3 reasons why buyers don’t respond to your irresistible B2B offer (with solutions)

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

In B2B sales, where business-to-business interactions define the pace and progress, 60% of B2B enterprise deals end in no decision. Think about this. Let it sink in. 60%. This means you are not just competing with competitors but the status quo as well.

The number one reason why you won’t get your next client is that they’ll just end up not changing anything. 

And it’s a pain in the ass. You are putting all that effort into creating presentation decks, the offers, and all those calls with different decision-makers in the buying process, only for the client to ghost you.

All the while, you are strapped for cash because those long B2B sales cycles aren’t bringing in any fast cash. You have investors breathing down your neck, expecting results, and your team depends on you. 

So, let’s get into the reasons why the “no decisions” happen in B2B offerings and how to tailor your marketing strategy so you can improve your conversion rates and shorten your sales cycles.

Reason 1: Not accepting your perfect B2B offer is the easiest thing to do

Yup, that’s right, one major problem with SaaS sales, especially when selling major projects to enterprise clients, is that the simplest solution is to do nothing.

Think about it. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. If somebody among the decision-makers backs your deal, they are putting their name on the line. 

They are taking a risk. 

  • If something goes wrong, 
  • if your team doesn’t deliver, 
  • if your software doesn’t deliver, 
  • if the team doesn’t embrace the software, 

they have backed a huge project that failed.

That risk is much higher when you are a startup. The risk of the startup running out of cash or going under is huge, and changing software once the team is using it is difficult. So the easiest, safest way to go is to… do nothing.

So even if things go well… 

You start the project, integrate the software into the company, help them set up the processes, and help the team learn the software. Even that is a big undertaking: getting the client’s team to embrace your software. The learning curve is steep, and the pain of learning new software, especially for non-tech-savvy people, is huge.

safe vs risky in b2b offer

But let’s say everything goes well, the team starts using the software, they like it, they get used to it, and then you run out of money, and your startup fails. Sure, there are contingency plans, but you want the software to get regular updates and new features, not have the software kept alive and on life support.

There is also a psychological factor to this. From an emotional perspective, change is hard. Just think about the last time you wanted to change something about yourself. How much effort and discipline does it take to really make a change? 

It’s easy not to make the change. Everything stays the same. You still get to your office on Monday and use the same software you have been using for the past years. Nothing changes. Easy, right?

That’s why the pain of not switching needs to be greater than the pain of switching. You really need to do well to paint a picture of what’s going to happen (the downside) if the client doesn’t switch to your product. If you don’t have that or can’t paint that picture, say goodbye to fast B2B sales.

So, the risk when working with startups is greater, and psychology works against you, which is why the slow growth approach is usually best. 

When we get those initial sales with my clients, whenever possible, we first target smaller companies. This helps us immensely in all aspects:

  • The sales cycles are shorter, which means a healthier cash flow.
  • The buying committee is smaller.
  • Their expectations are more easily managed.
  • Faster and easier sales mean more case studies and references, which helps build credibility with B2B businesses and their teams.

Reason 2: You are overcomplicating your offer

This is something I see often when my clients contact me for help. They put effort into creating the perfect offer and think through all the details of the products or services, the technical aspects, the integration, everything. 

Only to never hear from the client again. 

Bear in mind that I mostly work with highly complex tech products, so the offer is created by a highly intelligent, highly technical person who has all the knowledge on the industry, has been working within the industry for decades, and has successfully sold their software to clients in the past.

So what goes wrong?

Well, the first step we usually take with clients is to carefully review their offers. 

The offers are usually very detailed. They include a lot of information, technical text, and sometimes even sketches and technical data. 

In fact, the offers are too detailed. Too technical.

While it makes sense to you, as a technical startup founder who has been working in the industry for the past 10 years, the client might not have that experience. 

Because often, on the client side, the person taking a look at your offer isn’t the CEO of the company or somebody really experienced. It might be somebody relatively new to the industry who got the task of evaluating different software providers, filtering out the ones that won’t work, and forwarding those that are compatible ahead to the department head.

If your offer is highly technical, too technical to be understood by a novice, it might not even make it to the one that makes the purchasing decisions.

And you’ll be scratching your head on what went wrong. 

The solution? 

Simplify the offer. 

Wondering how to use what you have to clearly position your product as the go-to solution for your clients?
Listen to Maja Voje’s Go-To-Market Strategist Podcast where we discussed that.

You can always go into more detail and explain things further, but one of the keys to a good offer is clarity. Going very in-depth and technical reduces clarity. So, make sure you fully understand what your potential client is looking for in the software and explain how you will get them there.

And stop there.

