What’s worse than crafting what you believe is a foolproof B2B sales process only to end up botching the entire thing and feeling completely helpless? Probably not!
However, the truth is that the consequences of totally screwing up the selling process run much deeper than just feeling completely helpless.
In fact, screwing up the sales process creates long-term consequences that affect you, your entire sales team, and even your customers.
I’m sharing the true, deeper consequences of botching your B2B sales process. Additionally, I’m also sharing exactly how you can turn each potential consequence into an opportunity to make your process better than ever before.
While you’re blowing the process, top-tier sales professionals will be using their selling process to:
- Close easy deals
- Close deals in little time
- Solidify long-term customer relationships
Like I said, the costs of throwing the process are far more consequential than just those you see on the surface. How much longer will you put up with those consequences?
What Is a Botched Sales Process?
Before going any further, what exactly is a botched sales process?
A botched sales process is essentially a messy and unnecessarily complex sales process that is usually:
- Exceedingly long
- Unnecessarily complex
If these signs aren’t obvious enough, you’ll realize that you’re botching your selling process if you feel like you’re constantly jumping through hoops, putting out fires, and hanging by threads.
More specifically, you’ll know that your sales process is botched when you feel like you don’t have any control over it.
As you already know, nothing good ever happens when a salesperson isn’t in control of their selling process. But in case you need a reminder, losing control of the selling process is like asking for:
- Prospect ghosting
- Sales plateaus
- Being treated like a vendor by prospects
Bottom line: Botching the business-to-business sales process is like for everything that could go wrong to go wrong.
What Is a Good Sales Process?
On the flip side, what is a good sales process?
While every selling process looks slightly different from one B2B company to another, there are a few factors that every selling process needs to have in order to be considered as good, including:
- Being short (ideally under a few weeks)
- That it is as simple for sales reps and new customers to navigate
- That it focuses solely on your most qualified leads
While there are certainly other factors that define top-tier selling processes, these are a few of the most important.
And like I said, every selling process will look slightly different depending on other variables, such as how big your sales team is and the size of the B2B companies in your target audience, but still, every good selling process nails these three factors!
What Is the Goal of a B2B Sales Process?
The goal of the selling process is to guide your B2B buyers towards a closed deal. That’s it!
Unfortunately, many sales reps completely overthink the goal of the selling process. Thanks to their overthinking, they ultimately botch the entire thing!
That said, the key to keeping your process in order and within the “good” range is to not overthink it.
At the end of the day, selling processes are just sales tools–there’s no need to overthink them!
The Benefits of a Smooth B2B Selling Process
Given that the goal of a B2B sales process is to guide potential buyers towards a closed deal, the most obvious and overarching benefit of a smooth selling process is that it helps you close more deals in less time and with less resistance.
More specifically, I mean that:
- Prospects will make fewer objections;
- You’ll waste less time, energy, and resources;
- Every salesperson will know what they need to do and when.
Anybody who has upgraded their sales life from consistently botching the selling process to consistently knocking it out of the park knows that it’s the equivalent of going from driving a car in a thick haze hoping not to crash to driving non-stop on a clear, sunny day.
Here’s the True Cost of Botching Your B2B Sales Process
The cost of botching your sales process is like an iceberg: You see some danger above the surface, but the real dangers are those beneath the surface that you can’t see with your head above the water.
That being said, here are the true, beneath-the-surface consequences of screwing up your selling process, along with how you can turn each consequence into an opportunity to improve.
Unless you don’t want to achieve solid, long-term sales success, you can’t ignore these consequences anymore!
Problems Breed Problems
As I mentioned above, botched sales processes are exceedingly messy and unnecessarily complex. Moreover, they’re ridden with problems.
Unfortunately for you, if your sales process is already full of problems, you’ll suddenly start to see other problems seemingly unrelated to your selling process start popping up out of nowhere.
For example, if your selling process is complex, not only does that problem in itself cause immediate challenges for you and your sales team, but it creates additional problems, such as a terrible buying process for customers and a purposeless marketing strategy.
A simpler way of putting this is that problems breed problems!
If you think that you can sweep your process-related problems under the rug and just leave them there, you’ll eventually be proven very wrong.
You’re Left to Put Out Fires
How often does this happen to you: You open your computer in the morning knowing exactly what tasks you need to accomplish that day. However, one second after opening your laptop, you’re suddenly getting slammed with messages from countless team members and customers looking to you to help fix their issues. Then at the end of the day, you realize that instead of getting actual work done, all you did was help put out other people’s fires.
