What Not to Do in B2B Sales: 7 Signs You’re Killing the Deal

By now, most salespeople know that a key part of the sales process is that of the prospect: understanding their problems, identifying their needs, understanding their business, and setting expectations. However, there is another part of the process that is just as vital: the follow-up.

A deal is either a successful one: a contract, order, or payout for goods and services. It’s the foundation of B2B marketing success, and without it, you simply cannot get ahead. But the sales process is complex, and sometimes salespeople make mistakes. You may be killing the deal yourself, without even realizing it. In this post, I’ll show you the 7 telltale signs that you’re killing the deal.

The B2B sales is one of the most feared and dreaded by sales reps, so many have mastered the art of avoiding the real problems and pitfalls that a B2B sales team faces. However, many B2B sales reps have yet to understand that to be successful, a B2B sales team needs to understand the B2B sales process and specifically, the 7 essential pitfalls that sales reps can fall into that affect the sales process.

The numerous blind spots and dangers that may ambush sales transactions are one of the reasons B2B sales is so difficult. You may be able to optimize your pricing, comply with laws, and use the most effective sales techniques.

And, unlike what you may have heard, I don’t think there are any shortcuts to speeding up your sales funnel.

What I think is that B2B salespeople should be humble enough to accept failure when it occurs. They should then remove themselves from the situation and go away.

Before we go into the warning signals that you’re about to blow the transaction, let’s define B2B sales.

What Is Business-to-Business (B2B) Sales?

Business to business sales is abbreviated as B2B. As a result, B2B sales entails selling goods and services to other companies rather than to individual customers. B2B sales may be divided into three categories: 1) service sales, such as SaaS), 2) wholesale and distribution, and 3) supply sales are the three types of sales.

Sales of services (Software)

Instead of selling a product or consumable, the service provider offers a service or solution, which is often delivered as software, SaaS, or consulting. In the B2B SaaS world, where firms offer cloud-based software services to other organizations, there are many instances of this. Microsoft, Slack, and Hubspot are just a few examples.

Sales of wholesale and distribution

Distribution sales, in which a wholesaler sells essential parts and components from manufacturers to other companies, is another kind of B2B sales. Restaurant food wholesalers and clothes wholesalers that sell to retailers are examples of wholesalers.

Sales of Supplies

While firms may seem to be comparable to wholesale on the surface, they may specialize in supplying particular kinds of consumables to enterprises. They sell to companies that utilize a formal procurement procedure that needs buy permission from a decision maker, rather than to people. A excellent example is office supplies and computer equipment.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of B2B sales, it’s clear why selling goods to an individual customer using a credit card is considerably more complicated. B2B sales may be more difficult due to the many moving pieces, various decision makers, lengthier sales cycles with several contact points, and numerous opportunities for errors.

More information on the distinctions between selling to companies and selling to consumers can be found in our post on B2B versus B2C sales.

We’ve compiled a list of seven typical errors salespeople make throughout the B2B sales process in this post.

What Not To Do In B2B Sales: 7 Deal-Killing Mistakes

Regardless of what other salespeople say about reducing their B2B sales cycles, we don’t think there are any shortcuts to speeding up your sales funnel.

We think that B2B salespeople should be humble enough to accept when things don’t work out. They should separate themselves from the situation and go away.

The seven hidden pitfalls in the B2B sales process that may be holding you back will be highlighted.

  1. Only pursuing business transactions
  2. Not posing the difficult questions
  3. Your product is being oversold.
  4. Putting pressure on your prospects
  5. Restricting sales to phone and email
  6. Maintaining a one-to-one relationship
  7. Never ask for a purchase.

1) Pursuing just business deals

Businesses often struggle to increase revenues because they spend time pursuing the incorrect product or market.

Another aspect of B2B sales that is often neglected is when companies target the incorrect demographic within their specialty. Most frontline sales teams have a strong desire to sell to businesses and become the next Salesforce.

It’s wonderful to fantasize about landing Fortune 500 business agreements, but only if you have the resources or if your solution is specifically designed to address their issues.

Starting with small business sales may be advantageous.

Most of the time, it’s simpler to focus your sales approach on small and medium-sized companies (SMBs). Their requirements are more straightforward, they are easier to deal with, and client acquisition costs are cheaper.

SMBs are also more capital efficient in the long run since the stakes are often smaller. Another benefit of selling to SMBs is that companies may acquire expertise creating enterprise-grade software while also improving their SMB go-to-market strategy.

Enterprise buyers also look at a seller’s reputation, their industry development trajectory, and the competitive advantage of their goods. Selling to SMBs allows you to get more expertise and establish excellent connections in the industry, which will ultimately assist you in all of your future sales.

It’s tempting to try to sell to everyone and everyone, but it’s a fool’s errand. In your sales strategy, be laser-focused.

2) Afraid To Ask The Difficult Questions

During exploration and demo conversations, B2B salespeople may get tunnel-visioned. Their goal is to determine whether or not a client is interested in their goods.

They struggle to ask the appropriate questions that may disclose useful information, or they adhere to rigid sales qualification templates.

Giving them a head start on asking questions about your company is one approach to avoid this scenario.

Getting a “yes” is a pain.

Pay attention to their inquiries and ask your own to get a better understanding of what they desire. It’s preferable to let your consumers speak for themselves rather than doing all the talking and expecting a “yes.”

