- Posted by Kayla Thomson
- On December 27, 2018
- 1 Comments
To round out the year, we’ve talked to a number of our favourite sales experts to get a glimpse into their industry insights. Last week, we asked the experts about their favourite sales tool of 2018. In this blog we ask “what was the biggest B2B sales challenge you’ve experienced in 2018 and how do you plan to overcome it in 2019?”
Here’s what they had to say:
Not being 100% focused on selling has its challenges – for my role prioritization is key. I found MindTools late this year and will continue use it to help support where and how much of time is spent on a particular task or activity.
– Marlene Keay, Senior Manager Business Development at Virtual Causeway, @marlenekeay
I think overall the KW region is challenged with finding experienced sales professionals. I think it’s essential that organizations continue to partner and support sales academy programs. These programs are proven to expand the talent pool and enable people to start a new career in sales. Bridgit has been very focused on expanding our talent search outside of the tech world. We often look to the insurance/banking industry and encourage people to explore what tech has to offer. I think it would be great to see more programs/classes designed to help professional transition between industries.
– Jonathan Jones, Business Development Manager at Bridgit, @JonathanJones88
There are a number of macro-level factors that made this a challenging year as political and global trade uncertainty, exchange rates, and the pressure on our customers’ business. The approach is getting closer to those customers to help them navigate the situation and also make us their preferred source of solutions. Although is theoretically easier than ever to reach customers, it is harder to get meaningful interactions unless we are closer than ever to them.
– Carlos Hernandez, Regional VP at Sandvine, @CAHernandezR
- Ops and Enablement. Period. Expectations continue to grow with prospects and customers. Getting reps up to speed across the whole system is a continuous challenge.
- Sales: SMB, Commercial, and Enterprise segment reps. In many cases additional Sales Engineers and/or Solution Consultants to scope and manage deeper technical scenarios.
- Customer Success: Implementation Projects, Relationship Managers, Support Group. This entire system is now one system. And needs to continue to be from a data and process standpoint. Ops and Enablement are the glue that needs to hold it all together day by day. Act accordingly!
– Chad McCaffrey, Entrepreneur in Residence at Communitech, @cjkmccaffrey
Simple to understand pricing is our biggest challenge and we are releasing new monthly fixed pricing that we hope will be easier to understand.
– Ryan O’Grady, President at Fotaflo, @OGradyProd
Developing a new sales model within an existing company to address the fact that customers want to buy more transactionally. Lots of content & product changes as well as enabling a new team to figure out how to work with this new type of customer.
– Dan Wardle, Head of Emerging Business & Business Development at Vidyard, @wardledan
There are lots of new tools and technology that become available on a regular basis. Cutting through the noise and finding the right tools that provide ROI is very important.
– Mark Elliott, Co-founder VA Partners, @markeelliott
Being a heavily inbound focused organization, the greatest sales challenge for this year has been consistency of pipeline. We can reasonably predict how many opportunities we’ll generate from inbound, but due to seasonality and other factors there is so much variance. We’ve decided to focus heavily on building an outbound business development team in 2019 to address this. To start, we have two reps focused solely on this – which was a tip provided to me by a bunch of sales leaders (always start with two!). We have a strong handle on our target market, and the roles that utilize tools like ours. We use ZoomInfo to generate lists of contacts that match our target criteria and highly personalized HubSpot Sequences to generate conversations.
– Shane Gamble, Head of Sales at Smile.io, @ShaneGamble01
Pricing, leads, and on-boarding. We will likely use HubSpot this year to do more inline training and make sure clients who are able to sell are focused on that.
– David Carter, Executive Director at the Innovation Factory, @dkrcarter
My biggest sales challenge at the moment is having 3 different business lines selling to the same clients with grossly different offerings and maintaining a consistent message about how our organization (BDC) can support clients in the tech sector. We are working on a strategy to better align our team members who touch tech clients, adjusting products, partnerships, and incentives to make us easier to do business with from the market’s perspective.
– Ryan McCartney, BDC Communitech Partner, @rmccartney323
Data quality/misalignment within and between systems. In 2019 we’re implementing a Master Data Management Plan to govern how customer data is managed and to ensure high data quality/consistency.
– Tim Davison, VP Enterprise Client Development at Morneau Shepell, @davison_tim
Hiring. Developing an interviewing framework specifically for sales team.
– Logan Lyles, Director of Partnerships at Sweet Fish Media, @loganlyles
Check out our other expert blogs for 2019:
What were your B2B sales challenges from 2018? What are your plans to overcome them? Let us know in the comments below or on twitter!