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The 8 Things B2B Salespeople Love to Hate

3 min
Stressed, tired and frustrated business man with headache at night from burnout or making mistake on laptop. Overworked creative entrepreneur failing to meet late office deadline or working overtime.

When revenue teams aren’t running smoothly, opportunities plummet, win rates dwindle, and commissions dry up. The frustration is real. 

The thing is, most of these negative outcomes can be avoided altogether — when teams know what challenges to look for.

That’s why we reached out to some friendly sales professionals to get the low-down on what really grinds their teams’ gears. They got some free therapy and we got to hear their top B2B sales annoyances. Together, we uncovered some solutions to these common problems.  

1. Low-Quality Leads From Marketing 

Tell us if you’ve heard this one before: “Where does marketing get these leads? Why do they hand them over when they’re clearly not a fit?”

The data agrees that at least 50% of prospects aren’t a good fit for what you sell. But don’t immediately put all the blame on your friends in marketing. (They really can be your friends!)

More likely, the problem lies with your systems and processes. The main culprit? MQLs. They don’t work in today’s B2B world where your buyer is a group, not an individual. Plus, they’re often not even in-market for your services — they might just be doing general research and aren’t a serious buyer, or looking for a job. 

You can see our Head of Research and Thought Leadership discuss this problem (and solutions) here.   

2. Not Having Enough Accounts in Your Name

Although salespeople are unhappy with the quality of leads, they also told us they want more accounts in their names. More accounts = more chances to close deals, right? We get the logic, but this frustration leads to self-inflicted wounds. 

When you have a big TAL, most salespeople can’t help but chase the big logos. The prospect of a huge payday with the likes of Cisco, Microsoft, and Salesforce is sales catnip. But if an account simply isn’t interested, you’re wasting a lot of time and resources trying to close a white whale.  

As Derek Levine, our Director of Enterprise Sales, talks about here, you can hit your number by focusing on a TAL that’s a tenth of the size, but actually in-market for your product. 

3. Not Getting In The Conversation Early   

Few moments are more frustrating than discovering a perfect-fit prospect was in-market for a solution when their logo pops up … on your competitor’s website. Nearly all our sales confidants said the same thing: “Why weren’t we in the conversation?!”  

Whether you’re not getting into the conversation early enough, or missing it altogether, the root cause of these lost opportunities is limited visibility into the buying journey. 

4. Time Wasted Not Selling

It’s annoying to waste time on the wrong deals, but salespeople find it even more frustrating wasting time not selling at all. Research shows they spend: 

  • 21% of their day trying to write persuasive outreach 
  • 17% entering data 
  • 17% prospecting and researching leads  
  • 12% going to internal meetings 
  • 12% scheduling calls 

That leaves just 21% of their day left over for actual conversations.  

Thankfully, the majority of these tasks can be automated or avoided with AI-driven insights. Sometimes knowing which accounts to put first kills busywork and helps you focus on revenue-generating tasks. It helped ShowPad increase close rates by 289%. 

5. Warming Up Cold Prospects

Some leads are handed over to sales too soon, when they’re nowhere near ready to buy. Those lukewarm leads should still be with your BDRs or being nurtured by marketing.  

The sweet spot in your prospects’ buying journey — when they’re in-market for your solution — sits between the Consideration and Decision phase. When accounts are engaged at the right time in their buying journeys, we’ve seen an average 120% improvement in revenue generation. 

6. Inability to Find or Access the Right Content

Eighty percent of content created by marketing goes unused by sales — a sobering stat for both teams. Why are these assets underutilized? The reasons our interviewees shared centered on two key themes: 

  • It’s too difficult to find the right content  
  • No available content matches a prospect’s stage in the buying journey 

Here is a resource that explains how marketing can start creating content that speaks to a buyer wherever they are on their journey. 

7. Limited Prospect Intel

Salespeople hate feeling underprepared for calls.  

“You want to create that ‘wow’ first impression by offering some genuinely personalized insights. ‘I saw you downloaded our ebook on X’ doesn’t do the trick,” said one salesperson. 

But with B2B buyers completing more than 70% of their buying journey anonymously before they even talk to a rep, it’s difficult to know exactly what prospects have been looking at. 

Knowing which keywords and competitors prospects have been researching unlocks incredible prospect insight. Watch how our BDRs do it here 

8. Mistakes From Misalignment

From ops teams taking too long to get paperwork to clients, to marketing contacting customers that are in the middle of negotiating an upsell, misalignment was mentioned as the root cause of a lot of sales’ ire. 

When sales, marketing, and customer success work closely together you can align on accounts, goals, personas, and KPIs.  

Better alignment. 

Fewer aggravated salespeople. 

A win-win for everyone. 

Want to see how our AEs use 6sense to prioritize outreach to their in-market target accounts? Check out this short video. 

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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