Your B2B sales campaign is all about being able to attract prospects and keep them there. But winning customer loyalty is easier said than done when the majority of companies are receiving over 10 sales presentations every single day. You need to develop your B2B sales strategy so you can increase your conversion rates.
Here are the best ways by which you can develop your B2B sales tactics and take advantage of an industry that’s growing by 14 % per year:
1. UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR GAME
Social media is often used for research customers. B2B companies especially should use this tool to figure out more about their race.
The leading social media network for B2B companies is LinkedIn. It quickly becomes a hub for specialists in this industry. Follow the main influencers in your niche to learn what they are doing. The more data you can gather, the better.
You don’t necessarily have to copy what others are doing, but you can quickly find out what is and isn’t working for them.
2. LEARN TO SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE COMPETITION
The point of the long-term success in B2B sales is to separate yourself from the competition constantly. Naturally, this is easier said than done. The moment you find out something unique, the clock starts ticking down. It will not be long before someone else copies your idea.
But differentiation should still be at the top of your priorities list. You should always stay one and two steps ahead of your competitors.
Leveraging the unique elements you have will help you to stand out from your leads’ perspective.
3. STOP COLD-CALLING, START RESEARCHING
Everything in the world of sales spins around data. One area where data comes in handy is in figuring out how likely a business is to respond to you positively. The reality is that cold-calling is no longer the best use of your time. Less than 5 % of cold-calls will lead to anything.
Studying your prospects in advance will make it easy to establish a relationship and to find out where your offering fits in with your prospect’s business model.
The majority of businesses have no time for cold-calls. They will quickly cut you off because they do not want to have to waste their time explaining their company to you.
Yes, researching takes time. You will have no choice but to reduce the number of leads you are getting in contact with. But you will be increasing your chances of converting those leads.
Every expert that comes in or that you generate needs to be researched. Things like company size, how many of your web pages they have visited, etc. Even if an expert calls you out of the blue, start researching them while they’re on the phone. And while approaching to prospects has never been more hard, the ability to discover them has never been easier.
4. CUT TO THE CHASE
The B2B sales cycle should contain as a couple of steps as possible. Your prospects do not want to listen to the long speeches and sales fluff you come up with. They want to know how you are going to solve a problem for them. They want to know how your solution is going to directly or indirectly make them more money.
Show respect for the time your expert has. Consider about an elevator pitch approach and how you can pitch your solution in that same amount of your time. Your solution should be easily explained in less than a minute.
Create a strong value proposition and let your prospect decide if it is worth it.
5. IMPROVE ON YOUR LONG-TERM IDEAS
So many businesses are obsessed with closing the sale right now. This is short-term thinking. B2B businesses will live or die based on the number of clients who stick with them through thick and thin. The best B2B companies are concerned with closing the sale, but more so with building their reputations. That is what convinces other people to approach them and then come back for more.
So, consider how you are going to build your reputation. Have a long-term plan, which will include getting back to people after they have bought into your unique selling proposition.
As the relationship advances, have a strategy for how you are going to upsell.
6. HOW YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEAM IS VITAL
Feedback can be a good thing. It corrects certain issues before they become notable problems, but according to Forbes contributor Kevin Kruse, “feedforward” is a more efficient strategy across the board.
As a workplace strategy, feedforward looks to future goals and projects what needs to happen to reach those goals efficiently. While feedback looks at past mistakes, in some cases leading to a sense of despair, feedforward inspires, and in turn, can lead to greatness.
Kruse related feedback to a visit to the executioner, while the manager should instead serve as a coach, pushing everyone to be their personal best.
“Perfection isn’t attainable, but if we chase perfection we may catch excellence,” said Vince Lombardi, who led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl win as arguably one of the greatest coaches of all time.
By saying his team they could achieve anything, they did, and because of his leadership the Green Bay Packers, the only publicly owned NFL franchise became one of the most favorite football teams of all time.
Feedforward also works when dealing with prospects, especially those who wanna know what your company plans are for the future. Living in the now, which is sometimes all some businesses can manage, can be a major detriment to future growth, turning away potential clients.
