What is B2B Selling?
B2B selling is when a business sells products or services to other businesses.
In order to be successful in B2B selling, you need to have solid sales strategies in place. You also need to use them to provide sales professionals with the right tools and frameworks, which can vary depending on your industry and the products or services you offer.
It’s essential to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes in the B2B landscape, so you can adapt your approach as needed. By using the right strategies and tools, you can confidently close more deals and grow your business.
In order to be successful in B2B selling, it’s important to have a solid strategy in place. You need to know who your target market is, what products or services you offer, and how you plan to reach your target market.
B2B sales vs B2C sales. What’s the difference?
The main difference between B2B and B2C sales is the approach.
In B2B sales, you focus on building relationships with potential customers and businesses, while in B2C sales you focus on individual customers.
In B2B you are selling to organizations made up of Individuals and teams that work towards financial goals and objectives. Many of these individuals in these organizations rely on their jobs to support themselves and their families and thus the decision criteria of a B2B buyer are much more involved than that of a typical B2C transaction.
Simply put, a person’s livelihood isn’t typically on the line when a purchase decision is made for personal goods or services in general.
B2B transactions are typically larger in scale and involve more complex meetings, and negotiations compared to B2C transactions.
In order to be successful in modern-day B2B sales, you need to have a clear understanding of your target market, target personas, and the analytical tools to drive the tactics that can help you obtain more time at bat.
B2B sales involve selling products or services to other businesses, while B2C sales involve selling products or services to consumers. The main difference between these two types of sales is the type of customer you are targeting.
When selling B2B, you are typically targeting businesses that have a need for your product or service. This can be anything from digital products, to consulting to software and manufacturing equipment. Because you are targeting businesses, your sales pursuits will be focused on how your product or service can help the customer achieve their business goals.
Both B2B and B2C sales require different approaches. understanding the key differences between these two types of sales will help you more effectively target
Longer Sales cycles.
Sales cycles are the stages of a sale, from initial contact to final negotiation. The B2B sales cycle typically consists of six steps:
3. Presenting Solutions
By understanding the key steps of the B2B sales cycle, you can tailor your approach and create a customized solution for each customer.
Managing Multiple Stakeholders?
Managing multiple stakeholders can be a huge challenge in B2B sales. It’s important to understand the roles of all stakeholders, so you can tailor your approach and ensure that everyone is on the same page throughout the process.
You should try to build trusted relationships with key stakeholders and build champions within the organization itself who will help push your solution to the stakeholders. By establishing trust and rapport by understanding their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and how your solution will meet or exceed their needs, you can better manage multiple stakeholders.
Educated buyers are more common in B2B sales. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes in the industry, so you can effectively address their questions and concerns.
It’s also essential to be knowledgeable about HOW your products or services align with the desired outcomes which are typically based on their KPIs
If you are not educating your buyers during your meetings your competitors are and they are shaping the perceptions of the educated buyer pool
B2B Sales Strategies and Tactics that Work
B2B sales tactic #1: Align sales and marketing through account-based sales
The days of siloed B2B sales teams and marketing teams are gone. The line that marks the difference between bringing users into the funnel, and keeping them in the funnel is no longer a line. It’s more of a Venn diagram — roles and responsibilities remain interconnected and often cross paths. But, marketing and sales don’t always agree, and this misalignment damages the productivity of B2B salespeople. By focusing on target accounts, account-based sales (ABS) flips the typical funnel on its head and encourages sales and marketing to collaborate. Just like the beginning of the B2B buyer journey, an ABS approach starts with a solution that the buyer is searching for, and one that the company knows it can solve. This means sales and marketing must agree on who the decision-makers are, and how to present a personalized solution to the problem buyers are looking to solve.
With bounce rates rising and pageviews plummeting, DocuSign’s leads were dropping out of the funnel until they implemented ABS campaigns to fix the issue. After launching six digital account-based campaigns, marketing refined its messaging and sent higher-quality leads to sales. This grew DocuSign’s sales pipeline by 22 percent, tripled click-throughs on critical calls-to-action, and more than halved their bounce rate.
B2B sales tactic #2: Capture hearts and mind’s with compelling content
69% of successful B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. And when you consider that B2B buyers consume an average of 13 content pieces before buying, it’s easy to see why. Content bridges the gap between buyer and seller.
It tilts the purchase decision in favor of the vendor. But, effective content isn’t just about sharing news about your company’s office pet. It’s about solving problems to build a connection, establish trust, and bolster brand credibility.
Content also helps B2B salespeople to understand the needs of their buyers and position their solutions in a way that resonates with them.
By using compelling content, you can capture the hearts and minds of your prospects, build relationships, sell more effectively, and close bigger deals.
TL: DR – Know your customer’s business and pay extra attention to their corporate financials. Once you understand their relative financial performance you can begin crafting personalized content as it relates to business units and their overall financial objectives.
B2B sales tactics #3: Convert cold leads into brand enthusiasts with social selling
Social selling is the modern way for B2B sales reps to build not only relationships but also close deals before competitors have a clue what’s going on. Relying on conference lists to find new leads, New Horizons found that ROI was starting to dwindle. Sales were dropping because leads were close to a buying decision by the time reps reached them. To rescue declining sales, they needed to get on buyers’ radars at an earlier stage.
Social selling on LinkedIn became their winning solution. in the end, sales reps gained 1.7M worth of opportunities in 6 months, a 57% close rate, and $1M in revenue. Social selling was so effective at generating leads that the COO created a “social hour,” where reps spend an hour of their day researching and connecting with leads on LinkedIn.
There is a major caveat with LinkedIn social selling though. Traditional LinkedIn outreach is not only limited by LinkedIn these days so this method is becoming less and less effective as many organizations continue to blast the same decision makers and the onset of buyer fatigue has emerged.
Instead, drive people to self-hosted sales funnel landing pages from LinkedIn / social posts and then engage with them utilizing webinars, in-person events, and personalized content that will resonate well with them and increase conversion rates.
B2B Sales Process from Lead to Close
A B2B sales process can be long and complex. It often takes months (or even years) to land a deal.
The typical B2B sales cycle has seven steps:
1. Prospecting: This is the process of finding and qualifying potential customers.
2. Research: Once you’ve identified a potential customer, you’ll need to learn more about their specific needs and pain points. Look at their earnings reports, listen to their earnings webcasts, look at the industry trends and connect the dots with your solution
3. Initial contact: The first time you reach out to a potential customer. This is an opportunity to ideally quantify the value of the challenges the potential customer is trying to solve
4. Qualifying: Ask questions to determine whether the prospect is a good fit for your product or service. Use a qualification framework like MEDDIC to help standardize questions and language allowing for a repeatable qualification structure that you can use with multiple pursuits and even multiple stakeholders within an organization or target account
5. Needs analysis: Investigating the prospect’s specific needs and how your product or service can address them.
6. Proposal: outlining your solution and how it will benefit the prospect and as it is related to Key Performance Indicators
7. Negotiation and closing: agreeing on terms and finalizing the deal. The paper process construct.
By breaking down each stage of the B2B sales process and understanding what buyers need at each step, you can create a more effective sales strategy. With the right B2B selling tools and strategies, you can capture the hearts and minds of your prospects, build relationships, sell more effectively, and close bigger deals. Use these tactics to optimize your B2B sales process and increase revenue.
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