The only way to consistently grow in B2B is to be better than very good- Seth Godin
Did you know that 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase?
Gone are the days when you could easily pitch about your product and convince a buyer to pay.
Currently, the stakes are very high in B2B sales. The modern b2b buyers are well-informed and smart. They carefully research before connecting with a sales rep. The modern B2B buyers know what they want, they’ve set their buying parameters.
Moreover, they are surrounded by a wide range of options. Which means you don’t only have to handle smart buyers but also deal with fierce competition. Buyers receive more than ten sales presentations in a day. Your competitors are constantly targeting them.
To succeed in the B2B sales battleground, you don’t only need to exceed the expectations of the buyers but also step ahead of the competitors by embracing innovation.
“You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You need to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently” – Steve Jobs
Decoding B2B sales
B2B sales is the widely used abbreviation for business-to-business sales. A selling model where one business sells its products or services to another business. Unlike B2C sales, B2B sales have a longer buying cycle, higher price point and more hurdles for closing a deal. Here you are dealing with experienced decision-makers who are looking for the best deals and excellent product to multiply their profits.
B2B sales is becoming incredibly complex. You need to plan and stay prepared for winning in this highly complex and competitive environment. Understanding the B2B buyers as well as having the right strategies and b2b sales tools is imperative for climbing the stairs of success.
Adapting to the modern B2B buyers
With more information easily available, customers are taking the smarter route to purchase a product. For increasing your B2B sales, you need to understand how the customers are making purchases. B2B buyers aren’t ready to settle for anything. Over the last few years, there has been a massive change in the buyer’s behavior.
1. The expectations are rising
B2B buyers want everything but at cost-effective price. Their demands are surging at a great pace. They are looking for a more customized yet easy to use solution at a great price. Competitors are low balling their prices to attract such customers.
Yes, you must meet the expectations of your potential customers, but you don’t need to join the crowd and lower your price like others.
- Try to offer more benefits to these customers.
- Focus on value.
- Find out what your customers want and try to meet as well as exceed their expectations.
B2B buyers don’t mind paying if they get value for their money. 52% buyers said they would pay more for speedy and efficient customer experience.
“Customer experience is the next competitive battleground” – Jerry Gregoire
2. Buyers want to see proof
Most of the sellers do not deliver what they promise during the B2B sales process. Initially, companies claim that their products can do a lot of things, but later they disappoint the buyers. This is the reason why most of the buyers do not trust the B2B sellers. They expect to see proof.
In modern B2B sales, it is necessary to gain the trust and confidence of the buyers. Ensure them you are not like those companies who just make big promises.
- Give them proof of the value you provide.
- Show them facts and statistics.
- Give them demos.
Let them use your product and see for themselves what your product can do. Make the customers feel more comfortable about doing business with you.
3. Buyers intent to speak to the specialist
Having a high level of product knowledge is essential for winning in this competitive landscape. Some sellers are either nervous or not prepared.
They memorize the major points of few features just to sell the product. They aren’t interested in understanding or helping the buyers. So, when buyers question such sellers out of the blue, they either go blank or just beat around the bush.
Buyers want to interact with experts who know everything about their field and the product they sell. Such specialists can help them in their buying process.
- Give your sales reps proper training about the product
- Ask them to use to product for seeing how it works
- Create a sales playbook and encourage your sales team to use it
Make a good impression on your buyers by guiding them on the right route and give them reasons to move ahead in the B2B sales process.
4. Customers want personalization and real-time communication
Buyers don’t prefer generalized content. They don’t want to know what you can do for others. Buyers are just interested in knowing what your product can do for them. They are the ones who are going to spend their money, so they expect your complete attention.
Seventy-four percent of B2B buyers agree that receiving personalized offers has a strong or impact of advancing customer relationships.
Moreover, customers can’t wait, they want a response to their queries in real-time. If they feel they are not getting timely attention, then they will immediately explore more options and switch to the competitors.
- Personalization can help in building loyalty
- Personalize the emails and the content you send to your potential buyers
- Refer to them and their problems directly
- Use automated workflows to connect with your buyers in real-time
Personalization and real-time communication can help in providing a positive experience that they can share with others.
