B2B Marketing and Sales Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Indeed, effective marketing mainly calls for extended periods of planning, implementing, and testing various iterations. A/B testing, creating buyer personas, market research, etc., all play a significant role in the industry. Companies know this, are okay with it, and even plan and budget for it. Still, all marketing efforts are not created equal.

Before companies even begin generating content for the different sales funnel stages, they must determine who their audience is. When that audience comprises other businesses, you can reasonably expect tougher competition. However, as long as you have the right tools and strategies, you can overcome the most prevalent B2B challenges in sales and marketing. 

14 Common B2B Challenges and How To Overcome Them

Anyone working in the B2B segment must know that the industry comes with a never-ending set of challenges. While in the B2C sector (marketing to customers), you can expect there to be shorter sales cycles, the sales cycles in B2B sales can be quite prolonged, especially if your business targets smaller groups with products with relatively high price points. 

Before your business can even pass through the entire sales funnel for B2B, you must generate potential leads and look for eligible prospects that are likely to convert into future customers. This is what makes the B2B marketing and sales process particularly complex.

Having said that, let’s explore some of the most prevalent challenges faced by most B2B businesses today in marketing and sales and shed light on the most effective tips, tools, and strategies to resolve them. 

1.  Increase in Competition

The B2B industry is not exactly an arena. Still, being beaten by your rivals can be quite disappointing. The failure to acquire a target customer when you know you’re offering something far better than your competitors can be punishing.

Regardless of aiming for the best, you will feel like you have failed to persuade prospects that you are the better choice. When this happens, the following tips can help ensure you can surpass your rivals in acquiring more leads via your effective B2B strategy:

  • Spot the competitors and beat them at their own game
  • Determine the target company’s key decision factors
  • Conduct a self-assessment test to analyze your strong suits and weaknesses
  • Highlight your strengths

2.  Hiring the Right Marketing Talent

You want to ensure that the people you hire have the skills and experience to work with other businesses within the same industry. This way, you can make sure they comprehend the diverse opportunities and challenges that emerge with marketing to that specific type of customer.

You can offer them that training if they do not have prior experience. Besides, whoever you hire must be willing to adapt to different situations. The marketing dynamics are constantly changing.

Hence, it’s vital to have a flexible team willing and able to grow along with it. With this flexibility, they will be open to experimenting with different strategies and trying new things, eventually leading to greater success for your B2B company. 

3.  Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams

Marketing and sales might be two different departments, but they must work jointly to do their tasks efficiently. For instance, if your marketing team focuses on XYZ, but when prospects schedule a call with the sales department and are informed about ABC, everybody will get confused.

This problem can be resolved by making it a company practice for your sales and marketing team to schedule frequent meetings for the purpose of discussing every campaign, including the strategies, objectives, and how to achieve them.

The marketing team can also get a list of FAQs that sales often get so they can address them during their drip campaign and lead nurturing efforts.

4.  Positioning Value Proposition

A company’s value proposition, which is a strong summary of the primary benefits offered to its target B2B client, is the ultimate key to its growth. It outlines the difference between them and their competitors and the value they can provide to their prospects.

Still, not all businesses are successful in defining a clear, definite, and unique value proposition. With a well-aligned value proposition in your B2B strategy, you can effectively serve your B2B clients and market and sell your product offerings and/or services.

Here are some tips worth following to position your value proposition more effectively.

  • Develop a strong competency in the form of market relationships, industry positioning, costs, sales technology, people, manufacturing processes, customer satisfaction, business activity, or merely being the first to market. 
  • Hire marketers to refine and polish your content and smoothen things up to make your value proposition sound more meaningful and credible to target customers. 
  • Be informal and direct while communicating your value, and do not go overboard with excessive business jargon. 

A strong and unique value proposition makes connecting with your target customer(s) more accessible. It sets strategic grounds for the sales and marketing team, giving them a solid and unwavering way to discuss your business. 

5.  Generating Quality Leads

When it comes to B2B businesses, you should not expect to be a solution for everyone. If you believe in this, you will end up with an extensive list of people approaching and calling you, with no real needs or budget to do business with you. Hence, developing your ideal buyer personas and generating explicitly targeted content for them is crucial.

Some lead-generating approaches include expanding your market, developing different content, A/B testing the content, and offering free resources like useful tips in worksheets, newsletters, templates, How to videos, and more. This way, they will return to you to get answers to their prompt questions. 

6.  The Sales Cycle is Too Long

As mentioned before, the B2B sales cycle takes longer to complete than B2C. While you cannot prevent prolonged sales cycles, you can expedite the process and make it a whole lot smoother.

