If you Google 'B2B sales tips', you will be returned with more than twenty million results in a matter of seconds.
It's no secret that there is an abundance of B2B sales information out there. Unfortunately, though, much of it is the equivalent of garbage!
By garbage, we mean that if you follow the guidance of the online tips, then your odds of sales success will immediately decrease.
That being said, we've compiled a list of the absolute worst B2B sales tips commonly found online today! Additionally, we're sharing:
- What makes these tips pure trash
- Alternative tips to help put you on the path to sales success
And, these aren't just any alternative tips... But they're simple, straightforward tips that have been routinely proven to produce positive sales results!
In short: Your sales potential is limitless. Don't let garbage online sales tips be the thing that stands in your way!
1. Wait a Few Days to Follow-Up
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!
After doing your first round of outreach to cold leads, you must follow-up within 24 hours if you don’t hear back!
Unless you do so, then don't expect to get a response from that lead.
Now, you might be saying to yourself... But aren't I coming across as annoying or desperate if I follow-up so soon?
In short: No, you don't come across as desperate. That is, at least, if you make it apparent in your outreach that you're interested in helping the B2B customer solve an important problem of theirs!
If somebody ever tells you to wait a few days before following-up with a cold lead after doing your first round of outreach, just walk away and wish them well.
News Flash: Potential Customers Have Short Attention Spans
Why shouldn't you wait a few days before re-connecting with prospects?
It's simple: Humans have extremely short attention spans! Seriously.. The average person has the same length of attention span as a goldfish.
Therefore, if you wait several days to follow-up with the prospect, you will literally be the last thing at the forefront of their mind.
And if you're not sitting in the front of their mind, just know that it's very hard to sell anything to them.
Follow-Up Within 24 Hours
Because prospects have such short attention spans, you need to strike when the iron is hot. Moreover, you need to follow-up before they completely forget about you.
Specifically, follow-up with the prospect within 24 hours of your first round of outreach.
That way, you have better odds of catching them before they throw your initial message away into the depths of the back of their mind.
The more you push at the very beginning of the outreach process, the better the odds that you snatch up the customer!
2. Let Leads Lead the Way
This is another one of the worst pieces of advice that could ever be given to a salesperson...
Straight-up: If you let prospect's lead the business-to-business sales process, then their odds of customer success decrease and you will end without a closed deal.
B2B salespeople must be the guiding light during all of sales. That isn't to say they should go all commando on their prospects, but it is to say they need to be in control of the process.
Unless sales pros do that, both they and the customer will end up losing.
If Leads Lead, Don’t Expect to Close Deals!
Why is it so detrimental to let leads lead the way?
It’s detrimental because prospects don't necessarily know what they need in order to solve their pain points. But, you as the caring sales professional do!
Therefore, if you let the prospects take control, then they will head towards dead ends because they don't know where to go.
However, if you stay in control, you show them the simplest and shortest route to getting their problems fixed because you are the one with the right solutions.
In the end, everyone wins when the sales pros lead the way!
ALWAYS Control the Sales Cycle
Never let control of the sale slip out of your hands.
When you stay in control, the prospect realizes that you know what it takes to solve their pain points AND you get them to sign a deal with you.
However, it's important to make sure that you don't act like an obvious control freak during the sales cycle.
Instead, stay in control without belittling the prospect by taking advantage of this one simple, yet extremely powerful sales tool!
3. A Longer B2B Sales Process Is Better Than a Short One
Here's a simple question for you: If you had a choice between getting your problem solved in more time or less time, which would you choose?
Unless you're joking with yourself, then you obviously want to have your problem solved in the least amount of time possible.
That being said, your ideal customers also want their problems solved in less time.
Therefore, make that happen for them by shortening up your sales process as much as possible!
Nobody Likes a Long Process
Like we mentioned above, no reasonable person prefers a long process over a short one.
Put yourself in your potential customer's shoes... If you were them, would you like sitting through the process you've developed?
If not, then consider scaling back your process to be shorter.
Not only that, but consider interjecting some fun into it! You don't need to be a stick in the mud robot to close a deal. Instead, you need to make it an enjoyable experience.
The Shorter & Sweeter the Process the Better
Shorten up your sales process as much as you can. There is no need to make it longer than necessary!
Now, you might be asking... How long should I make the process, then?
Once you check a couple particular boxes, then your process doesn't need to go any longer. Those boxes include:
- You have all the information you need to help solve the prospect's pain points
- You know what you need to do to solve the prospect's emotional and tactical needs
- You've set the stage for a solid, trusting customer relationship
Moreover, the process needs to help you get all the information you need and set the stage for a long-term B2B relationship. Once you accomplish those things, it doesn’t need to go any longer.
4. The More Leads In Your Sales Pipeline the Better
Does it matter how many leads you have in your sales funnel if most of them are terrible leads?
In short... No.
What's the point of having tons of leads if you know that you aren't a good fit for them? If that's the case, you'll only end up wasting your time!
Don't let anyone tell you that having more leads is better.
