New Research: 96% Of Sales Reps Need More Help In The Early Buying Stages

Published: August 31, 2022

B2B sales efforts still aren’t as targeted as they should be — and it comes at a detriment to companies’ bottom lines. New research from Lusha, a B2B database of company contacts and business leads, found that just under half (50%) of salespeople believe one of the most common effects of wrongly targeted outreach is damage to their company’s brand reputation.

Along with damage to a company’s image, “The 2022 State Of B2B Sales” also found that poorly targeted outreach can result in an ongoing (52%) and/or immediate (37%) loss of sales. In addition, a whopping 96% of sales professionals feel they could use help in the early stages of the sales cycle.

“There’s a need for accurate and strong contact details and prospecting info,” said Henry Spitzer, Lusha’s VP of Sales, in an exclusive interview with Demand Gen Report. “Anything that a sales rep can do at the beginning of the sales cycle to make sure they’re prioritizing their efforts — the right way — is critical. We all have a limited number of hours in the day; in the state of sales and the economy right now, efficiency in all your processes is the most important thing right now.”

The Need For Better Leads

One of the primary findings revolved around the importance of leads — but not in their traditional, “Hey, we found a prospect for you, reach out to them now” form. Instead, the research uncovered that sales reps want more information on a singular prospect to better inform outreach strategies for more personalized, targeted communication.

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“Although salespeople are regarded as looking for better leads, the survey found that almost 50% of salespeople are actually just looking for better and more accurate contact info and general data about the prospect,” explained Spitzer. “Only 13% of salespeople were looking for better leads; the majority of what they need is more information about their prospects.”

Additional findings about the importance of well-rounded leads include:

  • 20% of sales reps’ monthly outreach calls are not optimally targeted and do not materialize into sales;
  • 96% of sales professionals feel they could use help in the early stages of the sales cycle, with the majority (30%) saying they would like more information about their prospects to initiate conversations; and
  • While 95% report already having access to sales intelligence technologies provided by their companies, nearly two-thirds (60%) report having to supplement these with additional tools and/or prospecting efforts.

“The most troubling finding is that 20% of the work that salespeople do, in terms of prospecting, doesn’t materialize into sales,” said Spitzer. “In other words, that means that one day out of the work week is incredibly unproductive and generates no tangible results. Again, that goes back to the need for better data and, specifically, more top-of- funnel prospecting insights so sales teams can ensure they’re prioritizing their time effectively at the beginning of the sales process.”

The Damage Of Poor Outreach

Flipping the script, respondents were asked to tap into their experiences as a prospect. They were clearly aware of the damage that poorly targeted sales calls can have, as 80% indicated that they are put off in some way when receiving irrelevant and/or wrongly targeted sales outreach from other companies looking to sell to them and 29% reported that they’d be unlikely to do business with the company as a result.

“The research shows that salespeople are accountable, and they want to make an impact — but oftentimes, there’s too much noise,” said Spitzer. “It’s important to have a plan and work with the right data from the beginning of the sale to multi-thread the account and work with several people. It all comes back to this point that there’s no such thing as a single decision-maker anymore; you need to spread yourself broadly throughout the organization and, to do that, you need to have the right data and contact data on multiple stakeholders within the target organization.”

For more insights into “The State Of B2B Sales 2022,” check out the full report here.

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