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Mastering B2B Sales: Essential Changes Sales Leaders Must Implement Now

If you're struggling with abysmal win rates and failing to meet quotas, it's time to make significant changes to your B2B sales strategy.

One thing many get wrong is that they don’t do the work to master B2B sales. Instead of prioritizing the improvement of our craft, most go about their business without improving over time. At the time of this writing, win rates are abysmal, and it is the same for quota attainment. There are a number of reasons why sales organizations fail to improve their sales results. Unless and until sales leaders make a number of changes that would turn their results around, this trend is likely to continue.

Essential Changes for B2B Sales Success

What follows here are a number of significant changes sales leaders and sales managers must make to ensure they reach these sales targets. If you decide not to change, you may be conceding competitive opportunities to a rival who makes these changes.

  1. Prioritizing Sales Effectiveness: Instead of trying to increase activity, you should increase sales effectiveness. For a number of years, I have shared that the most important priority is the effectiveness of your sales team. You should know each salesperson’s win rates, as well as what each one needs to win at a higher rate. In this challenging sales environment, greater sales effectiveness offers a crucial and sustainable competitive advantage.
  2. Adopt a Modern Sales Methodology: Instead of continuing to use a legacy approach that has lost its ability to create value for your clients in the sales conversation, adopt a modern sales methodology. By adopting a modern methodology, your team will have a set of sales strategies that help buyers with the jobs they need to do. By making this change, your sales reps will provide a better buyer experience, one that can help you win more deals.
  3. Continuous Development: Instead of believing that your sales force knows everything they need to be able to succeed, recognize that every salesperson on your team has untapped potential. Use a competency model for B2B sales to identify the strengths and areas of improvement for each sales rep. Then build an individual development plan for each person. The longer it takes you to develop your sales team, the longer it will take for you to improve your sales results.
  4. Increase B2B Sales Training: Most sales trainers and their companies make a mistake that causes sales leaders to believe sales training doesn’t work. Instead of taking your team out of the field to increase B2B sales training, pursue a more effective strategy. The best way to train your sales force is to train one skill and have your sales managers ensure their teams are succeeding in making the supporting behavioral changes before moving on to the next skill. This approach will improve your sales results by engaging salespeople in the field, where the training can be practiced.
  5. Coaching Opportunities: Instead of spending more time with sales leaders, sales managers should give their teams the coaching they want. By coaching your salesperson on their must-win deals, you can help each individual learn and develop, while also helping them to win deals they might not have won without your advice and recommendations.
  6. Reducing Pipeline Coverage: Instead of requiring greater pipeline coverage as a way to reach your goal, reduce the coverage to what you really need to hit your quota. Having huge pipeline coverage is like piling your plate with more food than you can eat, only to waste it. All of the coverage you can’t convert steals the time your sales team should have been winning clients instead of prospecting beyond what you need to succeed in hitting your targets. If you are worried about not having enough coverage, go back to sales effectiveness.
  7. Building Relationships: Instead of transacting, ensure your sales team is building the relationships they need with their contacts, both clients and prospective clients. These relationships are improved when you create value, care deeply, and demonstrate an understanding of the client and their needs.
  8. Get Back to Face-to-Face: If you are still stuck in the pandemic, it is time to get your sales force getting back to meeting face to face. Some of us never stopped seeing our clients and prospective clients. When everyone is stuck on Zoom, you gain an advantage by showing your prospects that you care more than your competitors. Your contacts will be happy to see you.

Before leaving this article, if you are a sales leader or a sales manager, take the time to think through the changes you might need to make to improve your win rates. You may also want to prioritize the most important of these changes and decide what you will need to be able to improve your sales results. It may benefit you to look beyond the changes you find in this article, as there may be other important changes to how you lead your team and how your team sells now and in the future.

Do good work, and we’ll see you back here to more sales success strategies.


Post by Anthony Iannarino on June 3, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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