Personalizing communications, implementing lead nurturing best practices, and satisfying prospects while conducting business can do wonders in encouraging people to do business with you and sign the sales contract. 

The ideal way to fully control a prolonged B2B sales cycle is to adopt a CRM system that can gather all your client’s information in one section. This entails the emails you’ve exchanged, the deals you’ve signed, appointments and notes, etc.

A robust CRM system offers a vast array of benefits, such as a healthy pipeline, enhanced relationships, and improved communication. 

7.  Keeping a Healthy Pipeline

Since it is not mandatory for everyone who gets in touch with your business to buy something or acquire your services, it is essential to create content for each stage of the sales funnel: the bottom, middle, and top.

By thoroughly comprehending each stage of the sales funnel, you can effectively identify the gaps in the sales process, forecast your sales revenue, and pinpoint opportunities for optimization. 

Hence, focus on keeping your leads warm by staying in touch with them regularly with drip campaign emails, newsletters, customer loyalty programs, or congratulatory emails whenever there is something worth celebrating. These efforts will aid in maintaining brand awareness.

8.  Prospects Lose Interest

Since there are multiple components involved in B2B purchases, a prospect will rarely purchase in their first meeting. Hence, it is essential to implement a follow-up process.

Prospects require time to soak in what they know and have learned about your product/service. Naturally, they will turn to your competitors to analyze the differences. This makes it all the more critical for your business to hone in your inbound marketing skills and touch base with them frequently via lead nurturing emails.

By sending prospects relevant content that can help them despite whatever stage of their buyer’s journey, they will be more optimistic about reaching out to you with an open wallet. 

9.  Prospects Are Indecisive

Prospects will almost always take a lot of them evaluating their decision before finally coming to a conclusion. While this is quite understandable, it might often be a sign you need to generate more compelling content to resolve their apprehensions.

Additional market research, directly asking out people, or asking your sales team for raised concerns or FAQs can help you better understand what those apprehensions are and what the hold-up is for.

Even if a potential lead does not convert into a customer, these insights can be utilized to create more effective messaging. In addition, you want to ensure your content is unique and stands out amongst others. B2B prospects have to encounter a surge of information, so you need to grab their undivided attention and offer something of value. 

Additionally, you must examine whether you are coming off too hard as a pushy sales representative. Instead, focus more on establishing meaningful relationships. B2B prospects prefer engaging with businesses they feel can understand their concerns and needs.

So, spend time getting to know them individually and their business, analyze their pain points and show them how you can resolve them. 

10.  Developing Account-Based Marketing 

Account-based marketing is about personalization, starting with identifying the target companies you will reach out to. Start by creating a list of your ideal customers (companies) and creating a unique content strategy to address their needs.

You can also ask your sales team to research who the decision makers are within those businesses to address your communication with them more effectively. 

11.  Creating Engaging Content

Develop engaging content about topics that interest your target audience and they can relate to, and find unique ways of presenting the information. When it comes to B2B businesses, being customer-centric is of the utmost priority.

This isn’t the time to focus on your own accomplishments. Instead, it’s about how you can add ease and convenience to their lives so they can focus on what they do best. 

Once again, the key is to offer something valuable, whether insights, a new perspective, or information. Let them leave queries or comments on the page, whether on your social media posts, blog comments section, webinar questions, or submitting their queries through a landing page form or email. 

12.  Outdated Website

Your website serves as the most important presentation card as it gives people your business’s first impression. Hence, your website must be intuitive, user-friendly, appealing, and easy to navigate. The majority of companies fail to update their website according to the latest trends.

However, this mistake can be easily resolved by addressing key issues, such as loading times, and incorporating a responsive design so that the site loads appropriately despite the screen size (tablet, laptop, desktop PC, or smartphone). 

In addition, you must use heat-mapping software to see to what extent your visitors view each page, have a consistent design throughout your website, and monitor which pages have a relatively high bounce rate.

13.  Increasing Web Traffic

With so much competition, it is not easy for B2B businesses to boost their site traffic. Since B2B firms mainly market and sell to other firms, they are less likely to invest in inbound marketing that can potentially improve their web traffic.

A common misperception amongst B2B businesses is that they believe clients do not engage in online purchases. If they are in an exclusive niche, their marketing efforts will not work on them. Still, inbound marketing has proven to be a highly effective way of boosting web traffic and expanding a B2B firm online.

14.  Measuring ROI

The proof of return on investment (ROI) is yet another significant B2B marketing challenge. According to a HubSpot survey, 21% of marketers claimed that proving the ROI of their efforts is their biggest challenge.

