Table of Contents

b2b sales consulting

Table of Contents

Founders and business owners often consider B2B sales consulting as a potential solution to help solve their sales problems. Hiring a consultant to help with sales can often lead to new revenue gains. However, if it was as easy as hiring a B2B sales consulting firm to come in and fix your sales challenges, companies would never have any sales problems. We know this isn’t true so in this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know when considering bringing in a B2B sales consultant.

What is B2B Sales Consulting

B2B sales consulting is provided by a service provider that helps businesses, including startups, solve sales challenges. This can cover various categories of sales responsibilities, including but not limited to; sales strategy, processes, hiring, training, coaching, advising, and other sales related tasks. B2B sales consulting services can be provided by individuals or consulting firms who have expertise in sales and who can help businesses improve their sales performance by providing strategic advice, implementing best practices, and offering training and coaching to their sales teams.

Sales consulting is often used when internal personnel are unable to solve a sales challenge or an outside perspective is needed.

B2B Sales Consulting for Startups

B2B sales consulting for startups is different because often the stage of the startup will dictate the challenges and consultant required. For pre-seed or seed stage startups, a B2B sales consultant will work closely with the Founders. At a later stage company, say a Series B startup, a sales consultant will likely be working with sales leadership, not a Founder. The needs at these stages are vastly different.

For an early stage company, B2B sales consulting could mean coaching the founders on how to sell or building out the first versions of the sales playbook. Whereas at a later stage startup, a B2B sales consultant is going to be building out processes or optimizing them, to help the startup scale their revenue organization more efficiently.

B2B Sales Consulting Responsibilities

The main responsibility when it comes to B2B sales consulting is to solve the sales challenge for the client. A sales consultant should come in and determine what is working, what is not working, and what can be optimized. The first thing a competent consultant will do is not mess with what is working well. Too often, sales consultants will want to force their beliefs, strategies, or tactics onto a company without understanding what is working. This feels right for the consultant but the client will quickly lose confidence. Spending time up front to understand a client’s sales operation is key to a successful sales consulting engagement.

During a B2B sales consulting engagement, other responsibilities include: keeping the client up to date, measuring progress, and delivering on as much of the SOW as possible. Given the nature of these engagements, it is not uncommon for things to change as more is understood about the client’s current situation. That requires a sales consultant to be flexible in order to help solve the pressing overarching sales problem they were hired to help solve.

When Should Companies Consider A B2B Sales Consultant

Companies should hire a B2B sales consultant when they have a sales challenge they’re unable to overcome with internal resources or require an outside perspective. More specifically, a consultant should be hired when a business or startup needs specialized expertise, support, or guidance that they do not have in-house.

  1. Do we have the expertise in house to solve for this problem or need?
  2. Do we have the budget to hire a B2B sales consultant?
  3. Can we find the right B2B sales consulting company or individual?
  4. Is this a priority for us to invest time and money into a sales consulting expert?

The second question is self explanatory but any type of specialized consulting is not going to be cheap. B2B sales consulting varies based on the type of engagement but can range from $100/hr to $750/hr. Obviously, the length of the engagement is going to be a substantial variable to determine cost.

Anyone with a little bit of sales experience is going to believe they can become a sales consulting powerhouse. Unfortunately, most people are not cut out to help companies, especially startups. Vetting your B2B sales consultant is critical and we’ll discuss more below.

An outside service provider is going to require the time of your leadership and possibly individual contributors. It’s important to know that this is a priority to focus on. If hiring a B2B sales consulting expert is not given the focus required, you’ll waste your money. As mentioned above, it’s not cheap. But the time your team may need to allocate to working with the sales consulting firm or individual needs to be considered. This is something you should discuss before starting the sales consulting engagement.

What Can B2B Sales Consulting Help With

B2B sales consulting can help with a wide range of sales related responsibilities. Let’s break some common items below.

Startups

Established Companies

Top Benefits of a B2B Sales Consultant

When it comes to B2B sales consulting, there are a few key benefits companies who have a successful engagement see.

Almost always they’ll see an increase in revenue. This can be done in two main ways. Either improving the conversion rate or increasing the volume of new leads created via outbound sales. The great thing about a sales consulting is that when it works, it often works very well. The impact to revenue should be obvious.

Quality B2B sales consultants can come into a company, identify problems, and design solutions. Often, companies, especially startups, are making basic mistakes. By focusing on getting the fundamental right, B2B sales consultants can have an immediate impact.

Sales consulting for startups often provide a strong sales foundation for Founders who would otherwise be lost. Technical founders can benefit immensely because they simply do not know what they don’t know. Hiring a B2B sales consultant can accelerate their startup because things they would have figure out on their own, that may take months or even years, can be solved by a sales consultant in weeks.

Additionally, sales consulting can help improve processes and create structure. This type of work sets established companies up to improve their margins and helps startups scale more efficiently. Often a process or strategy doesn’t change because it’s what the company knows. When an outside sales consulting expert comes in, they may spot opportunities that have been overlooked.

Finding impactful, easy wins are fairly common for experienced sales consultants. It’s not unusual for sales consulting experts to spot a process issue or sales blunder that can be solved fairly easily which results in an immediate gain for the company or startup.

Pros of B2B Sales Consulting

B2B sales consulting has some clear benefits for companies. Here are few pros:

  • Increase revenue
  • Improve conversion rate
  • Shorten sales cycle
  • Increase deal size
  • Improve retention
  • Improve quota attainment
  • Increase the number of qualified leads

Cons of B2B Sales Consulting

There is going to be some element of risk when hiring an outside service provider. The biggest negative is the cost (assuming things don’t go well), followed by the potential wasted time. It’s also possible that the problem that you think needs to be solved is not the actual problem that needs solving.

