15 Failproof B2B Sales Techniques for 2021
B2B sales are a lot more complex than B2C. It can definitely put you to edge sometimes, but nothing can beat the moment of satisfaction you get when you close a B2B deal.
Effective B2B selling is not something that can be mastered overnight; it is a cycle you adapt to with experience and failure. But the process can become a lot easier if you familiarise yourself with the standard B2B sales techniques, like the ones that follow:
1. Know everything there is to know about the prospect
The purpose of prospecting is to find a client that fits the use of your product well. For that, you have to delve head-deep into research and learn everything about their company even before you reach out to them for the first time.
Highlight the pain points and challenges the firm is facing. It is this homework that you can use to personalize your approach and pose your product as a solution to their problems.
2. Cold Calling is not gone, never will be!
No, cold calling never went out of use; it just became more intelligent. 73% of B2B buyers say that they want the customer experience to resemble that of a B2C company, and it is your responsibility to give it to them. After you have researched them thoroughly, you would know the kind of conversations that intrigue them and compels them to purchase.
So, on the call, start a conversation about their problems even before they bring them up. It makes them feel that you have called with a purpose and you are serious about business with them.
RELATED POST: Does Cold Calling Work? – Future of Cold Calling
3. Read what your prospects write
This is 2021 and there is no way your prospects don’t run a blog. The purpose of blogs is to offer a view into the company culture, values, and operations, but salespeople can use it just as well as prospects.
Engage with your prospect’s blog. Understand what they write and learn how the company works. Keep yourself updated with the decision maker’s social image and what they deem important.
RELATED POST: How to use Consumer Psychology Hacks in B2B?
4. Always be far-sighted
Near-sightedness emerges from the fact that you are trying to close a sale as fast as possible. There is nothing wrong with trying to make the journey shorter and easier for the client, but in the process of making a sale, if you are appearing “pushy” – you are just doing it wrong!
B2B selling emphasizes building reliable relationships with your prospect and that should be your goal. Work towards closing your prospect as a satisfied consumer and not someone who would become skeptical in the days to come.
5. Create your ideal customer personas
Businesses lose out on a lot of revenue due to unqualified leads. Salespeople invest time and resources only for it to become futile. To prevent this wastage, it is encouraged that you create your Ideal Customer Personas (ICPs).
Define your ideal consumer – demography, personality, and preferences. You will be able to target more suitable leads as per the profile created with this information and waste lesser resources on leads that can turn dead while outreaching.
6. Don’t sell products, instead sell solutions
The whole concept of B2B business comes down to one line – you are an expert advisor who guides clients towards solving their problems in the most economical way. When you are interacting with the prospects, show them the problem they are facing and how it is affecting their business.
Sometimes, you cannot get the usefulness of your product across to the clients, and hence posing them as solutions work more effectively in persuading them. Encourage them to see how the product will work in the real business and eradicate the challenge they are facing.
7. Join industry-leading LinkedIn groups and participate
The power social media engagement bestows on a rep who is about to pitch a product is unimaginable. If you don’t believe in a digital presence, you are just another average rep trying to sell yet another product.
You want to give your client the push in the form of insights and data relevant to their business. To prove credible enough, you have to establish yourself as an active member of the business community and that’s where the popular business-lobby – LinkedIn comes in?
8. Nurture leads on social media
You have acquired a lead and you get right down to business. How will that play out? Very pleasantly for your competitors at least. Did you know that companies that take the time to properly engage and nurture leads improve their B2B sales outreach at a rate of 50% while spending 33% less?
Stay on top of your social media game. See what they are talking about, learn about their thought process and engage with them. This way, when you reach out to them, you can pick the right points and nurture them before taking the plunge.
9. Keep yourself updated with your competitor’s progress
Even though it might sound a bit unethical, it is not. You are not sabotaging your competitor but just learning from them. Find out what are the common challenges that your competitor’s clients or prospects are facing. Carefully find out how those are being tackled.
This will give you insights that you can work upon and improve in your own company. You will be better in that particular aspect, establishing it as a differentiator between you and your competitor.
10. Use a powerful CRM tool
Yes, it calls for a ‘isn’t that obvious?’ but the average adoption of CRMs among sales professionals is only 73 percent. A CRM tool is very crucial because you don’t want any mix-ups or confusion to hinder the sales process from your side.
CRM tools are very effective in managing your prospects, outreaching, meetings, etc. – every aspect of your B2B sales process. So instead of spending hours and hours chalking out a plan of who, how, and when, you can focus more on your interactions with clients.
11. Stay aligned with your marketing team
Marketing-Sales alignment is all the talk of the business town at the moment, although the idea is not new. So why the hype around it?
Marketing essentially helps you analyze the way you work and whether it is helping with leads or not. Also, organizations with aligned departments can achieve up to 38% higher sales win rates.
When you are well in alignment with your marketing team, it ensures that your B2B sales goals are being supported by their marketing strategy, effectively boosting the efforts put in by both departments into their respective jobs.
12. Sit down with everyone… not just decision-makers
No, this is not just “another” tip. In fact, if you think about it, it can really help you get your point across to the decision-makers of your prospective company.
Consider this, you get in touch with someone other than the nitty-gritty of the prospect company and impress them with your solution. The next time you try to get in with the decision-makers, the influencer not only helps set up a meeting but also advocates for your solution.
Note to self: never ignore the influencers.
RELATED POST: Nostalgia Marketing – B2B Marketers best bet in 2021
13. Attach a calendar link to your email signature
You might have had a situation where the clients lose interest because of the bunch of emails you have sent back and forth for a good meeting time. Solution – send in a calendar link with your email signature that allows them to schedule an appointment at their convenience.
This move allows your prospect to take time reflecting on the interaction, put them at ease with their schedules, and eventually come back for an appointment.
14. Keep following up with cold leads
54% of buyers say that the B2B purchasing cycle is getting longer. The phenomenon that a lead you talk to today is not ready to buy until a long time later has become quite common and there is nothing you can do about it. Or can you?
Don’t let them go to waste. Keep following up with the cold leads time and time without being pester-y. Check if their status has become much better than the last time and who knows you might be working on a new client.
15. Write resourceful, creative & information-rich articles
Thought leaders are more likely to make an impression and consequently have a chance with decision-makers than other companies. 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising. Curate valuable articles that are brimming with information about the market and the industry.
You can start with something as simple as list articles. Avoid How-to(s) because they resonate more with your product content and not thought leadership. When you are giving insights to the market, you establish your credibility and authority more than anyone else.
Over to you…
B2B sales are a mixture of art and science, which means that there is no specific way to go about it. What we have here are the standard practices that you can use to get started, but they might need to be modified according to the industry you work in.
Nevertheless, these are a good foundation for your sales process, and when you add the touch of personalization, it will work like a beauty.