Why is B2B-sales still challenged by the same things as 1999?

By Anders Björklund

Why is B2B-sales still challenged by the same things as 1999?

I see the same main challenges and obstacles in 2019 as 1999.

In theory, it's easier than ever to reach people, if you are relevant, but it is also harder based on the vast amount of irrelevant buzz and that most peoples' main challenge in life is the lack of time. So everyone needs to be very relevant and very close to their prospective and existing customers.

  • Meanwhile, very few salespersons in B2B have a background where all the ways of connecting and interacting online is a natural part of their way of doing business and run relations.
  • Moreover, data show that the few sales reps that understand and empathise with customers achieve far stronger results.

Very few companies are experienced and mature enough to even reasonably predict how many leads that will be generated through online. I even hear that some B2B-companies plan to increase traditional outbound activities to gain short term wins.

This is a fairly common scenario and one that will lead to a lot of confusion and frustration on the prospects and customer's side. Very recently I spoke with a sales manager of a prominent B2B-company, and he proudly told me that they had used an external telemarketing company booking 4 000 meetings for them in Europe. I told him that I was impressed and advised them to make the meetings short and straight to the point. That way they would make sure that it was the right prospects that were booked. When we met next time he told me that they had stopped because of the low level of interest from the prospects they had booked. 

Very often, the prioritised solution of these challenges is to buy new tools and systems when expectations continue to grow, and speed is demanded. But that is not the answer.

To get traditionally working sales reps to work in a modern way is very difficult, because the willingness to change needs to come from the inside.

It will not be enough to hire a sales coach or a keynote speaker who tells sales reps to make more calls and to practice social selling on LinkedIn. Moreover, the operational elements of providing sales reps with more tools and systems is driving cost, and sometimes becomes stressful for the company and to them. Lots of new tools and systems become available the whole time, make sure that you start pragmatically, first solving easiness for everyone involved internally.

Watch the video with HubSpot Channel Account Manager, Steve Vaughan about the inbound methodology, the rationale behind it, and the latest improvements for effectively attracting new visitors and convert them into delighted customers and learn:

  • How you can build a growth machine with sales & marketing together.
  • The role of sales in growth.
  • The role of marketing in growth.
  • And some tips on how to be very relevant and very close to your prospective and existing customers.

Here is Steve’s video presentation for you to watch and enjoy!

Watch Video

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
Keep me updated!