Sales can generally be a stressful art to master, making B2B sales even more confusing and complex. In this article we run through some of the best B2B sales strategies that really work for businesses.
Hollywood paints it as a hard core, alpha male driven, chest beating profession to be in. Often depicted by ruthless sales people rolling around in piles of money whilst leaving a path of destruction behind them.
But this couldn’t be further from truth, of course sales people do have to be highly motivated and self-starting. However, those that thrive long term in the sales games are those that work out how to benefit everyone and use the right tactics to achieve it.
Using influencers to generate sales is no new thing. As humans we have always been influenced by those that we hold in high regard. Although B2B influencer marketing is certainly trickier, working with key influencers and thought leaders in your industry is a sure fire way to provide powerful social proof that your products or services are some of the best around.
Unfortunately, businesses telling other businesses that what they offer is the best thing since sliced bread just doesn’t cut it any more. That is why influencers in the B2B space are so important, offering a valuable impartial third-party view.
Influencers can also help remedy a pain point for your customers. As customers and advocates themselves can show others how using your solution is the best option given the unique challenges that they and others in the industry are facing.
How to Identify Decision Makers
In the B2B space we often identify other businesses as our customers or potential customers. This works well in terms of marketing, identifying the business problems and then promoting how you solve them.
However, when it comes to sales this may not be the most practical answer. Again, this is not always the easiest to do, but by identifying the individual or team of individuals that actually make buying decisions within a business you will find it much easier to get them signing on the dotted line.
It is important not to waste too much time building relationships with those that cannot make the final decision to buy. However, these individuals can help you to identify those that do make the decision and, in some instances, influence them to buy.
How many unsolicited sales calls and emails have you had in the past month? The betting is quite a few.
People in businesses are always being sold to, being told that they need this or that product or service to help their business grow or make their lives easier. So much so that most people become numb to the fact and stop listening to what sales people have to say all together.
So how are we supposed to prove how great our business is to people who simply aren’t listening to what we have to say?
In modern markets, the only way to truly make people listen to you is by providing them with value first before asking for anything in return. Have you ever had a sales person call and offer you something for free that you really wanted or needed, but with no obligation to buy what they are selling?
Providing real value really catches people’s attention. This doesn’t have to mean lavish gifts but should be well thought out and tailored to their needs. Finding something of value is usually discovered from excellent listening skills.
Take for example you are selling graphic design software and you are targeting a graphic designer who has told you that they spend a lot of time finding the right dimensions for images on various social media platforms. By creating a really simple and quick to use guide to all the dimensions they need you will grab their attention easily.
Only once you have provided prospects with significant value will you have enough of their attention to communicate the benefits of your products and make the sale.
Carefully Qualify Potential Customers
When you are faced with a large number of potential customers for your business it is easy to get lost in where to allocate resource to get the best results. By carefully qualifying each potential customer it makes it a lot easier to give your most valuable prospects the most attention and therefore increase sales.
Doing this requires you to spend some time deciding exactly who your best customers are. Depending on how your business is set up, this can include aspects such as their potential spend, their size, the products and services they deliver, their credit terms and even simply how easy they are to deal with.
By having these guidelines your sales team will be able to quickly qualify the suitability of any prospects they come across.
Price Products and Services Strategically
How you price your products and services has a huge impact on making B2B sales, but not always in the way you might think.
We usually assume that discounting our prices will mean we make more sales. Of course, in some industries this is the case, especially those where the products and services are so similar that price is the only differentiator.
However, lower prices sometimes indicate lower value or more hassle for businesses. This can be a huge off switch in buyer’s minds. Instead of lowering prices, businesses should take the opportunity to prove why their product or services cost what they do. By offering more value such as smoother operations or a competitive edge you can even increase prices and sales at the same time.
Present a Likeable Human Face to Your Business
It is all too easy in the B2B space to become obsessed with the product, service or price as your main selling point. Yet, whether they admit it or not, people buy people.
Arguably, this is even more important in the B2B space, where relationships between seller and buyer tend to last longer than in B2C. With this in mind, by offering a likeable, human face to your business you provide customers with an easy person to say ‘yes’ to when it comes to signing on the dotted line.
We can see that a successful B2B sales strategy isn’t all about robbing people blind, but instead about building relationships with the right businesses and people within those businesses. The best sales people use listening as their number one tactic, both to help them identify pain points for customers and to identify decision makers.