In simple terms, B2B is the interchange of services, products or information between businesses, rather than between businesses & consumers. Thus B2B Sales is about acquiring the needs of businesses, even though the demand for the products or services made by these businesses is likely driven by consumers in their homes.
Productivity refers to the amount of value that’s generated, divided by the number of resources required to do it, such as time, cost & effort. The truth is that most B2B sales professionals struggle with productivity. It is said that only 20% of the average B2B sales team of a corporate is composed of top performers who meet the quota, leaving other with room for improvement.
There are myriad factors at play that negatively impact B2B sales productivity and are hard to control. These include:
- Internal pressure & expectations to overachieve
- Lack of consistent sales process & methodologies
- Poor communication about organizational strategies, goals & unclear prioritization of sales activities
- Misalignment & lack of communications among sales, marketing & operations departments
- Constant distractions which includes phone alerts, emails, meetings etc.
B2B selling space is evolving like never before and the balance of power in the process is putting B2B sales reps under increased pressure. While majority organizations are expanding their sales teams & targeting higher revenue goals, leaders are forgetting to focus on scaling processes, best practices & tooling appropriately. Let’s take a step back to reevaluate the day to day work activities. Bet that you will be damn surprised by how much more efficient you will be able to become if you just drop the habits that make you less productive. Keep going.
1. Saying ‘Yes’ all the time.
B2B Sales doesn’t mean pleasing people. It’s true that salespeople are to make clients, prospects, leads & make managers happy but trying to make everyone happy can end up in causing more stress and reduce productivity as a result. It is noticed that B2B sales reps often say yes to everything and end up overcommitting to timelines, features, new projects and meeting requests.
For B2B sales productivity to upgrade the obsession with yes needs to stop and salespeople should start saying no.
2. Letting the workflow get disrupted.
Imagine coming to office, grabbing a cup of caffeine, putting on some headphones, feeling ready to seize the day, starting on the day’s first email to a prospect & then Buzz, Buzz, Buzz. The sound of the phone vibrating. Will your sales rep reach for it in the middle of the email or will it be ignored?
Most sales reps do reach for the phone. We all are living in a world of distractions. But instead of allowing distractions to steer us off track, it’s necessary that we take control of the devices and turn off notifications during the periods of execution. Instruct your sales guys that if they are working on a proposal for a new client, to not to toggle in between inbox, slack, skype and be present at the moment.
It’s important to finalizing the task at hand & then check to see who called or texted.
3. Overthinking over relationships.
It’s important for B2B sales guys to know in which stage they stand in a relationship with a prospect. Knowing the psychology of how to approach a lead that has gone cold is a good thing. But obsessing over each & every little detail for hours will not do any good & will only drive the person crazy.
In sales, rejection should not be taken personally.
Relationships are always complex – and sometimes so complex that the B2B sales guy can spend months analyzing & thinking about every word, email, intro & demo. Focusing on the things that can be today is the way to mediate this bad habit. For Pete’s sake do not to spend advice your B2B sales guys to not waste countless hours just by wondering if things had gone differently.
4. Having the wrong leads ‘Or’ not having any leads at all
Reaching the apt officials in organizations has always been crucial for B2B sales productivity. The only way this can be ensured is by providing the quality leads to them. Lead generation is the technique of procuring information of prospects who are interested in your business for the purpose of further engagement. Lead generation requires tactics & finesse.
There is no one particular method for handling lead generation & the top sources include customer referrals, content marketing, search marketing, social media, attainting the help of B2B contact providers.
Give the habit of not having leads a slip!
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5. Not tracking the time.
If any B2B sales guy wants to make better use of time, it’s important to first understand where time is going. Many old school sales personnel prefer to do this the analog way, which is simply writing down in a planner or notepad. But technology has provided much more efficient tools like Toggl to easily enter tasks that are planned to work on, track how much time is spent on each project by starting the timer with just one click. The tool has the capability to update all activities in real time so it’s easier to access reports & data about how to spend time.
Whatever tool you choose, the goal should be to see an overall picture of time is spent to improve the B2B sales productivity.
6. Lack of team alignment.
Marketing is also important as much as sales in the B2B industry. When sales & marketing align, both the departments will share the same data, objectives & strategies. But majority companies still find it as a dream. This is mainly because both teams have different goals, misunderstood roles & different expectations of each other.
To avoid this, the leaders of the organization should ensure that they start orbiting around the same sun. Read on – SALES AND MARKETING ALIGNMENT – TIPS TO SAFEGUARD to get more of an understanding.
7. Not taking breaks.
This may sound counterproductive, but breaks are actually crucial to productivity in any game. If the B2B sales rep works constantly & never takes any personal time, it wouldn’t be surprising if the poor chap doesn’t get burned out. Trainers should instruct their cadets to regularly take breaks throughout the day for partial refresh & recharge.
It’s also important to step away from work for a few days to a week every now & then so that you can get a full recharge to your motivation, creativity & productivity.
8. Just waiting around and not starting.
“Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire
When it comes to enhancing B2B sales productivity, simply getting started can often be the difficult but the most enabling action. Sometimes, just getting going can turn out to be the critical behavior that can lead to an accomplishment.
B2B sales productivity has always been the priority of marketers. But in its pursuit, many often search for tricks & hacks that they can implement for an immediate boost. But it ain’t simple.
Productivity is about examining every part of the workday from morning routine to the level of passion towards work. These details make a huge impact. Productivity in B2B sales never happens overnight but with the right changes, it can happen quickly.