It’s Worse than You Think… with a Ray of Hope

A recent study by ValueSelling Associates and Selling Power, B2B Prospecting Challenges from the Front Lines, found that: “By a wide margin, the most effective method of reaching prospects was client referrals followed by cold calls.”

Some other significant findings include: 

One out of two B2B sales reps fear making cold calls.

The number one challenge that salespeople face when trying to set up an initial meeting is reaching the prospect. 

Consistently making cold calls was the skill that scored the lowest with 25% of average reps marked as poor.

More than half (54%) of initial meetings required more than five touch points to secure the meeting.

Reps are not spending enough time on prospecting. Only 18% of sales reps spent nine hours or more on prospecting each week. 

Organization, consistency, and persistence are foundational skills for effective prospecting. 

Repeated, incremental training on prospecting and setting up initial meetings is essential for success.

In addition, according to research done by the Bridge Group, annual turnover in sales positions ranges from 20% to 34%. Further, a recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management estimates that every time a business replaces an employee, it can cost, on average, 6 to 9 months’ salary. This means that for a sales representative making $40,000 a year, it might cost $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses to replace them if or when they leave.

We here at recently sent a survey to our readers asking the question, “Did you or members of your sales team hit your 2018 sales goals?” Only 20% of those who responded said that they did. That means a whopping 80% did not achieve their sales goals last year.

Prospecting is foundational to sales success. Without prospecting there are no opportunities to sell.

The ray of sunshine in all of this is that prospecting is a communication skill that can be learned and improved on. In the 25+ years that I have been conducting prospecting and sales training, I have seen over and over again that once sales people learn these skills and an easy to follow process, generally call reluctance disappears, appointments are scheduled and sales happen.

If you are a business owner or sales professional who is prospecting and/or you manage a team of sales professionals who are prospecting and you are not having the success that you envision…  if you know that prospecting is of vital importance and that it’s time to master this critical skill set, then let’s have a conversation about options to make that happen. Simply click on this link, give me some background and your best phone number and times to reach you and we’ll talk. I look forward to it.

About The Authour

Wendy Weiss is the creator of the Salesology® Prospecting Method that generates predictable sales revenue. She is an author, speaker, sales trainer and sales coach and is recognized as a leading authority on lead generation, new business development and sales.

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