The sales landscape is constantly evolving, driven by new consumer trends, selling technologies, and economic opportunities.
For sales reps to survive in this evolving environment, they need to overcome a host of challenges, from figuring out which leads to connect with, to deciding what kind of offers and upsells they should suggest.
If you want to make sure that you’re taking full advantage of the opportunities for growth that your business has, you need a strategy to help you sidestep some of the common issues that modern sales reps face.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the biggest hurdles in the selling landscape, and what you can do to prepare for them.
Finding the Right Leads
Succeeding in today’s sales landscape isn’t just about attracting as many potential customers as possible.
The quality of the leads you get matters just as much – if not more – than the quantity.
Attracting the wrong customers could mean wasting time and money on people who are never going to see the value in your products and services.
Make sure that your marketing and sales team have a solid idea of what your target customer looks like, and how they can measure their potential as a lead.
There are various lead qualifying strategies available for companies today, from scoring leads based on the characteristics they share with your ideal buyer persona, to using AI algorithms to detect the potential of a lead.
If you have the right technology in your business, qualifying your leads can become a lot easier.
Customer Relationship Management tools often work well to segment your lead opportunities into different groups based on their potential average order value.
You can also use these tools to measure the impact of your sales and marketing strategies and find out which customers respond best to your offers.
Standing Out in the Sales Landscape
There are endless ways for customers to shop in the digital world, from browsing through products on social media to buying from marketplaces like Amazon.
Every day, the landscape becomes more cluttered with new competition in the form of competing brands and organizations with similar products and services to yours.
To earn a response from your prospects, you need to make sure that everything about you forces them to stop and take notice.
What’s going to convince your customer that they want to learn more about you when they answer your sales call or see an email in their inbox?
Messages that appeal directly to a specific pain point in your customer’s life can make a huge difference.
Such messages allow you to immediately create an affinity with your client and demonstrate your value.
You can also experiment with different kinds of strategies to attract and amazing your leads.
For instance, can you give a video demonstration of a product, rather than just an email pitch? Can you show your customers exactly how your products work with a free trial?
Engaging Business Decision Makers
For most sales teams, it’s not enough to connect with just a single employee at another business in order to make a sale.
Selling in the B2B landscape means embedding yourself into that other organization through connections with at least three people.
All of those people need to be in decision-making positions, and they should all provide inroads into the organization.
Engaging multiple influential people in a company isn’t always easy.
However, you can boost your chances of success by connecting with these people on a deeper, more emotional level.
Create the kind of content that highlights you as a thought leader in your space and use it to show your customers that you understand how to solve their problems.
Write to each person in the business landscape with a specific focus on the problems that matter most to them.
For instance, if you’re reaching out to a CFO, then your focus needs to be on the financial impact of your service. If you’re connecting with the head of IT, then you might want to look at how your service or solution can improve productivity and reduce the amount of work that IT supervisors need to do.
Getting Past Gatekeepers
Gatekeepers in the sales landscape are the people in B2B transactions that block your way to the key decision-makers in the organizations.
Often, salespeople struggle with these individuals because they don’t know how to connect to them during a cold calling campaign.
During cold-calling strategies, when employees are reaching out to these gatekeepers to gain access to the company, they need to have the right strategies in place.
Closing a deal begins with capturing the attention of the gatekeepers in the organization and convincing them that you deserve a chance to speak with someone higher up.
Start by making sure you have a way to establish a rapport with these individuals. Know exactly who you’re going to be calling and what kind of goals their business has.
Think about the kinds of objections that your customers are likely to have to your sales attempts and have a response ready.
How can you prove your credibility by showcasing the way that you can tackle common pain points and sharing statistics from your previous accomplishments?
Mastering the Sales Landscape
The sales environment is always evolving, with new challenges and customer expectations to contend with on a regular basis.
Knowing how to respond to the challenges that standard sales representatives are likely to face can prevent you from ending up in a price war or a “race to the bottom” where your profit margins start to suffer.
Succeeding in the current sales landscape means finding the right leads, and knowing how to qualify them, as well as understanding how you can make your organization stand out among your competitors.
You also need a plan in place to not only engage the decision-makers in the business but bypass the gatekeepers who would otherwise keep you from them.
Learn how to overcome these challenges, and you’ll see an increase in your results in no time.
About the Author
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.