Rather of asking meaningless yes-or-no questions, ask a few but crucial open-ended inquiries to cut down on negotiating time and allow your prospects to make quicker choices.

Ask them:

  • How critical is it for them to have a product like yours?
  • They’re attempting to address a problem.
  • What they want to get out of the product
  • If they have a budget and a schedule in place.
  • Who is the ultimate arbiter?

3) Excessive Promotion of Your Product

Many sales representatives tend to oversell, either as a result of lofty sales objectives or established poor sales presentation practices.

Here’s a personal example of why this isn’t the case.

Our marketing team was contemplating purchasing a solution to organize our blog content schedule a few months ago. We narrowed down our options but quickly abandoned the one tool we were on the verge of purchasing. It was a sensory overdose! There were much too many features for our need.

This particular representative demonstrated capabilities such as social media co-scheduling, campaign management, and cross-platform interaction, among others. We just didn’t need such a comprehensive instrument.

We may have purchased the product after all if the sales person had taken the time to understand our needs before bombarding the team with so much material.

Not the features, but the return on investment (ROI) of your services.

4) Making Hasty Decisions About Your Prospects

B2B sales cycles are, by definition, lengthier and need a lot of back and forth. Most salespeople are always on their toes, and they end up driving consumers away.

Customers that download a content upgrade from your site are not immediately considered leads. While it’s wonderful to “follow up” with them, bear in mind that they may not be a good fit for you.

“There are five fundamental barriers to any sale: no need, no money, no urgency, no desire, and no trust.” Zig Ziglar (Zig Ziglar)

Following up does not need sending emails to your leads every other day.

It will make you seem to be the well-intentioned but obnoxious retail shop employee that follows a client from aisle to aisle, asking if they need assistance.

Nurturing your prospects, on the other hand, is a much better strategy than following up. Make an effort to comprehend what your leads are searching for. If your product meets their needs, add value to their study by providing them with resources. As a result, your follow-up is persistent yet courteous, and it does not come off as obnoxious.

5) Restricting sales to phone calls and emails

We’re not recommending that you go to your lead’s hometown and start pitching. Sticking to simply phone or email sales, on the other hand, has little value.

When leads come to your business via a webinar, for example, it’s not always a good idea to interrupt their experience by contacting them.

There are also additional challenges to email marketing, such as the recently enacted GDPR.

And, let’s face it, phone and email aren’t the most efficient or productive ways to communicate with your consumers.

Instead, create a fully multichannel sales funnel to provide them with an integrated customer experience. This may involve encounters with your website, live chat agents, product marketers at a trade show, online advertising, and social media sites, among other things.

Consider the findings of a Forrester study, which showed that B2B buyers’ expectations are likewise moving toward an omnichannel experience. You may also utilize live chat for your FAQs and assistance articles, since it is growing more popular.

6) Maintaining a one-to-one relationship

The best salespeople realize that finding their way to the appropriate individuals in the transaction is the quickest method to complete a contract. B2B sales cycles are not only lengthier, but also more complicated, since a purchase decision often involves more than 5 individuals.

Part of the blame lies with the purchasers, who may not understand the importance of including their peers in the purchasing process.

This may occur for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t want to disturb their superiors throughout the trial period. Or maybe they believe that a salesman knows everything.

You should be fast to bring in important decision-makers from your end as a dedicated salesman. Product managers or software engineers who can address technical inquiries are possible candidates. Having professionals speak with consumers allows them to connect more deeply with your product and get a deeper understanding of your offers.

Expand the decision-making sphere by attempting to find and involve important stakeholders on both the prospect’s and your side.

7) Refusing to ask for the sale

Your prospects will never declare that they are ready to buy. And a large percentage of sales representatives are hesitant to ask customers whether they are. Given that selling is their profession, this is ironic.

In fact, 36% of salespeople believe the most challenging aspect of their work is closing.

Asking for the sale is not the same as asking for a contract to be signed. It’s only normal to ask for a sale if you’ve had a successful round of sales calls with the client.

In the worst-case situation, they will say no or postpone their response.

If you’re unsure about proposing, you might first ask them for comments on their shopping experience so far. If they say yes, provide a suggestion for what you should do next.

Remember that requesting for the sale does not ensure that the transaction will be completed. In reality, it may serve as an icebreaker for negotiations or a discussion of your SLAs, among other things. As a result, asking for the sale to bridge into the more exciting part of your B2B sales process never hurts.

Final Thoughts

Because the market is generally reluctant to change, B2B sales is already difficult. The sales cycle is more time-consuming and includes many decision-makers. However, if your B2B sales process has additional blind spots, you will get little to no results.

Knowing about and being more aware of these typical mistakes may help you enhance your selling skills. It’s what Stephen Covey calls “sharpening your saw” on a regular basis in order to work smarter, not harder!

Also available on Medium.

B2B sales is a complicated process. The best B2B salespeople understand that the key to success is building a relationship with every prospect. With that in mind, here are 7 signs you’re killing the deal.. Read more about b2b sales methodology and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you succeed in B2B sales?

B2B sales is a business model where the company that sells the product or service to another company, in this case, a company that buys it. The selling company will typically have an account with a bank and use the funds from their account to purchase goods.

How much do B2B sales reps make?

B2B sales reps make a median salary of $53,000.

What is the future of B2B sales?

The future of B2B sales is uncertain. There are many factors that will determine the success of B2B sales in the future, but there are some things that can be done to increase your chances of success.

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