7. FIND OUT WHAT MATTERS TO YOUR MARKET
Many of today’s companies are seeing the most success through purpose-driven marketing, which showcases a common cause between business and consumer. If a customer is drawn to a business’s purpose, they’ll be more likely to purchase the product. Dove used it successfully in the B2C market by embracing the idea that everyone is beautiful, no matter their shape or size, making other companies appear shallow when their traditional campaigns featuring models with unattainable features were stacked against them.
The idea works with B2B marketing, as well. IBM used purpose-driven marketing for its “Smarter Planet” campaign, which was initially founded in 2008 and has since become the brand’s core philosophy.
“Let’s seize this opportunity to create more and better jobs, cultivate valuable skills, and not simply repair but prepare our economy for the 21st century,” said Sam Palmisano, IBM CEO and chairman, in 2009.
The concept was to use the benefits new and more powerful technology offered to make a real impact on the world, through “smarter power grids, smarter food systems, smarter water, smarter healthcare, smarter traffic systems,” the company says on its website.
Businesses that felt empowered by IBM’s message and also wanted to play a key role in making the world a better place ready to come on board, making it a successful, impactful campaign with lasting growth.
Finding out a message that resonates with your target audience can help build a loyal following and a stronger portfolio of like-minded clients.
8. RELATIONSHIPS ARE STILL KEY
The relationships that are established between salespeople and their business contacts are invaluable. Retaining those relationships, whether traditionally or through account-based marketing methods that keeps them informed about the industry, will help your business maintain integrity even as it seeks out new business customers.
No matter how much technology advances, the concept of the mom-and-pop store, and the warmth that kind of relationship elicits, is something almost all people appreciate, and offering it creates a sense of goodwill that won’t only help retain existing clients but will also likely lead to referrals.
In that way, account-based marketing provides a priceless word of mouth advertising, because if you hit all the right marks, your prospects will talk up the excellent experience they had with your company and while they continue to increase their investment.
The more information you gain, the more you can help, add value, separate yourself from your competition and close sales. Questions are the most important sales tool.Ask open-ended questions that begin with words like what, why, how, when, where and who. Try to avoid yes/no questions. One of the significant mistakes a salesperson makes is to assume something about the customer. Asking questions minimizes the perils of assuming.
Once you ask, listen! Do not think about what your next question will be. Instead, repeat back what the customer has said. This will make the customer feel understood and will force you to concentrate on what the customer is saying. Strive to do only 30% of the talking. This may feel awkward at first, but you will be amazed at how well it works.
Teaching is the new pitching. In the course of actively listening to the customer, look for teaching opportunities that can help educate them. Teaching helps the customer discover that what they want might not be what they need. When a customer learns something new that will help them, the psychological power of reciprocity helps build preference and loyalty. When teaching, avoid talking about your services or product.
“Always be closing” was a mantra from the old days of selling. If you are still using that method, stop. Now, the mantra should be “always be qualifying.” This tells you what your next moves should be. When qualifying, follow the popular BANT and GPCT approaches:
Budget – Do they have a method of funding a solution to their problem?
Authority – Determine what person has influence within the organization to authorize the purchasing decision.
Need – Is there a particular pain point the buyer has that you can solve?
Timeline – Is there a particular time frame for when the prospect needs your solution?
Goals – Try to get quantitative goals. What do they need to achieve?
Plans – What are their strategies to achieve those goals?
Challenges – What is standing in their way?
Timing – When are they supposed to achieve their goals?
Most failed sales opportunities do not have good answers for BANT and GPCT.
If you have done the previous steps correctly, closing will feel more like an agreement than an arm-twisting manipulation (which does not t work anyway). The customer will feel comfortable and will know what they need to do next and have fewer questions and less buyer’s remorse.
With the exception of number 6 (closing), it is perfectly fine to repeat steps 1-5 at any point during the consultative sales process.
Customers want to buy, but they do not like being sold to. They do, however, appreciate being helped by a trusted advisor. If you ask questions and listen to what the buyer is telling you as you qualify them, a consultative approach will lead to more sales.
Improving your B2B sales the right way will ultimately lead to getting more clients, including more long-term ones. That is why it is important to change the way you approach lead generation and think about building relationships instead of closing sales.
How are you going to improve your B2B sales campaign today?