for yourself.

However, in terms of helping you be a better business owner or salesperson, school is unlikely to equip you with all the knowledge you need.

In fact, our modern education system often sets CEOs and sales pros backwards in terms of business success and growth!

How so?

Unfortunately, school conditions our minds in several negative ways, including:

  1. Believing that something needs to be complex to be effective
  2. Learning what to think instead of how to think
  3. Knowing facts but not knowing how to apply facts to real life situations

Again, that is not to hate on education or school.  But, it is to say that if you want to be successful in business, then receiving a diploma isn't the only kind of education you'll need.

Additionally, you'll probably have to put in extra work to undo the mental conditioning that modern schooling inevitably inflicts on everyone.

What is a CEO or sales pro to do in this situation?

In addition to school, top level sales training programs that don't teach you facts but teach you how to apply facts are the way to go!

And... we're not talking basic pre-recorded webinar training.  Rather, we're talking about a full-scale training course that gives you the tools you need for sales problem-solving and strategic decision-making.

Bottom line: Get your education and then some afterwards!

 

4. Distractions and Low Sales Productivity

 

Here’s a question for you: How many times per day do you catch yourself endlessly scrolling through social media without even registering the things you're looking at?

Even worse, how many times do you scroll while you're supposed to be working and then justify it as some type of work-related activity?

Unless you're a superhuman, odds are you catch yourself doing this on at least a somewhat regular basis!

Of the many side effects this has, perhaps one of the worst ones is that it causes low productivity.  More specifically low sales productivity.

Having low sales productivity is to put in hours of supposed ‘work’ only to get sub-par, or even negative sales results.  In short: It's when your input of ‘work’ doesn't match your output of results!

The obvious solution is to eliminate distractions from you and your team's work environment, including access to social media.

Now, this is one of those things that is far easier said than done!  Most people only realize how much time they spend scrolling until they block their online accounts or put their phone outside their room!

Therefore, to make the burden of eliminating distractions easier, consider getting your whole team in on the game to reduce distractions.

For example, at the beginning of the work day, have everyone commit to staying off social media and their phone for the first three hours.  That way, everyone can stay focused on their most important tasks AND get reinforcement from peers.

Sometimes the villain ruining your sales results is the devil in your pocket.  While it's a powerful villain, it's a silly one to let ruin your growth!

 

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5. Social Media Misinformation

 

Speaking of social media, you would have to be living under a rock to say you aren't aware of misinformation online.  In fact, one could argue that the majority of online information is misinformed in at least some way.

While you might only attribute misinformation to controversial or political topics, the truth is that there is misinformation regarding just about every topic, including business and sales.

Therefore, if you're trying to achieve success by taking advantage of online resources, never forget to consider a few things:

  1. Who is the author or source?
  2. Can the source back up their talk with evidence?
  3. Has the source taken up their own advice themselves?

While social media has given just about everyone the power to elevate their voice (which is amazing), that doesn't mean that everyone who posts knows exactly what they're talking about.

In the worst cases, people put business-related advice out there but have never taken that advice themselves or proven it works!

Whether it be a case study you see on LinkedIn being posted by a supposed sales leader or your crazy uncle from Iowa sharing a news article, ALWAYS step back and have some perspective on what you're looking at.

The last thing you want to do is take advice from someone who doesn’t know what they’re saying.

 

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6. Allowing B2B Customers to Overstep Boundaries

 

How many times has this happened to you... You've addressed your customer's needs AND did it with the best service ever.  But then all of a sudden, your customer starts pulling your leg a bit... They start asking to negotiate price, have additional demands on top of the ones they first laid out... and they want it now!

As a result, you're left either financially strained, time constrained, or both!

So... What do you do when your B2B buyers start overstepping clear boundaries in the relationship?

Before asking what to do, ask yourself why it's happening in the first place.

Odds are if you feel slightly taken advantage of by your customers, it's because you haven't clearly demonstrated your demands in the relationship.  Moreover, you haven't shown them what you demand in return for fulfilling their needs.

This happens all too often with CEOs and salespeople who lack confidence!  In an effort to please their customers, they don't demand exactly what they need in return from them to make it a fair deal.

As a result, the customers start pulling their leg and making outlandish demands because they believe they can get away with it.

Sound familiar to you?  

If so, the first thing you need to work on is building confidence!  You must have confidence in the value of your product or service, and then be confident enough to demand that your customers return that same value to you!

The moment the customer starts to see that you devalue yourself, they will take advantage of it.  

Therefore, you need to get your confidence in check, and then put it on display for everyone to see!

 

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7. Poor Quality Leads In the Sales Pipeline

 

Lead generation is one of the first steps of the entire sales process.  It's the point at which you start filling your pipeline with qualified leads.

