B2B Prospecting Challenges
From the Front Lines
About the Survey 03
■ Challenges 06
■ Skills Required 07
■ The Realities of Outbound Prospecting 13
■ Training 21
About ValueSelling Associates 23
About Selling Power23
Table of ContentsChallenges of Prospecting
No one really likes to prospect. According to HubSpot Research, more than 40% of sales people say
prospectng is the most difcult part of their job. Yet, everyone knows it is necessary to succeed in sales.
At ValueSelling Associates, our goal with this survey is to uncover the challenges of prospectng,
so that sales organizatons can develop the skills to connect with and engage prospects more efectvely.
We partnered with Selling Power, a mult-channel media company that produces Selling Power
magazine, to conduct the survey across a wide variety of sales roles.
An executve summary of our fndings with key insights follows.
You’ll also see – queston by queston – how the sales professionals view the challenges of prospectng.
At the end of this report, we ofer some recommendatons for more efcient and efectve sales
prospectng so that your sales teams can be more successful.
If you have any questons on this survey, or would like to learn more, please contact us:
Keep up to date with the latest informaton on our simple and efectve process-based approach to
sales performance improvement:
Check out our website: valueselling, and subscribe to receive complimentary webinars and
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About the SurveyExecutive Summary
■One out of two B2B sales reps fear making cold calls.
■The number one challenge that salespeople face when trying to set up an inital meetng is
reaching the prospect.
■By a wide margin, the most efectve method of reaching prospects was client referrals
followed by cold calls.
■The three most important skills necessary for connectng with new prospects,
were reported as:
1) doing research to identfy target prospects who are decision makers
2) getng an introducton via referral
3) face-to-face networking
■ Respondents feel that many of their peers are good, very good, or excellent at the #1 skill:
doing research to identfy target prospects.
■ Consistently making cold calls was the skill that scored the lowest with 25% of average reps
marked as poor.
■More than half (54%) of inital meetngs required more than fve touch points to secure
■Organizaton, consistency, and persistence are foundatonal skills for efectve prospectng.
■Reps are not spending enough tme on prospectng. Only 18% of sales reps spent nine hours
or more on prospectng each week.
■Repeated, incremental training on prospectng and setng up inital meetngs is essental
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