Everything else, all other features, and all other benefits are redundant at this point. Show the client you have the solution they are looking for and nothing more. Everything else is a topic for another day.

This is the reason why, with my clients, we often analyze the sales process (the client’s buying process) so we fully understand how the client evaluates the software. 

This helps you stay on point in the offer. 

Another trick you can use is to prepare the offer, leave it aside for 24 hours, then go back in and check whether everything you have written is actually relevant for the client. Do they need to know that at this point in the sales process, or can we skip it and bring it in later?

The client needs to get all the information they are looking for, but not a lot more than that. Giving them more isn’t an advantage. It reduces clarity, making it more difficult to understand the offer and lowering the chances of them getting back to you.

Reason 3: You are talking to the wrong people

We already touched on this in the previous chapter. Your offers might not be read by the people you think are reading them. Your buyer’s persona might be wrong.

Initial assessments are usually not carried out by top management. This, by the way, is why targeting your website at the decision-maker might be the wrong idea. If you target the CEO of the company or someone from the management team, but the person coming to the website is actually someone much lower, they will have their own system of evaluating your software. 

They will have specific needs and different jobs to be done. They will need to see different benefits. 

The same goes for your offer. You need to know who evaluates your offer initially and write it (at least partly) for them. 

One of the major projects we do when starting with new clients is to map out the entire B2B sales process (or the client’s buying process).

We map out the entire network of people: 

  • who gets in touch with our service first, 
  • what they want to see, 
  • how they evaluate the offer, 
  • what they are looking for in the software, 
  • who they report to, 
  • who are other participants in the buying process, 
  • and when they come into play.

In enterprise sales, you’ll surely have legal, compliance, risk, and financial, in that process, but not necessarily on the calls. So you might never speak to them. But you still have to communicate what the benefits for them are. It’s important to know what they want and when to communicate the benefits for all these participants so everyone is on board. Making the decision to take “no decision” is so easy that you need to have everyone’s green light. They all need to see the value you are providing, or they will make that “no-decision” decision. 

Obviously, mapping everything out is a complex process. The problem is that the hierarchies differ from the size of the company, as well as between companies. 

Imagine if you have five products. You can sell each one to just three different customer segments. Each customer segment differs by size and from company to company, so you get countless options on who to sell to. 

You also need the relationships within them. Will the department head be ready to reach out if they hear about your product, or do they need an incentive, like a team member saying this is good software? Now, the department head has a reason to contact management.

But it’s crucial that you understand all of that because you need to build a scalable selling process. That’s why it’s imperative that you niche down and focus on a single customer segment. 

Having 126 different entry points for different types of customers for whom you then need to do some custom work is not a scalable business model. 

This is exactly the case we had with one of my clients recently. The company has 6 products it can sell to at least 12 different customer segments that have different needs and different ways of evaluating software. On average, there are at least 5 people in the buying process, meaning we could start marketing their solutions in at least 380 different ways.

Product 1 to segment 1 to person 1.
Product 2 to segment 1 to person 1. 

b2b offer when trying to get buy in from clients

That’s not viable. So we used a positive market trend (a market that’s growing) and the assets we have in the company (the company’s differentiation) to focus our efforts on 4 customer segments that all have an immediate need now.

Because the need is immediate (in this case, it was a regulation change forcing the companies to use either our solution or one of the competitors), the no-decision is less of an option, as the company risks a penalty for not complying with the regulation.

The niching down helps us grow our market share within the industry much, much faster, leading to improved performance in the future due to higher credibility. Basically, we are eliminating the risk that comes when working with a startup.

If you are interested in how this process would look like for your company, don’t hesitate to reach out.

The complexity of B2B VS B2C Offers

One of the reasons why getting to B2B buyers is much much more difficult, compared to B2C customers, is that the deals are that much larger and therefore risky. 

Spending $200 on a wrong CRM or any other products and services won’t kill my company, while integrating the wrong solution into a company, have the company adapt it, only to figure out it’s b2b marketing was better than the solution itself, just might lose you your job.

B2B companies, therefore, need to make a ton more research into the solutions they are buying. And we, as B2B providers, need to be fully aware of our customer’s needs, so we can fully serve and satisfy them.

Here is a quick summary. 

The biggest reasons for you getting ghosted when you send out your offers are:

  • Because it’s easier to not change anything
  • Because your offer is too complicated
  • Because you are talking to the wrong people.

If you find this useful, subscribe to my newsletter so you get notified when I publish new stuff. Go check out the video, comment, and reach out to me on LinkedIn.

Next, we’ll take a deeper look at how to position your offer so buyers won’t just understand it, but happily accept it.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Get the latest on positioning,...

… directly to your inbox. Because great marketing starts with great positioning.