Business-to-business (B2B) has changed incredibly over the years. From the dreaded practice of selling at any cost, the relationship between companies and clients finally shifted thanks to the increasingly tight competition.
Clients know they have endless options. If you want to succeed, you’ll need a solid list of prospects. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and effort.
Apart from the huge importance of building customer relationships, B2B sales aren’t as far off from B2C as many believe. High-level decision-makers have the same problems, feelings, and needs as an ordinary customer. The only thing is they’re busier. The challenge comes from proving to them that you’re worth their time.
How do you stay ahead of the competition? We laid down an ultimate guide to help you create an award-winning B2B sales strategy.
The B2B sales definition
B2B companies are those who sell products or services to other businesses rather than customers. They’re a bit more complicated in terms of closing deals because of the crazy negotiation process. Unlike B2C, where customers decide on impulse and emotion, B2B clients have a ton of approvals to go through before finally signing a contract.
Behind a decision-maker is a network of key players that influence their buying journey, as suggested by Shane Gibson:
- User: People who use your product daily
- Navigator: The person who can put you in contact with everyone else in the “network.”
- Ruler: The final decision-maker
- Protector: Extremely cautious of external harm – often someone from the legal or IT department
- Contributor: Third-party consultants that help the ruler make his decision
With so many people involved, you’ll need an effective strategy that can prove your expertise and capability to provide them a solution.
Steps to start a B2B sales process
B2B and B2C aren’t that different, but there are additional processes that a marketer needs to go through for a successful sale.
Step 1: Find your market
Before you start selling, determine your target market and how you can reach them. Understand how your product will solve their problems and find the best B2B marketing strategy to attract them.
Step 2: Lead generation
Once you’ve determined the market, you can now start pooling your potential customers. Many business leaders today explore their LinkedIn network for this task.
Step 3: Pitch
Your sales pitch is a crucial part of B2B sales. Your prospect’s buying decision will depend on how you communicate your product. Tell them how it will offer solutions, and take the opportunity to learn about their needs.
This step takes the most time and energy. Each pitch should be personalized for your leads.
Step 4: Follow up
Finalize your deals in writing by following up with your clients. Send over a business proposal immediately after you send in your sales pitch to keep the ball rolling. Remember that this step is dependent on the customer you’re reaching out to.
Hacks to amplify your strategy
1. Prioritize visual content
Instead of using dull, bulleted texts to share details about your products and services, why not go for something a bit more visually appealing? Choosing high-quality content for your B2B marketing strategies can attract your leads while feeding them the information they need. Videos and graphics draw engagement and sales, without the need for an obvious sales pitch.
Visual content isn’t only useful for introducing your products to clients, but it can be used throughout a customer’s journey. From demo videos to client testimonials, these can be utilized to represent your brand in countless ways.
2. Get feedback
To stay ahead of the competition, you have to find out what your customers think about your product. You can conduct surveys or interact with them in person. This will help you pinpoint what you’re doing right and find ways to improve.
Additionally, some customers love to give feedback because it makes them feel valued. You’ll not only get valuable data for your business, but you’ll form a stronger bond with your customers, too.
3. Personalize and stand out
Ditch the templated emails. When reaching out to prospects, best opt for personalized messages that show your genuine interest in understanding their needs. Details that you can include in your sales pitch are readily available on their LinkedIn profiles – their current occupation, industry, and interests.
With the tight B2B sales competition today, it’s important to find a way to grab your prospect’s attention from the hundreds of messages he could be receiving daily.