As a result, you not only don’t get your most important work done, but you’re exhausted and overwhelmed.
If this resonates with you at all, you can save yourself from the flames by tackling core problems before they multiply into other smaller problems.
That way, you can focus on your most important work at hand, including optimizing your selling process, instead of being pulled in several directions at once.
Sales Team Dysphoria
Botched sales processes, particularly overly-complex ones, cause sales team dysphoria.
Rather than knowing what they need to do and when they need to do it, the complexity of the process causes sales reps to run around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Suddenly instead of getting the hard work done, everyone is wandering around looking for guidance on what to do.
Getting prospects to reach purchasing decisions is a team effort, but your team will be in shambles if your sales process is totally botched!
Get your team back in order by cleaning up your selling process, so that every professional knows exactly what role they play in reaching that final sales pitch and closed deal.
Your Unique Value Proposition Loses Its Potency
How do you expect new leads to differentiate you from your competitors if your selling process is out of control?
More specifically, what makes you think that they’ll pay attention to your unique value proposition if the entire rest of the selling process is so overwhelmingly bad?
In short, they won't!
That’s like saying you would expect people to stop and appreciate the sunny, warm weather when there’s a wildfire burning in the near distance.
That said, your unique value proposition will lose its potency if your process is a disaster. Moreover, the factor intended to make you stand out from competitors will be virtually worthless.
There Are Too Many Distractions
Your potential customers have what I like to call a “monkey mind.”
The monkey mind is that in which they have a difficult time focusing on what’s most important, and are constantly having their attention pulled away by distractions.
However, that monkey mind gets even worse when they’re thrown into a botched selling process with tons of unnecessary distractions.
If you want to keep a hold on your prospect’s attention so that their focus stays on your unique value proposition, then you need to remove the distractions. To do that, start by cleaning up your selling process.
But don’t just stop there! Additionally, focus on removing distractions from your:
- B2B marketing strategy
- Sales pitches
Bottom line: Remove distractions by cleaning up your sales process, so that the customer’s monkey minds can actually focus on you and your unique value.
Panic Forces You to Conform
Whenever your sales process is botched, it’s only normal for you and your sales team to panic.
And when you start to panic, survival mode kicks in.
And when survival mode kicks in, all you do is try to get by instead of thrive.
And when all you’re doing is trying to survive, then you’ll seek out ways to feel more comfortable.
Finally, for the sake of feeling more comfortable, you’ll conform into the salesperson who you think you need to be instead of trying to stand out. By conforming, your entire unique value proposition fades away.
The simple solution: Clean up your selling process so that you don’t experience that panicky feeling that makes you feel as if you need to conform. Because by conforming, all you’ll do is give prospects another reason to say “no” to you.
Wasting Time on Unqualified Leads
Lead generation is the first stage of the sales process. It’s also perhaps the most important stage.
Because you can’t make sales unless you have customers to buy your product or service, and lead generation is the stage in which you first siphon potential customers into your sales pipeline with the hopes of converting them into paying customers.
Unfortunately, not only is lead generation the first and most important stage of the process, but it’s also the most commonly botched. So it’s no wonder why so many sales teams struggle with generating leads!
The most common way that they botch lead gen is by wasting time on totally unqualified leads who are unlikely to ever make it to a closed deal. Not only is this a set-up for major disappointment, but it’s also a complete waste of time, energy, and resources.
Clean up your lead gen process to clean up your entire selling process!
Not Every Lead Is an Opportunity
Not every lead is a good lead!
Just because a prospect responds to your cold call, social media message, or other outreach tactic does not mean that they’ll likely make it all the way to a purchasing decision.
You can instantly clean up your lead gen process and set yourself up for success by getting very strict on who exactly your ideal target customers are. To get ultra-specific, you should create an:
- Ideal prospect profile (IPP) for your target B2B companies; and
- Ideal buyer persona (IBP) for the top stakeholders and decision-makers at those B2B companies.
The idea is to get ultra-specific on both the target B2B companies and their decision-makers so that you don’t waste any resources on leads who are unqualified.
Losing Control of the B2B Sales Cycle
As I mentioned above, the hallmark sign that your selling process is totally botched is if you constantly feel like you’re not in control of it.