Instead, what you need are high-quality, qualified leads. If that means the number of leads in your pipeline decreases, then so be it!
Not All Leads Are Qualified Leads
Before telling yourself that you have a lead, ask yourself if you've properly qualified that lead.
More specifically, consider if:
- The B2B company fits your ideal prospect profile (IPP)
- The head decision-makers at the B2B company fit your ideal buyer persona
First off, the B2B company must fit your IPP. That is, the company must have a problem you can solve, be able to afford your deliverable, and have an identity that aligns with yours.
Second, the top stakeholders at the company should fit your buyer persona. The top stakeholders are the people who have the authority over decision-making at the company. More specifically, they have the authority to make a final purchasing decision.
Opt for High-Quality Leads Over High-Quantity
Your goal should be to move leads from the very beginning of the sales pipeline all the way through to the end where they sign a deal.
Therefore, opt for high-quality leads at the start of lead generation who are the most likely to make it all the way through, instead of those who are likely to drop out of the picture mid pipeline.
If filtering out low-quality leads significantly reduces the number of prospects in your pipeline, it's okay!
When it comes to leads, quality always beats quantity.
5. Make Sales All About the Customers
If you live on Planet Perfect, then maybe making sales all about the customer works.
But in the real world, don't let anyone fool you into thinking that sales is all about pleasing the customers!
Because the truth is that sales is also about pleasing YOU, the CEO of your company as well!
Because, making sales 100% about the customers means you will likely have to sacrifice some of your needs for theirs. And by doing so, you inevitability create a toxic environment in which you have to cut yourself down to build them up.
These kinds of scenarios never end well, so it's best to avoid getting into them at all cost!
Instead of entering B2B sales with the mentality of... 'it's all about the customers', go in with the attitude of... 'sales is about helping others and myself'!
Sales Is About YOU Too!
Never forget that B2B sales is about building relationships with customers! In fact, having a strong relationship with your clients is almost as important as solving their pain points.
And just like in any other type of relationship, both parties need to have their needs fulfilled.
Therefore, if you're solely focused on your customer's needs without ever considering yours, then you're creating an imbalanced, toxic relationship.
So, enter every sales encounter with your needs at the forefront of your mind. To make sure that your needs get fulfilled by the customer, be sure to:
- Be firm in your price point
- Set your price to an equal value of your deliverable
Bottom line: Sales is about relationships! No sales relationship ever went well when the salesperson forgot about their own needs.
6. A Non-Assertive Sales Approach Is Best
The word assertive gets a bad rep these days.
Unfortunately, many people attribute assertiveness to rudeness, harshness, and many other generally negative traits.
Contrary to most people's beliefs, assertiveness is actually a positive trait to have, particularly in sales.
Assertiveness is about doing what you know needs to be done to improve a situation. Instead of sitting back in a corner and letting a situation play out, it's about grabbing the situation by the horns in order to improve it.
Now, does that sound all that negative to you?
If you Aren’t Assertive Then Don’t Even Try
We already talked about the importance of being in control of the sales process, and being assertive is similar to being in control.
If you aren't assertive, then your prospects will never know what they need to have their pain points solved.
Moreover, if you aren't assertive, then your prospects who desperately need your help won't get the solutions they need.
When you put it that way... If you aren't assertive, then you completely defeat the purpose of being a salesperson altogether... which is to serve your prospects!
An Assertive Sales Approach Is Best
Make it your goal to approach every aspect of sales assertively, including during:
- Lead generation
- Every sales call and email
- Sales pitches
Remember, service is at the core of sales! And, to be of best service to your prospects, you need to assert yourself.
While it might feel like the opposite at first, being assertive will actually improve your prospect's buyer's journey more than if you weren't assertive.
7. You Should Follow a Prescribed B2B Sales Strategy
What is the purpose of a B2B sales strategy?
The strategy is meant to set your company's product or service apart from its competition. It focuses on the unique value of your deliverable to make it stand out in the market.
Moreover, the strategy highlights your company's uniqueness.
Now, with that being said, does it make sense to follow a prescribed strategy when the whole purpose of a strategy is to help you stand out?
No, no it does not.
While there is a strategy framework that almost every B2B company can take advantage of to develop their strategy, that doesn't mean that you should follow or copy any prescribed strategy. Because in the end, it will defeat the purpose of having a strategy altogether.
Your Goal Should Be to Stand Out, Not Fit In
By following a prescribed strategy, you ultimately diminish what makes your company unique.
Therefore, don't follow one!
In such a saturated business world, your goal should be to stand out, not fit in.
At the end of the day, being unique makes you better known. And, best known beats best on many occasions.
Develop a Strategy That Reflects Your Unique Value Proposition
Create a strategy that puts your unique value proposition at its forefront and aims it towards your ideal B2B buyers.
Then, create an amazing brand message and identity from the strategy.
At no point should you ever copy your competition's game plan in order to make your plan feel more safe.
