Complex B2B sales is hard
In complex B2B sales, the product or service is discretionary and a considered purchase. It is something that a business can get by without. Furthermore, there is a high degree of financial and personal risk. It also involves multiple decision-makers and has a long sales cycle.
The most important factor that makes a B2B sale complex is that it causes significant change for the customer. Change is hard. It is risky. Resistance to change is often the main obstacle that must be overcome in complex B2B sales. This resistance is present at different stages of a sales cycle;
1. Often customers don’t know that change is possible. Or they don’t understand the need for change.
2. The product or service under consideration is innovative. It will cause significant change for the customer. Part of the consideration is to weigh the benefits of change against the potential risks.
Overcome resistance to change
In a complex B2B sales environment, most companies will struggle to get qualified leads. Many sales opportunities will end in “no decision” or status quo. This is due to;
1. Not getting a response from prospects – why would a prospect engage? They don’t see a reason why they need to change.
2. Inability to overcome resistance to change – the status quo feels safe. It also involves less work for the customer.
3. A convoluted and unclear value proposition - there is no compelling reason why the customer should change the status quo.
A complex B2B sale needs a different sales approach than a transactional sale. The status quo is often the main competitor in a complex B2B sale. To overcome resistance to change you you need to disrupt the status quo.
Resistance to change shows up all along the sales process
Faster pipeline. More sales.
Overcome funnel challenges in complex B2B sales
HOW WE HELP
In a value-based sales approach the focus is on how the buyer's life will improve if they buy your product or service.
It’s all about potential outcomes. There is less emphasis on the features and price of your product. A well-executed value-based sales approach will overcome resistance to change.
Stand out from the competition by providing more value than anyone else. That value comes in three forms;
1. Value of solving the customer’s problem. Build a business case for why the customer should change.
2. Value of doing business with you and your company.
3. Value of buying your product or service.
Most companies overemphasize the value of buying their product and don’t do a good job of showing value in the other areas. Win rates go up when value is provided in all three areas.
In a complex B2B sale, you must prove value, capture the attention of the customer and motivate them to take action. That's tough!
The customers' default is to resist change and stay with the status quo. A slide presentation is not going to compel the customer to take the risk on your product or service.
Storytelling is more effective at persuading customers to change than conventional sales approaches.
Strong value propositions build pipeline and speed up sales cycles. Salespeople must be experts at articulating the promise of value and highlighting differentiation.
A clear value proposition is foundational to closing a sale.
In complex B2B sales the challenge is greater. The customer must perceive that the change your solution will bring is worth the cost and risk . Otherwise, all other selling skills, such as overcoming objections and persuasion, are negated.
Think your sales reps are conveying effective value propositions to customers? According to a recent CSO Insights survey, 68% of B2B buyers see little to no difference between vendors. That’s terrible. Weak value propositions lead to lost deals, slower sales cycles and pricing pressure.
We use the Value Proposition Canvas© from Strategyzer AG to help deliver our services.