The 3 Types of B2B Sales Prospects to Avoid

rsz_1bantio_2_fo_5When it comes to B2B sales, you have to be smart about your time – and that means knowing when to pursue a prospect, and when to let him or her go. The problem is that, even if all your leads are qualified, there are 3 types of B2B sales prospects you’ll inevitably encounter. Avoid these prospects at all costs:

#1: The prospect is too entrenched in his or her ways

Your job selling gets exponentially more difficult if your prospect keeps putting out objections why a solution won’t work – it’s too hard, it’s too costly, or it’s too complex. But that gets to a deeper issue: Why is the prospect so opposed to the sale? It could be the fact that, alas, your offering is just not right. Or, it could be that the prospect is too set in his or her ways to make a change. And overcoming that inertia can just be painful.

You can blame the way businesses run for that. They tend to minimize risk. They are inherently conservative. The old adage “nobody gets fired for buying IBM” still holds up in the B2B sales world. There’s always some industry standard that people tend to trust – it may not do the job right, and it may not be the best, but you won’t get canned for using it.

#2: The prospect doesn’t have a real implementation time frame

Some prospects are perennially waiting for a report to come in, or for a deal to close, or for some budget request to get finalized. Deep down, the problem is that there’s no time frame for implementation. It’s an infinite waiting game. The prospect is holding out for a bright, shiny future where there are no gray areas, just black and white.

The trouble is, that’s not the way business works. There’s never 100 percent clarity on the way forward. Let’s face it – if a client wants something, they want it now — not tomorrow, not a week from tomorrow, and not a year from tomorrow. So don’t waste your time on prospects that are constantly putting off the here and now for some theoretical future that may never arrive.

#3: The prospect doesn’t have budget authority to close a deal

Maybe you’ve gone through the whole B2B sales cycle, the prospect seems ready to commit, and then boom! At the last minute, you get deferred with something like, “I need to speak to my boss” or “I need to clear this with [insert name].”

The deeper problem here is that the budget authority is missing. The prospect just can’t make the deal happen. It’s easy to push off the responsibility onto someone else, of course, and that’s what inevitably happens. Making the B2B sale is hard enough – there’s no need to squander your time and resources on someone who isn’t able to close the deal in the first place.


Do you recognize any of these 3 types of B2B sales prospects? If you do, run. Avoid them at all costs. It’s hard enough being a B2B sales rep without being led on indefinitely, in hope of a sale that will never take place!


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