If you are ever afraid that being unique will hurt you, remember that that is only fear talking! Also, remember that none of the world's most successful companies ever got to where they are by fitting in.
8. B2B Sales Training Isn’t Useful
If everyone who picked up a best-selling sales book or took a class in sales had everything they needed to be successful in B2B selling, there would be WAY more successful sales reps out there.
The truth is that anyone can learn skills and information, yet having skills and information isn't enough!
And, again, if it were, then there would be many more successful sales professionals out there.
To put it simply: The single-best way to improve sales performance in a company is to invest in a full-scale, sales training program proven to produce results.
Because, these programs aren’t designed to simply teach skills and information. Rather, they’re much more than that...
Having Selling Skills Isn’t Enough
In today's business world, sales teams have more selling skills than ever before.
Yet, sales performance across most B2B companies hasn't necessarily improved over the years.
Here's the thing: Just because sales reps have knowledge about sales doesn't mean they know how to apply it to real-life situations. A sales rep might be extremely educated in sales, but that doesn't mean they know how to apply that education during the sales cycle.
When it comes to being an amazing sales professional, having selling skills isn't enough. Not only do you need knowledge about sales, but you need to be able to apply that knowledge!
Unfortunately, today's modern education system doesn't teach people how to apply knowledge.
Therefore, to learn how to apply knowledge, you need something special.
Don’t Just Educate, Empower
The difference between someone who simply has knowledge and someone who has knowledge and also knows what to do with it is empowerment.
Empowerment enables action!
But, where do salespeople go to get empowered if not the education system?
The most effective way to empower intelligent salespeople in the least amount of time is through a top-tier B2B sales training program.
And, no... not any old pre-recorded webinar that you can find online. We mean a full blown program that focuses less on teaching people new skills and more on teaching people how to use the skills they already have.
When someone not only has the tools they need to succeed but also knows how to use them, then they are empowered. And, top-tier sales training is the way to empowerment.
9. Don’t Waste Time On Old School Outbound Outreach Tactics
If you spend just a few minutes researching outbound sales tactics, it won't be long before you encounter tips advising you not to opt for the traditional tactics, such as cold sales calls and emails.
However, the truth isn't that traditional tactics like cold calling and emailing DO work, it's just that most people don't do them the right way!
As a result, they spend countless hours making phone calls only to end up with zero leads in their pipeline.
So, how do you make the OG outreach tactics effective B2B lead generators?
OG Sales Tactics DO Work
Here's the thing: Cold outreach is challenging! But, that doesn't mean that you shouldn’t do it.
While there are many people who will sound off their frustrations online about cold calling and emailing, that doesn't mean that there aren't many success stories out there as well.
The difference between the people who negatively sound off and the people who reach success is that the successful ones have found the secret sauce to making cold outreach effective.
While they use the same tactics, they know how to do them in the most effective way possible!
Do Cold Calls and Emails the Right Way
Want in on the secret sauce to cold calls and emails?
If you take advantage of this can't-fail B2B sales technique, then consider yourself on your way to outreach success!
Remember, it's not that cold emailing and calling doesn't work, it's that you have to do it the right way to make it effective.
10. The More Complex the Strategy Is the Better
Complexity is the enemy of sales success!
If you think that sales needs to be complex to be effective, then check yourself because that is wildly incorrect!
Perhaps the worst place to add complexity to sales is the strategy.
Because the strategy is the foundation of all things sales, if you make it complex, then you are basically asking for countless problems to arise in your B2B sales cycle.
Complexity Kills Sales Success
So, why is a complex strategy so detrimental to sales success?
Here's why: By developing a complex strategy, you inevitably add more steps to your sales process. With more steps to accomplish, there are more boxes that need to be checked. The more boxes you need to check, the more places there are for problems to arise!
Think of it like this... If you have a cake that requires 25 steps to prepare, don't you think there are greater odds of something going wrong than if you were to bake a cake that only requires 5 steps?
If you agree, then why would a sales strategy be any different?
The more complex the strategy is, the more steps the process will have. And with more steps come greater odds of making a mistake!
B2B sales is challenging enough as it is. Don't make it any harder than it needs to be by adding unnecessary complexity.
When In Doubt, Opt for Simplicity
With that being said... Your strategy should be as simple and straightforward as possible.
That way, your process is simpler, and there are fewer breeding grounds for problems to grow from.
Not only that, but the path to buying decisions is much clearer for the prospects.
Of all the tips one could give you, the one that tries to convince you that complexity is better is the worst of them all.
Final Thoughts on Terrible B2B Sales Tips
Have you read any of these terrible tips online before?
Or worse, have you ever taken one of these tips to heart and incorporated it into sales at your company?
If so, then know you're not alone! With so much information out there, knowing what is and isn’t good is challenging to say the least.
However, now that we've set the record straight, you know the worst of the worst tips to NEVER follow unless sales failure is your goal.
Bottom line: You are 100% in control of your sales outcomes. Will you use the sales tips that have been continuously proven to hinder people? Or, will you use the best tips that are routinely proven to set sales growth on fire?