On the 27th of July 2020, a study by ValueSelling Associates and Selling Power established that as many as 69% of B2B sales professionals don’t have enough leads in their pipeline to meet their sales targets.

The study revealed that the three largest factors that prevented the salespeople from accomplishing their sales targets were pipeline, process, and the ability to communicate value.

Owing to the adverse impact of the current pandemic situation, the market is in grips of recession, and selling anything is mostly considered to be unimportant, and hence, remains a daunting task.

A survey by Garner reveals that CFOs will continue to scale back expenses by as much as 4-11% across their selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) functions for the year 2020.

Clearly, buyers are cautious about making a buying decision and are curbing their expenses to manage situations being encountered because of layoffs and to avoid being turfed out of businesses. In such a situation, salespeople need to be patient and persistent, more than ever before.

Julie Thomas, the CEO and President of ValueSelling Associates advises, “Now is a good time to ‘be human’ when talking with prospects,” he also adds that salespeople should engage in active listening, employ empathy, ask well-researched and relevant questions and should ensure to elevate conversations to a business level.

By focusing on humanizing the sales experiences, salespeople can ensure to provide value to the buyers when they rebound, concludes Thomas.

He also stressed that the salespeople may also be working with companies that are suddenly experiencing exponential growth and require the products being sold by the sales professionals.

Thomas adds that meeting and surpassing the sales quota depends on selling behaviors. He reveals, “Our research demonstrates that salespeople who do not receive the proper training or coaching tend to underperform.”

300 B2B sales professionals in the U.S were surveyed online by ValueSelling Associates, Inc. and Selling Power magazine, individual contributors, and sales leaders. The study aimed to investigate why the sales teams were missing out on sales quota despite being surrounded by all the tools and information to help them sell better, faster, and more effectively.

The major findings of the study are as follows:

  • Only 23% of the sales representatives said that they have enough pipeline to meet the quota.
  • 48% of the representatives said that they didn’t have the requisite pipeline strength to accomplish their sales targets.
  • 38% of the sales leaders said that they had a fairly good pipeline strength to accomplish their goals.
  • Underperforming sales representatives have reported that they received mediocre to low-level sales training and weren’t provided with a formal sales coaching program.
  • For 19% of the salespeople product training just doesn’t happen, for another 19% it happens less than once a year, it happens only once a year for 23% and twice or more per year for another 39%.
  • 89% of salespeople don’t have a formal sales coaching program.
  • Communicating value is imperative to sales success and 62% of the salespeople who missed their sales quota accede that they haven’t been taught to communicate the value.
  • 72% of the sales leaders affirmed that they taught their sales representatives to communicate the value.
  • 58% of the underperformers revealed that they communicate value “very well” when speaking with customers and prospects.
  • 28% of the sales leaders believed that their representatives communicated value “very well” when speaking with customers and prospects.
  • Salespeople need a process that is easy to follow. 70% of sales leaders reported that their sales processes were clearly outlined to be followed by the representatives; however, they were quite confident whether their sales representatives consistently followed the process with the prospects.

About Selling Power

The company Selling Power was founded in the year 1981 and is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA. The company specializes in sales management, marketing, sales 2.0, sales process, sales strategy, sales tactics, motivation, leadership, sales 3.0, management, sales operations, and sales training.

The company provides senior sales managers with high-quality content in the form of print, audio, videos, webinars, and sales leadership conferences. The company offers best practices, tactical solutions, and proven strategies to help sales leaders create a more efficient and effective sales organization.

About ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

ValueSelling Associates is a global sales training company that offers a practical methodology for selling on value to simplify complex B2B sales. The company was founded in the year 1991 and specializes in sales training, sales strategy, competitive positioning, needs identification, chain management, management alignment, customized program development, performance assessments, blended learning, prospecting, sales management, and closing.

ValueSelling Associates has a reputation for customized training, reinforcement, and consulting to drive sales results.

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