“The best advertising is done by satisfied customer” – Philip Kotler
Where are you lacking? -The problem
Finding it difficult to close your B2B sales? Here are the possible reasons for that:
1. Wasting time on non-selling activities
One of the main reasons why sales reps lose B2B opportunities is because of poor time management. Sales reps spend 35.2% of their time selling and 65% on non-selling activities.
They spend their precious hours on repetitive tasks such as sending emails, updating records, distributing deals, etc. They don’t have time to plan new B2B selling strategies or nurture the deal, which is why most of the opportunities slip through the cracks.
The time-consuming tasks can be easily eliminated using the right automation tool. You can add more time to your day and focus on tasks that can generate revenue be embracing sales automation tool. By setting simple workflows, you can automate most of the reductant tasks like follow-up or deal distribution.
2. Targeting wrong prospects
Most of the sales prospects do all that they can to capture and convert prospects into paying customers.
They draft compelling emails using various email tips, enhance their sales communication with effective scripts and use different cold calling techniques for successful prospecting. Still, their B2B sales conversion rate is low. Sounds familiar? Happened with you as well?
This happens when you target the buyers who don’t need your product. You end up wasting your time, resources and money.
Change your gear and focus on the right buyers. Wondering how will you that? It is simple, develop a detailed profile of how your ideal customers looks like.
Find out their traits and objectives. You can refer to the profile of your satisfied customers for taking help. Check what were their interest, challenges and buying patterns. You can even create a negative buyer persona to know who you should avoid while prospecting.
3. Miscommunication between departments
The marketing and sales teams don’t often work hand in hand. There is often miscommunication and confusion between these two teams. They are busy playing the blame game.
The marketing team complains that they put in efforts and capture leads, but the sales teams aren’t converting it. The sales team, on the other hand, blames the marketing team for sharing low-quality leads. The company’s profits suffer in this conflict.
When sales and marketing processes don’t work together, B2B Companies experience a 10% loss of revenue or more per year. (source)
There needs to be transparency and collaboration between these two teams. It is necessary to break the wall and align the sales and marketing team. They should work together to fulfill the company’s common goals.
The sales and marketing teams can coordinate and discuss strategies for lead generation and conversion. It would be helpful to implement a technology like sales CRM to keep both the teams on the same page. By doing this, everyone will know what is going in the sales process. There would be more clarity and better collaboration.
The to-do for improving B2B sales success
If an appliance isn’t working properly wouldn’t you fix or replace it. Same is the case with your B2B sales. If you are unable to achieve B2B sales success, then it is time to change the approach.
1. Bolster your sales team
Several companies fail to meet their B2B sales goals because they pay little or no attention to the gaps. If you are unable to reach your desired results, then there might be certain hurdles that are obstructing your path. It is necessary to find and address those hurdles.
Your sales reps are the pillars of your organization. You might fall if they aren’t strong enough. So, ensure you help and guide them in the right direction.
Evaluate each sales rep’s performance using various sales reporting tools and find out the areas of improvement. See what’s not working and help them understand what needs to be changed. Making your salespeople better is the only fastest route to reach your B2B sales goal.
2. Create a sales plan
Planning is crucial in sales. You need to set objectives and decide the strategies to achieve them. If you haven’t created a sales plan for your B2B company, then it is high time you create one, or your team will just wander in the wilderness. So, keep them on track with a systematic sales plan.
The journey becomes easy when the destination is in front of you. You know where you need to go and what you need to do. Streamline this B2B sales journey for your team by setting a milestone and creating a timeline to reach it. With the help of various sales plan templates, you can easily create one for your sales team.
3. Improve on your long-term ideas.
Most of the sales reps just think about the current sales. For them, B2B sales is all about closing right now. They don’t think about the long-term relationship with their customers. They close a deal and immediately focus on the next prospect.
For long-term success, it is necessary to keep the existing clients happy.
