There is no denying that Business to Business selling is complex. It is not the same as selling to consumers and therefore needs a unique approach to make it successful. B2B sales includes transaction of goods and services between businesses rather than business to consumer. Unlike consumer sales, B2B sales have longer sales cycles and have a higher value.
B2B sales can be extremely profitable and generate value for your business when it’s done right. It is important that your sales process aligns with your business goals and prospects. Want to know how to create an effective B2B sales process? Here are some tips that will help your business develop a successful sales process in order to achieve its sales goals.
Start with Research
Initiate the B2B sales process by conducting a thorough market research to understand your prospects. Take a look at what their company’s needs or challenges are. This will allow you to get into the mind of your prospects and anticipate what they are looking for. Conducting a market research will also give you an insight on who your competitors are and what strategies they use to get prospects.
Create your buyer persona
Determine which companies fit your ideal buyer profile. Research about what your prospects are offering. Are they launching any new products? What is the size of their organisation? What are their current challenges? All these questions can be answered while you research about your ideal buyers. All this information will help you determine if the company would be ready to invest in your services or not.
How the customers will buy what you are selling is the next step after recognising your target audience. In this step you will trace the steps that has led them to buy your services. The customers will go through these following three stages before making a purchase:
- Awareness– when they realise they have a problem
- Consideration– when they research different products or services that will be an answer to these problems
- Decision– when they compare various alternatives and decide to go with one
In order to make a successful sales process you need determine where your prospect is in their journey. Accordingly, you can come up with strategies that will be relevant to them. This increases your chances of closing the deal.
Sales qualified leads
You have mapped out your buyer’s journey and looking at some interesting prospects that you think are perfect for your services. But there is one little problem. Not all those showing interest will actually make a purchase from you. This is where you need to determine if these prospects will make a purchase in order to save your time and energy. To determine a sales qualified lead you need to ask them the following questions:
- What challenges are you trying to resolve? – this will determine what products or services they need.
- Did you try to solve this problem before? Why did it not work out? – this will show you what works and what does not work. It will also help you figure out specific challenges.
- Who makes the final buying decisions? – While going through this sales process most of the times you will have to engage will different people in an organisation. Finding out who will have the final say will help you figure out what the process will be like and the relevant strategies to use.
Have a one-on-one conversation
It is important that you meet and speak to your customer face-to-face in order to communicate all the challenges they have. As B2B sales process is more demanding, you need to invest more into your customers. Having an in-person chat or even using video calls will give you a chance to present your strategies to the customer and also build trust with them. This is a way of showing your customer that you are truly interested in resolving their problems.
Seal the deal
When the sale is coming to a close there is still one step remaining. If they have agreed to make a deal with you give them an outline of the terms and agreement of the sale. Also, the price point of your product or service. This will ensure that your customer is on board and find your offer helpful. If the answer is no for the deal simply thank them and say that you would be in touch if they need any assistance in the future.
After closing the deal your work is not done yet. A successful sales team is always measuring the effectiveness of their sales process in order to make improvements. When you are constantly measuring your B2B sales process you can be more productive and advance the overall performance of your team. Following are the key metrics that you can track:
- Sales Productivity – Tracking the productivity of your sales reps this will help you identify any hurdles that are reducing your sales.
- Lead Response Time – The sooner you respond to your leads the sooner you close the deal. Tracking the average lead response time can be an important matrix.
- Conversion Rate – Measuring the conversion rate from Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads will help you determine how many leads are brought through marketing efforts that have turned into sales qualified. This is important for the sales team to know the department that has been offering support.
These tips are practical and easy to apply. Unlike B2C, every sale is different in B2B. This is one of the main challenges of a B2B sales process. Your clients are going to look at different alternatives before they make a decision, you need to show how your business can help them solve their problems. Using these tips will help you do just that, and this is not just for the customers but also to make the process more effective for your sales team.
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