The real reasons your sales strategy isn't working for you any more
Still using the same tired sales strategy? Noticing a lower amount of deals closed? Here are some of the reasons that you need to update your strategy.
Published: 16 Aug 2020
7 minutes read
For many B2B organisations, it can be damning when your sales begin to drop, and it appears that the strategies you once relied on are no longer effective. However, it's an unfortunate reality - old school methods are outdated, the buyer has changed and in order to keep up with them, you need to elevate.
Take this harsh quote from HBR: customers don’t need you the way they used to.
Ouch. But it’s true - they don’t. Now, buyers look to the internet for potential solutions, often researching and coming to a decision before even speaking to a salesperson. They want answers to their questions, not the hard sell; therefore, the seller who is best able to do this, will earn their business. If your sales strategy isn’t based around this very idea, it likely explains why you’re running into problems. However, this only just scratches the surface. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Your sales strategy isn’t value based
To reiterate: the seller who is best able to confront buyer challenges, and provide the best solution, wins the business.
Now, if your sales strategy isn’t doing this, you need to ask yourself why. In order to find the solution that meets your buyers needs, your entire strategy must be focused on them, and how you can provide value throughout the sales process.
Too many B2B organisations build their strategy around their product or service, not on the value that they can provide their customers - which leads to a whole lot of bragging, putting off potential customers. In order to close a deal, a prospect needs to be aware of the value, cost and consequences of doing business with you - and it’s the job of the salesperson to do this. Think about your current strategy - are customers aware of the value of your solution to their problem, beyond what makes it so great?
In order to be successful, your sales strategy needs to move beyond simply relaying what makes your solution the best fit using simple buzzwords, and really think about what impactful value and benefit customers will get from it. This involves being upfront about cost, and getting your prospects to think about the positive consequences of purchasing your solution. The modern buyer is smart. They think beyond the purchase, and take the time to really consider what will give them the most value - and you should too.
You’re not using content in your sales strategy
Content - it’s a great tool to use, but it’s just for marketers right?
Content is absolutely pivotal to the success of a modern sales strategy, and not just as a method of building brand awareness. It can be used at all stages of the sales funnel as a way to move leads through the process - you can use content during the consideration and decision stages of the buyer’s journey as a way to increase the probability of a lead converting into a customer.
For example, you can send leads downloadable assets to give them more information, and let them learn more about their challenges and your business on their own terms. A great example of content in the decision stage is case studies, as they can be used to provide evidence of your good work, beyond what you say out loud. Content like this helps your company stand out, and become more of a real, tangible solution to the buyer.
If you’re thinking, “this sounds great, but I have no content” - you’re probably wrong. Many companies have content, it just isn’t currently available to prospects. Take a look at all of the assets your salespeople use - can these be turned into a helpful downloadable asset? Additionally, you could get your sales team to think about the most common questions they are asked by prospects, and turn these into insightful blogs at each stage of the funnel. When it comes to closing more deals and improving your sales strategy, content is one of the best places to start.
Your sales and marketing teams are still working independently, not together
This is one of the most common reasons why sales strategies begin to fail - because the sales and marketing teams become misaligned, or they don’t work together in the first place.
But why does this happen?
Perhaps it’s because there’s an industry belief that the two departments fundamentally cannot work together due to their differences - but this is wrong. Yes, it’s true that marketing and sales are different - but when they work together, each one elevates the other.
Ultimately, sales and marketing are chasing that same goal: more revenue. Because of this, they should be working together. Marketing should be working to promote the business and generate leads at each stage, and sales should be working to help these leads, and close more deals. It seems simple enough, but the amount of businesses who still have misaligned marketing and sales departments would surprise you - and it’s holding them back. One way to better align your sales and marketing teams is through automation in a CRM such as HubSpot.
Marketing automation tools allow your salespeople to automate simple tasks and gain more insight into their contacts, freeing up time to focus on selling, and enabling them to establish better relationships.
You aren’t making the most out of social media or social selling
There’s a common misconception in the B2B world that social media just isn’t for this industry - that professionals don’t use social networks, and prefer to be sold to via traditional methods. The bottom line is that if you’re still thinking this way, you’re falling behind.
With social media, you have the power to reach any prospect, on any device, at any time of the day - regardless of geographic location. So, if you still aren’t making social media a huge part of your sales strategy, it could be the reason it’s no longer working.
This may be because you don’t know how to sell on social media, or you’re not doing social selling in the way you should be. There’s a misconception that social selling means promoting your business on social media, which leads to hundreds of salespeople clogging up a LinkedIn feed with endless self promotion. Obviously, this isn’t how social selling should be done.
In a nutshell, social selling allows salespeople to use their connections on social media to find leads, build a loyal audience and nurture prospective customers - and it should be used this way. Developing and executing a robust social selling strategy is essential to the modern B2B seller - don’t underestimate the power of social media in closing more deals.
You need additional sales training
It’s likely that if you’re facing any of the issues listed above, your sales team may simply need a refresh on their skills - especially if you’re hoping to adopt an inbound sales approach. Investing in training is always a good idea, as it allows your sales team to stay up to date on the latest inbound sales knowledge, and improve your sales strategy. With inbound sales training you’ll gain support from an experienced inbound sales expert, on everything from improving your sales strategy to using tools such as CRM to automate the sales process and save time.
At Axon Garside, we offer inbound sales and HubSpot training to sales teams wanting to refresh their inbound sales knowledge, and learn how to use HubSpot to improve their sales strategy. Perfect for both newcomers to inbound and seasoned veterans, our comprehensive training sessions can get you up to speed in just a short amount of time. Why not book your session?