Executive Summary – Closing the Sales Coverage Gap

Recent research from some of the world’s most respected sales and marketing consultancies shows that the current B2B sales model no longer works.

  • 80% of contacts in a Sales Representative’s territory are never contacted (DBD Research)
  • 52% of sales people don’t make their targets (CSO Insights Study)
  • 94% of marketing qualified leads will never close (Sirius Decisions Survey).

One reason is the Sales Coverage Gap. Most B2B companies have a Sales Coverage Gap but many don’t realise it, or don’t understand just how critical it is.

In a nutshell, most companies that sell B2B are effectively covering less than 20% of their target market. The number of accounts and the people within those accounts that sales reps are expected to cover are significantly higher than their capacity to cover them. Many decision makers, recommenders and influencers are never contacted while the ones who are contacted are often called in an unplanned and haphazard manner.

People want to do business with people and companies that they trust and it’s hard to build trust when you never speak to someone.

What’s more, when sales calls are made the information that’s gleaned usually isn’t recorded centrally, if at all. It remains in the sales rep’s head or on their tablet unless there is already a forecasted opportunity. Even then, that information, and whatever relationship there is, often disappears when the sales rep leaves or is reassigned. The net result is that;

  • Up to 4 out of 5 sales opportunities are missed or are discovered too late in the process
  • 80% of all contacts are vulnerable to competitive attack
  • Many companies may be making incorrect assumptions about a vendor that can’t be corrected
  • Potential customers are making decisions over which the vendor has no input or influence
  • They may not know that the vendor has the capability to help them solve their problem
  • In some cases they may not even know the vendor exists
  • They could go through the entire buyer’s journey and make a purchase without the vendor knowing about it

Vendors waste significant time, money and effort chasing deals where they are simply making up the  numbers because;

  • The vendor got into the deal too late
  • The vendor has no pre‐existing relationship and hasn’t developed any trust
  • A competitor is driving the agenda and has written or influenced the requirements.

Digital marketing goes some way towards making potential customers aware of a vendor’s capabilities and perhaps building a small degree of relationship. But the senior executives who set priorities and make decisions are unlikely to be spending a lot of time on the Internet looking for products and services.

They are busy making decisions.

Trusted relationships need to be built person to person over time, not remotely via automated emails and marketing automation. And it’s impossible for most sales representatives to do this effectively for all the companies in their territories – the numbers simply don’t add up. That’s the Sales Coverage Gap.

The Database Dept. helps our Clients to close that gap so they can sell more.

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