New selling research uncovered the challenges that sales representatives are currently struggling with, and why they feel that they are losing sales. In addition, the findings reveal areas where B2B sellers need to make adjustments–or risk even more loss.
Top reasons reps lose sales, according to selling research
The study, The State of B2B Sales by Lusha, surveyed over 500 B2B salespeople about their current issues. Specifically, Lusha revealed the top seven reasons why sellers believe they are losing sales:
- Sales pitches that don’t stand out (cited by 50%)
- Poor timing or insufficient data on when to reach out (43%)
- Lack of personalized information on prospects (42%)
- Incorrect or outdated contact information (40%)
- Poor sales demos (33%)
- Insufficient sales decks (29%)
- Limited sales enablement materials (19%)
In an article for Sales Hacker, Lusha VP Brian Spitzer writes why he believes these reasons are common issues–and it has to do with reliance on an old sales method. “Traditional B2B sales strategies are often defined by the ‘spray‑n’-pray’ method – an endless deluge of relentless cold-calling and pushy follow-up tactics,” he explains. “And in today’s world, that’s an unsustainable approach.”
Sellers need an informed strategy
This selling research reveals the negative impact of not taking an informed approach to sales. Salespeople need to be highly knowledgeable and engage in targeted outreach based on that knowledge. As noted in another SalesFuel article, “The tools and sales strategies that sellers use have a major impact on how leads receive outreach, as well as their response rate.
Crafting a strategy requires thoughtfulness, a course of action, and use of tools that will resonate with buyers. And it’s vital that as buyer preferences and habits shift, so do sellers’ outreach attempts.”
The early sales cycle is most troublesome
Sales representatives should immediately start learning about leads from the very beginning of the process. It’s actually where reps report that they need the most help, according to Lusha’s selling research; 96% say that they need assistance very early in the sales cycle. Specifically, they say that the following are their most challenging issues:
- Getting data about prospects to start the conversation (30%)
- Getting accurate contact information about the lead (22%)
It’s clear that sellers have a disconnect with pre-call intelligence. And this comes as no surprise in light of SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep selling research. This survey of B2B sales professionals found that only:
- 35% of reps look at the buyer's website before a sales call
- 29% study the latest developments in a prospect’s industry
- 29% research tendencies of a prospect’s ideal customer
- 26% look at a prospect’s professional social media feeds
- 29% research a prospect’s competitors
And only 14% of sellers say they prepare discovery questions based on pre-call research.
Sellers must be informed before contacting prospects
It’s no surprise that sales representatives are struggling. The selling research from both Lusha and SalesFuel shows missed opportunities that lead to struggles.
Lusha recommends boosting the use of data and relevant digital tools. “…businesses need to adopt a data-driven mentality, and current trends show that this is clearly the path of the future,” Spitzer writes. “Technology can help – by streamlining mundane manual tasks and making use of the wealth of relevant data for informing targeted sales.”
In addition to embracing data, every sales representative must strengthen their own tactics for gaining knowledge. For example, before reaching out, efforts must be made to learn about a prospect and their business. For advice on successfully gathering pre-call intelligence, download a free copy of SalesFuel CEO C. Lee Smith’s e‑book, “The 7 C's of Pre-Call Intelligence.”
As Smith notes, “Discovery now is a collaborative endeavor. The salesperson's role now is to be something more than Google. We actually have to understand, ‘what are your challenges, your aspirations?’ This knowledge leads to — here's how I can help, and here's how you can use this product to get the results that you're looking for in your sales strategy."
Photo by Lukas