B2B sales is a complex trade. Enterprise buyers tend to be way more aware than mass consumers and also have specific needs for each of their business problems. That is why, B2B buying cycles are long and it takes a lot of preparation and patience to close a deal. What does it take to ace this process of understanding your well informed customers and sell your product to them? In this blog, we explore the qualities that can take a sales executive to the next level. There’s no magic recipe for this but few time tested tricks implemented strategically.
Sales representatives are the forerunners of a business enterprise. Customers in the B2B space look for products or partnerships that provide multiple solutions to different business problems. Therefore, sales representatives need to understand their products in an intimate way to better understand their buyers’ various needs. Listed below are a 7 of the best tips and tricks to boost your B2B sales strategy.
1. Set realistic goals
Setting the right goals is important before setting out to achieve your sales targets. Sales targets are usually based on revenues or deal sizes. Irrespective of these criteria, it is important to keep in mind that realistically, goal setting needs to be formulated by analyzing past experiences and the direction that the organization needs to take. Evaluating past events and event ROI give the sales team a clear idea of the capabilities of sales teams and what deals to concentrate on to arrive at the preset sales goal.
2. Know your buyer’s persona accurately
Knowing your customers and understanding their preferences and expectations is half the battle won. Profiling customers, however, can be a strenuous task considering that there are too many personas resulting in inconsistent targeting. To address this problem, it is important that marketers create a common buyer description that they can use to target a specific set of prospects. An accurate buyer persona lets the sales guy position the product accurately, addressing specific pain points.
3. Know the buyer’s stage in the sales cycle
Customers in the B2B space are known to be more proactive about identifying their needs and arriving at solutions. The buyer’s journey essentially has four stages – awareness, consideration, decision and account expansion. Each of these stages has a specific set of requirements that need to be addressed through relevant communications. A customer may be ready to buy at any point of time and sales reps need to be aware of how to lure customers into the sales cycle by sending out the right messages at the right time.
Read our earlier blog post ‘Know your buyer’s stage to sales advancement at B2B events’, where we discuss in detail why evaluating a customer’s buying potential based depends a lot on the stage of the buyer’s cycle.
4. Make data the premise of your sales approach
In the age of big data and predictive analytics, sales and marketing are no longer qualitative communication focussed roles. Sales can be driven by understanding behavioral patterns of prospects or their past buying decisions. Sales teams, therefore, should and must collaborate with marketing and data insights teams to gather as much information as they can before approaching their leads. By utilizing business intelligence data, sales representatives can optimize meetings by identifying sales trends and accessing the most updated reports. For event marketers, analyzing business intelligent data can also highlight areas that are most likely to yield results and the areas that require most attention. Additionally, it can prove to be an effective tool while negotiating with vendors and clients.
5. Boost engagement through interactive conversations
Engaging customers can have many impacts on a sales process. As customers increasingly interact with brands and consume their messages, they tend to familiarize themselves with brand offerings and are more likely to buy from them. Social media engagement is one such method of boosting customer engagement. Social media is no longer a personal networking tool. It has turned into a forum for customers and brands to interact. Customers are constantly tweeting, retweeting, liking, commenting and checking-in on social media. Therefore, as sales reps, it is important to be receptive to these factors to get most out of events and sales meetings.
6. Reduce operational activities using event technologies and focus more on conversations
During large industry events, trade shows and conferences, sales reps often tend to spend multiple hours on scheduling meetings and coordinating their execution. Since the time is so limited at these events, they should focus on making the most of it through targeted conversations. Fortunately, the market is inundated with smart event technologies that can help sales teams reduce their manual scheduling efforts by almost 80%. A smart sales executive should know exactly which one to adopt.
7. Collaborate with Marketing
Marketing and sales have equally important roles to play in the process of lead generation. The alliance of marketing and sales can prove to be extremely important while obtaining qualified leads with both teams having overlapping functions. The communication strategies of the two teams need to align with each other because customers need to be eased into the buying process and not bombarded with sales pitches. Moreover, the marketing and sales departments need to arrive at a common process where the audience is seamlessly transitioned from marketing to sales.
A B2B sales professional definitely needs to be better armed than his/her B2C counterparts. This is what makes it all the more important to acquire skills that can accelerate the sales process and provide you with an edge over others. There’s no magic recipe, but the above mentioned pointers can definitely make a difference to your sales process.