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October 17, 2017

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions help salespeople better track, monitor, and therefore close on deals, whether in the B2B or B2C space. According to Markets & Research, the ‘ability of CRM suites to carry out business with ease is driving growth’, and as a result, they expect the industry to be worth $81.9 billion by 2025. CRM solutions also came out as the most valuable tool in a recent survey of senior US-based B2B marketers ranking the marketing technologies.

 The general consensus in the market seems to be that CRM solutions provide a  great deal of value to companies seeking B2B opportunities. The question  therefore is: why do some companies struggle with B2B sales, despite having a  fabulous CRM to support them?

 Over the years, I’ve had several conversations with clients looking to help their  B2B sales teams do better and this has helped us understand the problem.  These sales professionals set themselves up for failure because they hold on to  some key beliefs, each of which is either a myth to begin with, or archaic in the  new-age marketplace they do business in.

 These are the seven archaic beliefs and myths I’ve identified, that cause companies to struggle with B2B sales:

  1. We have a long time to sell: Today’s B2B buyers do their research and approach vendors only when they’re close to a decision. As a result, vendors who respond quickly win the deal.
  2. Most times, best price wins the business: While being price competitive is important, commoditized solution providers can afford to charge a premium if their salespeople can tailor the solution to suit individual needs, and provide specific advice to prospective clients.
  3. A strong brand overcomes ineffective sales processes: A strong brand can help you get you in the door, but you’ll lose the business unless you have strong sales processes that effectively track and follow-up on inquiries.
  4. B2B customers don’t buy on emotion: Winning teams understand that sales is a relationship-based function. They take stock of emotions when they engage with prospects.
  5. Current customers will give you more slack in how fast you respond: We live in a fast-paced world and everyone is constantly under pressure to deliver, so buyers might not wait around too long just because you have an existing relationship.
  6. B2B sales are sequential and should focus on providing customers with information: While it is important to provide the right content, salespeople who win are those who can educate their clients and contextualize their solutions.
  7. B2B customers don’t want a multichannel selling experience: Different clients consume information differently, so you need to prepare to serve them with content on different digital platforms via webinars, and even through sales staff.

If you’ve been a part of a B2B sales team or have been working on helping improve their performance, I’m sure the points I’ve identified will resonate with you. However, if you’re interested in some real-world examples and anecdotes to better understand this, read my article The Seven Deadly Myths of Today’s B2B Sell, in Perspectives, our management journal.

Lisa Hager is an ex TCSer and was the Global Head of the Salesforce Practice for Tata Consultancy Services. She was responsible for the core practice operations including business development, delivery, alliance management and offerings, and solution development for TCS’ mature and emerging markets.


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