Why Sales Reps Can’t Reach Prospects and What They Can Do About It

BY Kathy Crosett
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The B2B marketplace has changed. Sales reps can’t reach prospects. Our B2B intelligence research explains why and points to the power of additional training to optimize outcomes.

25% of sales reps are finding it harder to get calls and emails returned these days. Not surprisingly, 32% of those same reps pointed out in our recent survey focused on the state of B2B buying that it is more difficult to generate new business.

Why Sales Reps Can’t Reach Prospects

Today’s buyer intelligence indicates that prospects are doing plenty of research before most reps even know that they are in the market to purchase the kind of product or service they are selling. Buyers used to welcome salespeople into their offices. But the new behaviors adopted during the recent pandemic, and the ease of finding valuable resources online, changed all that.

Sellers are up against what the prospect can learn online about them and their competitors. As soon as they have identified a problem, 46% of buyers reach out to an existing supplier. Sellers may assume they’ve already lost a deal in these situations, but that’s not so.

In addition to talking with their existing suppliers, 38% of buyers research online. This activity represents opportunity for sellers. They should be working with their marketing department to position their company properly.

A seller can build credibility with buyers by regularly posting the right kind of information. SalesCred Master Classes, personalized to a business’ sales team, train reps on how to achieve “trusted advisor” status. This step is important because buyers want content from suppliers with industry experience (48%) and customer reviews on social media (47%).

Buyers are under pressure to purchase goods and services from a credible source. If they make a mistake, their credibility is at risk. Overall, 37% of buyers want to do business with an industry leader.

However, sellers shouldn’t assume the door is closed if they work at a small company. 38% of buyers will talk with a salesperson who has been referred by someone they trust. Sales professionals can increase their chances of securing a meeting or a phone call by ensuring that buyers see them as credible through online research.

How Sales Reps Can Improve Their Credibility

In a SalesCred Master Class, sales professionals learn how to boost digital credibility. Buyers use a number of factors to evaluate a seller’s credibility.

  • Buyers decide whether a sales professional can help based on their LinkedIn profile (33%).
  • Buyers want to know about a rep’s years of experiences in total (49%) and number of years in the industry (46%).
  • Buyers want to deal with a credible individual. A rep can consider any potential deal cancelled if prospects learn of illegal drugs (45%) or of them being disrespectful to another person (37%).

Reps should regularly search their name online. And then take steps to clean up anything that might dent their credibility. Their professional interactions must be flawless. Buyers have little patience for sales professionals who treat their support staff poorly (43%) or who treat them like they are too small to matter (34%).

In addition, sellers should know that 23% of buyers will not work with a rep who previously worked for a disreputable company. To improve credibility, sellers should clean up their LinkedIn profile in terms of where they previously worked, especially if that organization was part of a well-​known scandal.

New Sales Reps Need the Best Available Buyer Intelligence

Are there ways to impress a prospect if a rep lacks seniority or vast quantities of experience? Yes. Once sales reps improve their digital credibility score, they can learn how to sell with insight in a SalesCred Master Class. 

They will understand the importance of Providing Relevant ValueTM as they practice offering their perspective on the latest industry research in key verticals. In addition, they’ll practice modifying email and text messages to ensure that prospects read them.

Sellers who invest in the SalesCred Master Class training will obtain valuable B2B buyer intelligence. And they will experience results that matter in today’s competitive business environment.

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