But how bad is it really to lose control of the selling process?
When you don’t have control of the process:
- It will drag on forever;
- It will grow even more complex; and
- Prospects will treat you like a vendor.
The moment you lose control of the cycle is the moment the deal goes into doubt.
Prospects Don’t Understand Their Pain Points
Let’s dive a level deeper... Why does losing control of the selling process inevitably cause it to elongate, get more complex, and set you up to be treated like a vendor?
Here’s the thing: Prospects don’t understand what their pain points are, how to solve them, or how important they are to solve. If they did, then they would have already found solutions for them!
You can’t hand over control of the sale because prospects really don’t understand what is best for them! It’s like asking a three-year-old what they want for dinner–they’ll probably give you a ridiculous answer, because, like prospects, they don’t know what’s best for them.
On the other hand, you not only understand the prospect’s pain point, but you and your team have the tools to solve it!
Unless you want to be taken for a ride by prospects who don’t know what they need, then you must stay in control of the process by cleaning it up a bit.
Not Being Taken Seriously by Prospects
Do you expect people to take you seriously when you don’t even take yourself seriously? Hopefully not, because it’s a lost cause.
Unfortunately, if your selling process is a total disaster, it’s only inevitable that prospects won’t take you seriously.
Thanks to your messy process, they’ll see you as somebody who:
- Doesn’t care enough to get their process in order; and
- Doesn’t have the methodology to help them achieve their customer success.
Taking your prospects seriously starts with taking yourself seriously.
If you want others to look to you for guidance, then you better have your own process in line.
They Don’t Get the Attention They Need
Serious question: If you don’t even have the time, energy, or patience to correct your own sales process, how do you have any time, energy, or patience to help customers solve their problems?
Something sounds wrong here, doesn’t it?
Whenever your selling process is totally out of control, it’s only inevitable that potential new customers and even existing customers won’t get the time and attention they need. Instead of you being there 100% of the time for them, you’re busy putting out your own fires.
You can’t sweep your problems under the rug forever. At one point or another, customers will get the sense that you don’t have a grip on your own situation. Ultimately, they won’t take you seriously because they see you as someone who doesn’t take themselves seriously.
Potential Customers Will Ghost You
Being ghosted by potential customers is as painful as it gets in sales. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of going all-in to siphon a lead into your pipeline only to have them fall off the face of the earth with no explanation as to why.
The moment prospects see that your process is out of line and that your sales team is a mess is the moment they start to ghost you.
Why should they give you their time and attention when you’re a total mess yourself?
Sadly, you can follow up all you want, but trying to reel that customer back into the pipeline is much harder to do the second time around than it is the first time.
Help prevent ghosting altogether by keeping your sales process in check.
A Bad Reputation
The sales and business world is no different from the regular world, and in the real world, people talk! While you can’t always control what people say about you, you can do your best to make the talk as positive as possible.
To put things more simply: Every sales professional builds a reputation, and you want to have as positive a reputation as possible. While nobody is squeaky clean, you still should shoot for a good one.
Because having a great reputation can lead to many perks, such as:
- Referrals for high-quality leads from existing customers;
- An increased sense of trust from potential customers; and
- Reliable, long-term customer relationships.
Consistently botching your sales process makes your customers’ lives more difficult and complex than they need to be. More likely than not, rather than keeping their thoughts to themselves, they’ll likely go out and tell other people (maybe even leads on your cold call list) about their poor experience.
Furthermore, if you want your sales and marketing team to reap the benefits of having a positive reputation, then start by getting your process in order.
Losing What Could Be Easily Closed Deals
Finally, the most obvious consequence of a terribly botched sales process is losing what could be easily closed deals with your ideal customers.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it many times again: Closing sales deals is simple! If you believe that it’s difficult or complex, then you’re inflicting that difficulty on yourself. More likely than not, a lot of that difficulty comes from process-related problems.
Instead of inflicting any additional problems on yourself and your sales team, get back to the drawing board to revamp your sales process. You’ll know that you’re in the green again when selling feels simple and straightforward.
Final Thoughts on the Costs of Botching Your B2B Selling Process
Like I said before, you can’t ignore the costs of blowing your selling process any longer. That is, at least, if you want a happy sales team, happy customers, and any hopes of long-term sales success (not to mention your sanity restored!)
No more feeling helpless thanks to your own selling process. How much longer will you wait to start getting results that match your effort?
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