As the first step in the process... if you get it wrong, it's only inevitable that you will have additional problems down the line.

What kinds of problems?

Just to name a few of them, you'll have prospects ghosting you, prospects that can't afford you, and prospects who have pain points out of your reach!

Therefore, if you feel like all the leads in your pipeline are low-quality, then stop trying to generate more leads and go back to the drawing board!

What you need to do is go back to the drawing board and create a new ideal prospect profile (IPP).  And this time around, you need to be much more specific with who your ideal prospect is!

Much of the time, sales pros don't get as specific as they need to with their IPP because they believe it will reduce the number of leads in their pipeline.

While there is some truth to that, the hard truth is that it's better to be more specific with the IPP so that your pipeline fills with qualified leads, rather than a bunch of leads who will likely never buy from you!

When it comes to lead generation, quality >>> quantity!

The more specific you are with your IPP, the higher quality leads you will have.  The higher quality leads you have, the more closed deals you make in the end.

 

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8. Unnecessarily Complex Sales Strategies

 

Like we already talked about, our education system conditions people into believing that if something is more complex that it is more likely to be effective!

While that is far from the truth, many well-intentioned sales professionals and CEOs take that to heart.  As a result, they create wildly and unnecessarily complex:

  1. B2B sales strategies
  2. B2B marketing strategies

In the end, complex strategies make sales at least 10x harder.

Why?

Because... When you have a complex strategy, you end up adding far too many steps to your sales process.  And when you have too many steps in your process, you open the floodgates for countless new problems to arise!

On the flip side, if you keep the strategy simple, you create fewer breeding grounds for problems to grow.

That being said, don't let complexity ruin your odds of sales growth.  In the end, complexity creates problems, not growth!

 

9. Having Bottom of the Barrel Sales Opportunities

 

Has anyone ever said to you, 'Maybe the reason you're not getting results is because you're thinking too big'.

If so, then first of all we apologize that you had to listen to such nonsense.

Second, we want to offer a counter perspective... Have you ever considered that maybe the reason you aren't achieving your growth goals is because you are thinking too small?  

Maybe, you haven't been thinking big enough, and that's what's holding you back!  A good sign that you've been thinking too small is if you have terrible sales opportunities!

A sales opportunity is a prospect that has made it to almost the end of the sales cycle and is considered highly qualified.

What makes a sales opportunity a terrible one is if they drop off the face of the earth right before you are about to close the deal on them!

Why does this happen?

The most likely reason this happens is because the opportunity doesn't think your company is strong or capable enough to solve their pain points.  While they see you as a great fit on all other avenues, they just don't think you have the bandwidth for them.  

As a result, they fall off the radar!

If this happens to you, take it as a sign that you're not thinking big enough!  

While you might be doing an excellent job connecting with prospects, maybe you need to think about the scope of your product or service in a bigger light!

Once you start thinking bigger, you're ready to start growing your company to a bigger size so that it can handle the bandwidth of your prospect's issues.

That way, when it comes time to close deals, you know that your sales opportunities believe you are fully capable of solving their problems.

 

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10. A Negative Mindset (The Man In the Mirror)

 

What is the single best way to determine whether or not somebody will be successful in sales?

We'll tell you... It's whether or not they have a positive mindset!

How do you know if somebody has a positive mindset necessary for sales success, particularly growth?

It's simple... Just look at the way they talk!  If they're constantly saying negative things like, 'It's their fault, not mine!' or 'I feel like such a victim of circumstances', then you know they probably have a negative mindset.

Because, what somebody says is usually a solid reflection of their thoughts.  And, one's thoughts are a reflection of their mindset!

Straight-up: The thoughts you think determine the emotions you feel.  The emotions you feel determine the actions you take.  The actions you take determine your outcomes.  

So, if you think negatively about yourself and your abilities in sales, then don’t expect positive results!

It doesn't matter how many hours you put into sales if your mindset is in the red.  In the end, you'll only stagnate or grow negatively.

The awesome news is that you and you alone have the power to get your mind in check!

Regardless of what anyone else says or does, you are the sole individual who can change your mind for the better.  Once you make the choice to do so, things can only get better.

Want predictive sales growth?  Start by getting your mind right!

 

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Final Thoughts on B2B Sales Growth & Negative Forces

 

Do one or more of these negative forces resonate with you and your current sales struggles?

If so, then they could be what's holding you back from reaching your full growth potential.

However, now that you know what's pushing you backwards, you can eliminate it from your path!

At the end of the day, while you might have a problem with sales at your B2B company, the truth is that YOU are the solution to the problem.

You are the only one who has the potential to completely change the trajectory of your sales outcomes!  The only question left is... Will you step up to the plate?