Sales strategies are important to generate growth and success for any company. B2B (business-to-business) sales strategies often need to account for a more complex process than B2C (business-to-consumer) sales. With B2B sales, your team is negotiating with decision-makers at companies that are used to sales pitches. You will need to employ some creative strategies to target the right clients for your business.
Not only are B2B sales more time-consuming and complex, but sales competition is also fiercer than it has ever been. Studies show that 54% of sales agents have more difficulty contacting prospects today than they did five years ago.
Luckily, there are some key steps you can take to develop a B2B sales strategy that will work for your business.
One of the first steps in creating your B2B strategy is to understand your customer's business. Research their business objectives and successes so you can understand their needs. How can your products help your customers solve their biggest pain points, and how can you craft your talking points to show that you can meet those needs?
It isn't enough to make your best guess about this, either. Set up interviews with your customers and ask them directly what their company needs. While it might be tempting to only talk to the decision-makers, be sure to also speak to the people who have a stake in the purchase. The more viewpoints you can get, the better your sales strategy will be.
If you haven't already, now is a great time to develop or hone a value proposition for your business. A value proposition is a statement that provides an answer to why a customer should do business with you instead of your competitor.
Once you have your value proposition, you can use it to build your sales strategy. Your value proposition should give you an idea of the type of customers you are looking for based on what your product can offer them.
From here, you can develop a customer persona based on common pain points, desired gains, and other relevant information. Remember to use your current customers in building your target customer persona as well. This will help you focus your team's resources on a specific type of client. However, this doesn't mean that customers outside of this persona are not off-limits. They just might be harder to reach than your target customers.
A great B2B sales strategy only works if your sales team is ready to execute it. It's essential to give them the proper training so that they can do just that. Make sure that your sales team is familiar with the customer persona you have created, as well as up-to-date on important talking points. You may also want to emphasize the importance of using a variety of open-ended, closed, and leading questions.
Every business has some kind of tech component, but if you want to execute your sales strategy well, your tools need to work for you. This means you'll need the right software to track every step of the process.
Take sales intelligence tools, for instance. Sales intelligence tools give you insight into everything that happens in your sales pipeline. You can see all your current prospects, where they are in your pipeline, and where they drop out of your sales pipeline.
Since your system can track where people are in the system and where they drop off, your sales team can learn common failure points in your strategy. Use this information to continue refining your system until you maximize your sales.
You likely already have a CRM system to track your customers, but that isn't the only tool in your arsenal. You also have video conferencing, social media management, process automation, and a ton of other options. Look at your system to see where you can use technology to help and invest in those tools for your strategy.
Now that you have a basic B2B strategy and the tools required to monitor your progress, it's time to take action. A successful B2B sales strategy focuses on the customers you are trying to reach. Here are a few things to try:
It really does have something for everyone. B2B customers are savvy, technologically inclined, and will investigate every channel available to them in order to find the right solution to their problems.
If you position yourself as a leading account on social media, you will gain the social proof many companies look for when researching products. You also make yourself available for comments, questions, and concerns that customers might have in their buying process. Having a Twitter account, for instance, gives you instant access to real-time needs your customers have.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a rapidly growing strategy among B2B sales. In ABM, companies merge their marketing and sales teams to focus on high-value accounts. This approach requires a high level of personalization, but in this data-driven age, this is becoming more affordable for small- to medium-sized companies.
Not all leads are created equal. In your B2B strategy, it's important to have a way to qualify them in order to determine which customers are ready to buy and which might require some additional nurturing. Lead qualification is important for managing your company's resources so that you and your team spend your time focusing on customers that have the most potential.
One way to effectively qualify your leads is to create a scoring system. This can be based on company size, budget, purchase timeline, or other qualifications that you determine are important.
Now that you have what you need to create an effective B2B sales strategy, you need the best tools available to help your sales team succeed. Accelo offers tools that help you manage contacts, billing, and customer projects. Take advantage of our free trial to see everything Accelo can offer your business.