Still, this doesn’t happen in a flash. Instead, proving your ROI calls for accurate planning and organization to ensure it is traceable from the beginning of the sales and marketing efforts.

Measuring and boosting your ROI requires focusing on determining your objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). You must set objectives that can be measured.

The best way is to measure your content performance, site, and other marketing activities. Then, you can choose KPIs that require measuring. Some of these KPIs are:

  • Time on Page
  • Total Website Visit
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Website Bounce Rate
  • Number of New Leads
  • Client Acquisition Cost
  • Client Lifetime Value

SocialEpoch Social Selling Solutions

By now, it must be evident that it takes a lot to be successful in sales and the road to success in B2B marketing is full of challenges. Still, once you begin learning how to overcome these challenges, implementing sales and marketing tools and strategies that work becomes second nature. 

Besides knowing your customers intimately, you need determination, drive, and empathy. You must be able to bounce back resiliently despite rejection. You need to trust the process. Luckily, hundreds of thousands of options regarding software for sales are available that can add ease to the lives of sales professionals.

There is no longer a need to perform manual tasks such as following up on cold emails one after the other. Instead, you can find plenty of sales management software and sales prospecting tools to help automate your manual tasks.

There are plenty of sales tools in the market. While the potential advantage these B2B sales toolsbring to your business can be fascinating, the horde of choices can be quite intimidating. 

Due to the drastic changes in the purchase process over these past few years, sales teams are driven to try new strategies to establish more meaningful and lasting relationships. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is via social selling

Social selling is all about discovering and engaging with customers and prospects online. You’re social selling every time you log in to a social media channel to look for new prospects, interact with them, and add value by responding to their queries, sharing relatable content, etc.

This same concept applies to B2B companies too. If you are too busy to handle all this yourself, you can rest assured we at SocialEpoch, and will be more than happy to help.

We at SocialEpoch take great pride in providing social selling solutions for companies with long customer journeys and sales teams such as SaaS, B2B trade, legal, consulting, insurance, intellectual property, finance, automotive, finance, logistics, real estate, banking, education, etc. 

Our target audience mainly comprises the following:

  1. All kinds of B2B Businesses
  2. Software as a service (SaaS)
  3. Wholesale and distribution
  4. Consumables and supplies (e.g., equipment, office supplies, etc.)
  5. Professional services (e.g., finance)
  6. Retailers/E-commerce Businesses/Chain Stores/ Casino/Lottery/Cryptocurrency/Call Centers/Real Estate/Consultant

Why Are B2B Businesses Choosing SocialEpoch?

SocialEpoch offers the perfect solution for B2B companies to overcome challenges and growth problems. With SocialEpoch’s unique social selling solutions, B2B companies can benefit from an array of things, such as:

  • +31% Quality Leads
  • -35% Sales Cycle
  • +54% Customer Retention
  • +43% Sales

Furthermore, it enables your company to close deals on an average of 13 days faster, save up to 2 hours daily on prospecting, and obtain a 56% increase in monthly profits. Here at SocialEpoch, our utmost goal is to help B2B companies go:

For this, we use a 5-stage process to help achieve all this. Now, let’s take a look at what these 5 phases are:

Phase 1: Sales Intelligence

  • Data scraping & list building
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) social prospecting
  • Get deeper insights into potential customers.

Phase 2: Proactive Social Engagement

  • Quickly engage with customers in bulk on Facebook
  • Proactively reach out to customers with multiple Facebook accounts.
  • Boost lead coverage and team productivity

Phase 3: Technology-led Marketing

Phase 4: All-in-One Sales Platform

  • Leads research & segment
  • Drive and manage customers all on WhatsApp SCRM
  • Deal closing & digital asset preservation

Phase 5: Community-led Growth

  • Tailor customer experience with personalized service
  • Develop customer loyalty & maintain customer relationship
  • Increase customer retention and repurchase rate

Wrapping Up

If you have B2B clients to whom you market your services, you may have experienced at least one or more of these challenges. The industry is constantly changing, and it is quite understandable that convincing prospects to do business with you is no longer that simple.

Overcoming B2B marketing and sales channels indicates establishing meaningful relationships with buyers and gaining their trust, which is the key to success in B2B sales today. The goal is to be proactive in your marketing and sales strategy, find the proper channels to share relevant content, and see where the best leads reside.

Your marketing and sales team need to discover and engage with customers and prospects online and work closely to bring more potential B2B clients into the sales funnel, which can be achieved by our social selling solutions.