To continue the theme of why it is getting harder to be successful in b2b sales today, I thought it would be a good idea to clarify the barriers to decision making for you.
Most of these barriers are connected to the major theme for the decision makers today – job security. With the possible exception of the Great Depression in the 1930’s job security has never been this important – across the board.
Therefore, new strategies and focus must be added to your b2b selling skills box of knowledge. It is a time for wisdom to take a higher position or ranking in the minds of b2b sales people.
So, here is my list of barriers to the Decision Makers…
Seven Barriers Influencing Decision Makers in B2B Sales
- No Time
It appears that no one has any time today. Especially for pushy, aggressive or inexperienced b2b sales people. There is no time available to educate a new sales person about their company, their industry or their processes. Others methods need to implemented to show strength and wisdom .
- No Risk
No longer will a key decision maker roll the dice on a new “anything” and especially anything they have never purchased in the past. Risk aversion is the main issue for b2b sales person to overcome and it starts by becoming more of a professional sales partner.
- No Taking Chances
Closely related to the the no risk category above, it takes it’s position with decision makers being asked to make a first time, never even made before type of decision. Decision makers will not take chances that any reasonable executive would not entertain.
- Need Very Strong Proof
Without any proof – testimonials, references or strong data driven ROI – decision makers cannot or will not make a decision. Delay is there favorite tactic without strong proof of previous success. So, as a b2b sales person it is required for you to begin tracking your success in terms of a customers results with your product or service. Just like referrals, you will need to ask your customers for their outcomes. Newer customers will provide more interesting data than old existing customers (especially if you have not been getting data and measurements from the older existing business – since they have probably forgotten the original results of change.)
This is a big one if a major decision has been made recently – then no change period. It is too difficult to move while they are waiting on new results. It is more important to watch aggressively for trigger information such as a new manager or executive within your decision area. The other point for timing is when an issue moves to the front burner of priorities. Then it is your responsibility to become a Top of Mind Resource for this issue.
- Political Issues
This barrier is the one calling for the most sensitivity from you since getting on the wrong side of a political situation can be costly – both to you and the decision maker. Always be politically aware, yet, focus upon performance to win more often. In the political game, the politician will eventually lose.
- Budget Authority
During tough economic environments, decision authority will always move up the chain of command. Therefore, the decision power and responsibility a person may have had four years ago could be non-existent today. Take time to think about your offer and where the actually decision with authority will be made for your offering. To often, we are too low in the corporate structure to get a favorable opportunity to present our story and the possible results (ROI) for the customer. Again, more strategic thinking is required for successful presentations to get results.
There you have a list of barriers with a few ideas for you to think about to eliminate the barrier. B2B sales success can be delivered on a regular basis – when you make the first decision to change the way you sell.
I will be providing some new objectives for the professional b2b sales person to use and thereby joining the ranks of the B2B Sales Superstars.