Yes, it is necessary to close more sales but you even to concentrate on retaining the existing clients. Customer churn can negatively affect your B2B business sales and revenue. So, ensure you don’t forget them once they sign the deal.
Moreover, an unsatisfied experience can result in negative reviews. And bad word of mouth spreads like wildfire.
Keep interacting with your customers. Engage them with newsletters and informative blogs. Call them to take their feedback. If they are facing any problem, then address them quickly.
Strategies for increasing B2B sales
B2B sales is like a jigsaw puzzle; you just need to match the right pieces to succeed in it. Here are strategies for increasing your B2B sales.
1. Research about your target prospects before connecting
For convincing the prospects to invest in your product you need to impress them. Conduct in-depth research about the prospects before talking to them. Browse through their website, PR and social media profile for collecting relevant information about them. By doing this, you can find the common topics to engage the prospects.
Read reviews written about them on various reviewing sites for understanding their weak and strong areas. Try to discover their business pain points, challenges, and objectives. This will help you in presenting your product in a way that it solves the prospect’s problems.
2. Have a consultative approach
Don’t be a mere seller but try to be a consultant to the prospect. Help them in overcoming their current problems. They need someone who understands them and helps them in growing their business.
Present yourself as a trusted advisor. When prospects are comfortable, they will share their true concerns. Only when you know their real concerns you can give them a solution and show how your product can benefit them.
Assure your prospects that you are here to help them genuinely. Try to build a good rapport with them; provide tips and recommend a few books or online courses.
3. Unlock secrets with open-ended questions
Few sales prospect hesitate in questioning the prospects. Therefore, it becomes difficult for them to discover the prospect’s real needs.
You can’t sell the product till you know your prospects well. Fearlessly ask relevant questions to your prospects. Avoid general questions.
There are a few answers that you can find it on the internet. This is the reason I asked you to research your prospects before contacting them.
Put forward the right questions to get the details you can’t find on their website or social media profile. Listen to prospects while they are answering your questions. Their answers might have hints to close the deal.
4. Sell actual business outcome
Your product is perfectly designed; it has wide number of features. Great! But customers aren’t interested in that. They just want to know the bottom-line results.
What is the outcome of using your product? What can they achieve? A generalized sales pitch won’t work here.
The only way to attract them is by showing them the big picture. Visualize the sales transformation you can bring with this product and help the prospect in understanding it.
5. Create case studies
Case studies play a vital role in building credibility and earning the customers’ trust. Most of the B2B buyers (73%) use case studies to make a purchasing decision. So, press the rewind button and analyze your past sales.
Make a list of your satisfied customers and create their case studies. Include data and quotes explaining how you helped the companies in growing and increasing their profits. What changes did your product bring?
Try and use statistics as much as possible. These case studies serve as proof of your work. Show your new prospects what you’ve done in the past through these informative case studies.
6. Don’t be too aggressive while selling
Most of the sales reps are in a hurry of closing the deal. So, they keep emailing prospects to get a response quickly. This often exasperates the buyer.
Yes, you need to follow-up, but you must even give your prospects a little time to think. Investing in a product is a big decision and there might be many people involved in this buying decision.
So, wait patiently. Track your emails to check if your prospects are reading your emails. Based on their email clicks you can plan your next follow-up. But ensure you don’t be too pushy.
In the B2B world, the buyer goes to the companies who give them the best results. So, just focus on offering the best to your B2B buyers. Make necessary amendments in real-time.
Take the feedback from your existing clients and try to make your product stronger. Find out what your customers want and where are you lacking.
A powerful product will attract more customers. Keep yourself self-abreast with the latest trends and new strategies. Manage your B2B process effeiciently. Experiment with new things. Use smart tools.
Salesmate is one such advanced tool that can help you in increasing your B2B sales. With Salesmate, you can keep a tab on your B2B sales process and take timely actions.
You can create multiple pipelines for different industries and manage their sales systematically. It allows you to set workflows for automating most of the tasks. You can create reports to track your sales performance.
With it its built-in virtual phone system you can buy the numbers of your preferred countries and target local customers. Try Salesmate for free to explore its various features.