A simple example is a startup saying they are not generating enough new meetings via sales prospecting so they need a B2B sales consultant to help them improve their sales prospecting function to generate more leads. An inexperienced consultant will try to sign the client and this can lead to a failure to improve the business. Why would that happen? Because the real problem may not be that they need more meetings with prospects. They may need a way to improve their conversion rate. This is a real example where a prospect told us that they needed more qualified meetings. When they told us their conversion rate was 1% on 100 qualified meetings, we knew the client needed to change course before a sales consulting engagement could begin.

Fortunately, we’ll discuss below about what you should be looking for when engaging with a B2B sales consulting expert.

What To Look For When Hiring A B2B Sales Consultant

Vetting for a potential sales consulting engagement is relatively straightforward.

Some key things you want to have clarity on before hire a B2B sales consultant:

  • their area of expertise
  • how much experience do they have with the type of thing you need help with
  • what client references can they share (key)
  • do you feel comfortable working with them (trust your gut)
  • determine what does a successful engagement look like
  • how often will you be communicating with them
  • if you’re a startup founder you’ll want to know what hours they work and how responsive they are (founders work odd hours, some consultants do not)
  • and do you think you’ll enjoy working with them

When Not To Hire A B2B Sales Consultant For Startups or SMBs

While B2B sales consultants can provide valuable expertise and guidance, there are situations where hiring one may not be necessary or beneficial. Here are some scenarios in which hiring a B2B sales consultant might not be the best course of action:

  1. Limited budget: If your business has a tight budget and limited resources, hiring a B2B sales consultant may not be financially feasible. Consultants often charge significant fees, and if your organization cannot afford it, it may be more prudent to allocate resources to other essential areas.
  2. Lack of internal readiness: Hiring a B2B sales consultant is most effective when your organization is ready to implement the recommended strategies and changes. If your team is not open to change or lacks the capacity to implement the consultant’s recommendations, the engagement may not yield the desired results.
  3. Fundamental business issues: B2B sales consultants typically specialize in helping you solve sales challenges. However, if your business is grappling with fundamental issues such as product-market fit or operational issues unrelated to sales that are a major priority to solve, addressing these foundational problems should take precedence over hiring a sales consultant.
  4. Lack of specialized industry knowledge: Although not always an issue, for certain highly regulated industries or government sales, a quality B2B sales consultant will excel when they possess in-depth knowledge and understanding of the specific industry challenges. If you operate in a highly specialized or niche market, finding a consultant with the necessary industry expertise may be challenging. If you have issues with sales fundamentals, industry expertise may not be as important.
  5. Existing strong sales team: If your company already has a well-functioning, experienced, and successful sales team, the need for a B2B sales consultant may be minimal. In this situation, the resources and efforts may be better directed toward continuous training, mentorship, or other forms of professional development for your existing team.

Remember that each business is unique, and the decision to hire a B2B sales consultant depends on various factors, including your specific needs, goals, and available resources. Assess your situation carefully before making a decision to ensure the most effective use of your resources.

B2B Sales Strategy Consulting Recap

B2B sales strategy consulting is a specialized service offered to businesses operating in the B2B market, including startups. It involves engaging with expert B2B sales consultants who provide analysis, guidance, and recommendations to optimize a company’s sales strategies and drive revenue growth.

The primary objective of B2B sales strategy consulting is to enhance a company’s sales performance, improve customer acquisition and retention, and ultimately drive profitability. Consultants will work closely with the client’s sales team and leadership to understand the unique dynamics of their industry, target market, and competitive landscape.

The consulting process typically begins with a comprehensive assessment of the current sales strategy, including the sales process, methodologies, tools, and metrics. Consultants gather data, conduct interviews, and analyze the overall business and sales process, to get a deep understanding of the client’s business and its sales challenges.

Based on this analysis, consultants develop tailored recommendations and a roadmap for improving the client’s sales strategy. This may include identifying new target markets or customer segments, refining the sales process, implementing effective sales methodologies, enhancing sales team training and development programs, and optimizing the use of B2B sales technology and CRM systems.

B2B sales strategy consultants may also provide other help. This can include guidance on competitive positioning and differentiation. They conduct competitive analysis, identify key competitors, and develop strategies to outperform them in the market. This may involve developing compelling value propositions, refining pricing strategies, and creating effective sales collateral and messaging.

Throughout the consulting engagement, consultants collaborate closely with the client’s sales team, providing coaching, training, and ongoing support. They help implement the recommended strategies, monitor progress, and make necessary adjustments to ensure continuous improvement.

The benefits of B2B sales strategy consulting are numerous. It enables businesses to gain a fresh perspective on their sales approach, leverage industry expertise, and capitalize on best practices. By optimizing sales strategies, companies can enhance their competitive advantage, drive revenue growth, and achieve long-term success in the B2B market.

Why Startups, SMBs, and Other Companies Should Consider B2B Sales Consulting Help

B2B sales consulting can have a material impact on your business. Unlike certain areas of a business, the ROI on a good sales consultant can be significant. Revenue is the lifeblood of all organizations and it’s possible they help you take your business to the next level. Often, companies are making basic sales mistake or lack the in house expertise required to solve various sales challenges. By bringing in a sales consultant or sales process consultant, companies of all sizes can see substantial benefits the same way they can from working with the best sales consulting providers.

Get in touch to discuss your sales challenges!