Look at the average B2B sales and you may notice that not all of them have degrees in anything remotely to do with sales. On the contrary, it’s the one part of a company where you will see an incredibly diverse range of qualifications.
This is because the B2B sales team works differently. Simply possessing a degree doesn’t make you a good seller and neither will buy Instagram likes. Here are some of the main challenges you will have to overcome that are unrelated to your degree.
A Diverse Audience
Rarely will you be able to sell to your perfect customer in B2B sales. On the contrary, you are likely to come across people who don’t match your target audience remotely. They may even be in the same room as you, in the case of trying to sell to people in a live setting.
Your education can never prepare you for the need to market to multiple audiences at the same time. It’s a balancing act where you have to explain the advantages to one side, and then explain a whole different set of advantages to another side.
At the same time, you have to stop either side tuning out and getting bored.
The Changing Marketplace
The sellers from five years ago were using tactics that are no longer relevant. There may be aspects that you can apply to the here and now, but largely the market has changed. And it doesn’t matter how successful you were back then because B2B sales is all about the here and now.
Reputation means nothing in this industry. This is a results-based business. You must overcome the challenge of keeping your finger on the pulse. You have to be aware of what’s changing and how you need to react.
Everyone has a personality. The personality you have will define the people you are most likely to gel with. It’s not uncommon for people with one personality to never get along with another group of people with a contrasting personality. For most professions, this will never pose a problem.
In B2B sales, it’s a problem because you will find it extremely difficult to connect with certain people. It’s simply a personality issue and there’s no way of naturally overcoming it.
B2B sellers who are good at their jobs are able to connect with everybody on some level. They know that they have to alter their behavior and mannerisms so they can get on the same level as their potential customers. It’s one challenge you’ve likely never been asked to overcome, until now.
Ask anyone what the biggest problem is with the B2B sales industry and they will usually refer to the relentless pressure. This is coming from their colleagues as everyone tries to keep up with each other and from above as boss’s demand new sales targets are met.
Operating under pressure is something you can never truly prepare for until you are in that situation yourself. The pressure of B2B sales can make even the most smooth-talking salesperson collapse. And these are the people nobody wants on their team.
Overcoming pressure is about implementing good stress management techniques, such as:
- Taking regular breaks.
- Utilizing breathing exercises to help reduce heart rate and slow the mind down.
- Leading a balanced lifestyle with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
But pressure is largely something you only ever overcome with experience. Most people find that it takes many months and years to become comfortable with this environment. It’s why newcomers to B2B sales often find that they never rise up the ladder quickly.
Selling a Product You Have No Control Over
A B2B sales team is only ever as good as the product or service it has to sell. Sometimes you can have the best operatives in the world, but if the product is bad or sub-par you are never going to get the results expected of you. Making the best of a bad situation is something you will have to do on a regular basis.
You have no control over what you are selling. It’s vital that you see the good in everything and that you can overlook the obvious flaws in order to close that sale.
If you are going to close the sale and succeed in this industry, you must go out of your way to overcome these challenges. It will usually take months and years to overcome.
How will you prepare for overcoming the challenges of B2B sales today?