Let's face it. Losing a B2B sale is hard. If you’re the salesperson that lost the sale, it can feel like all the hard work you put in trying to convert the sale was wasted.
While there's probably a good reason why you didn't convert, you shouldn't be too surprised. Losing a sale in the B2B arena is fairly common. The fact is that 44% of salespeople have an 80% probability they won’t close a sale.
Clearly B2B selling is tough. But that's no excuse for not converting leads. if you're serious about succeeding in B2B sales, you must improve at selling to your target market. That includes finding out why you're losing sales.
Asking the four questions discussed below can tell you why you might have lost a sale. Knowing why can help you fix mistakes the next time around. And that can boost your conversion rate.Below are the four questions you need to ask when you lose a B2B sale:
- Were you targeting the right people?
One reason you're losing sales could be that you're not targeting the right people. So look closely at your lead generation strategy. Is it targeting the right people or just targeting businesses at random?
If the leads you're targeting have no interest in your product, how do you expect to close a sale? So make sure your leads are being qualified. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself in an impossible position.
So check the tactics of your lead gen people. Compare the customers they're targeting against the profiles of your ideal customers. If they two don’t match, you know there’s something wrong with the way they're generating leads.
- Did you keep your prospect interested enough?
Previously, it took six or seven brand touches to close a sale. Now, it takes more than ten brand touches to do it. Making a sale may take months of talking. Plus, many companies now have multiple decision makers to convince before a sale closes.
So you need to keep prospects interested. That often means sending them engaging content. That's why so many B2B companies create free eBooks, presentations, and white papers. They use them to keep people engaged and interested.
So look at your funnel. Are you using interesting content to keep your prospects engaged? If not, it's time for a change. As Zoe Sands says, “Change business practices and embrace social networking throughout your business.”
- Was it a personality issue?
If you're losing sales because of your ambassador's personality, you need to find out why. It may have been that his or her personality clashed with the prospect's.
You can't let that continue. So how do you find out if you lost the sale because of the sales person's personality or another issue?
Look closely at the records of all your sales people. Anyone that has a bad personality will have far fewer closes than everyone else. If everyone else makes five sales per week and someone makes only one, there's a good chance there's a problem with the individual.
So watch him or her at work. See if you can spot where he or she is making mistakes. One of the key B2B trends is that personalities matter. You’re building a relationship with your prospects not just selling them a product or service.
Were you talking to the right people?
B2B sellers sometimes talk to the wrong people. Since they weren’t talking to someone in a position of power, they can’t make the purchase even thought they liked your product or service.
If the prospect pulls out at the last minute, there's a good chance you weren't talking to their people. If they weren’t interested in your product,they would have pulled out much earlier. So maybe someone higher up pulled the plug.
If that's the case, work on getting in touch with the right people earlier. For example, you might need to make it clear that you’d like to talk to a manager or a senior executive for a second opinion.
Last Word – How to Closing More Sales for Your Business
Your B2B sales team needs to get more efficient at selling your product. By asking these four questions, you can determine why you lost the sale and make changes.
But it requires constant vigilance as to what's happening with sales. You should have someone who’s constantly checking for the problems mentioned above and ensuring that those problems are solved.
If you do, you'll convert at a higher sales rate than ever. And that will boost your company's revenues, making you a hero.
What do you think is the biggest reason why you might not have got that sale?