Selling products and services to other businesses or organizations tends to be tougher than selling to individuals. Unlike regular consumers, business-to-business (B2B) clients usually have higher stakes and therefore longer sales processes—not to mention your pitch may need to go through a lot of people.
So, how do you make the most out of your B2B sales opportunities? Read on to find out the top 10 B2B sales strategies to boost your chances of closing the deal.
B2B sales is the process of selling a product or service to another organization. B2B sales come in many shapes and forms, such as:
B2B sales are usually driven by a B2B sales representative or other employees that are responsible for closing the deal. Their scope of work includes conducting sales calls, setting pitch meetings with potential customers, running product demonstrations, managing client relationships, and other activities related to the B2B sales process.
B2B sales reps are further divided into two types that require different skill sets:
While inside and outside sales tend to have different phases, the regular B2B sales process consists of eight key steps:
B2B sales tend to have higher stakes compared to B2C sales, and many people also say it’s tougher. But why is B2B sales hard? Here are several potential reasons:
These days, B2B sales can’t depend on your salespeople simply recommending products to potential clients. Most companies nowadays are savvy enough to know what they need, and they take the time to look into alternatives that can solve their issues.
With the increasing power of modern buyers comes a new challenge for B2B salespeople. You can’t just claim that your product or service is the best because the prospect may challenge you on it or research alternatives before coming to a purchase decision. The best way to win business deals these days is to prove that you’re the best, and that needs a strategy.
A B2B sales strategy is a plan to help you close deals and convince prospective customers to buy your product or service. These strategies should be reliable and reproducible, which means that they need to consistently score deals with your prospects.
Keep in mind that marketing strategies and sales strategies are two completely different things. A marketing strategy creates awareness for your product or service among your target market, while a sales strategy persuades specific buyers to purchase your product or service. That being said, these two need to work hand-in-hand to be effective.
A good B2B strategy is the crux of modern B2B sales. Today’s B2B sales landscape brings more challenges not faced by salespeople in the past, like:
A good, constantly-evolving sales strategy is crucial to solving the aforementioned issues. In addition to being a playbook on what to do and what not to do when making sales pitches, it can also be modified as your team encounters issues and chokepoints. This way, you’ll have a list of best sales practices to follow whenever you’re making a sales pitch to potential buyers.
Looking for inspiration to create your own B2B sales strategy? Here are ten ways you can improve your sales strategy and boost your likelihood of closing deals.
If we put it in sports terms, your marketing team is the playmaker while your sales rep is the scorer. Both divisions could work separately, but a strong synergy between sales and marketing teams makes them stronger than the sum of their parts.
With a good marketing effort, your prospects will know about what you’re selling far before your salesperson makes a call—making it easier for you to deliver a pitch.
Preparation is essential before any sales call or pitch meeting. Always think about how you can solve your prospect’s problems and provide solutions in the pitch or sales call. By addressing their pain points directly, you’re more likely to gain the client’s trust and attention.
So, you’ve finished the sales call or pitch meeting—now what? Many B2B sellers make the common mistake of not following up with a prospect. Always follow up with leads after first contact—they’ll feel valued and it reminds them to consider your pitch again.
Not closing the deal immediately doesn’t mean that the customer will never buy from you. Keep nurturing your leads by continuing frequent value-adding conversations and communications.
Even if your product or service caters to many industries, approaching every single industry as your target market leads to impersonal and ineffective sales approaches.
Instead of casting a wide net and then drilling down to find companies that are interested in your product, flip the script. Identify your target companies first, then approach them with personalized sales solutions. This makes them feel special and more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.
Phone calls and emails aren’t the only ways to contact a prospect. Many individuals at companies are fine with being approached via social media by vendors. However, you should ensure that anything you send to somebody’s social media account still feels personalized and genuine instead reading like of a cookie-cutter message.
Don’t take your existing customers for granted. In addition to finding more prospects, check in with your existing customer base to see if there’s anything else you can provide. You don’t even need to sell them something—a simple greeting or a personalized message can make your customer feel like a valued client and improve customer loyalty.
You can also consider upselling or cross-selling your offerings to existing clients. People.ai offers account planning and white space analysis tools that help you identify what else you can offer to clients.
Referrals are a great way to get your foot in more doors. All you need to do is ask current customers to refer your company to their peers, and you’ll get a pre-warmed lead ready for following up.
A good salesperson is able to put themselves in the buyer’s shoes. Go through the sales cycle yourself and see how it feels—is it nice and simple or is it too complicated and long? If it’s a bad experience, suggest how the customer journey can be improved.
Lost leads shouldn’t be mourned—they should be learned from. Always follow up on lost leads and ask them why they decided to drop out of the process. Based on their feedback, make the necessary improvements in the sales process.
Since B2B sales is tougher than selling to individual consumers, you need a refined and effective strategy if you plan on closing lots of deals. To get started, follow the ten tips above.
B2B selling is divided into four categories based on who you’re selling to:
To create a stellar B2B sales strategy, you need to do these six things:
Here are some essential sales skills that you need to have to become a great B2B sales rep: