Besides booming sales, a solid B2B sales strategy grows and enhances the adaptability of your business, making it a formidable force even in lean times.
Most sales strategies have been around for decades. Nonetheless, sales teams must be on the lookout for emerging trends to ensure their marketing strategies align with the market’s evolving needs.
Staying in tune with the times and the market’s needs is what ultimately distinguishes the more competitive and successful sales teams from their lesser rivals.
Besides, unlike in the past, when B2B sales were pretty straightforward, today’s sales teams must contend with an independent and knowledgeable crop of buyers.
These consumers are willing to do product research themselves and find the best solution for their businesses.
Bearing the above in mind, the B2B sales strategy that you ado
pt should be as customer-centric as possible. Below, we outline five ways through which you can achieve this.
1. Customer research
Knowing your customer well is undoubtedly one of the cardinal rules in sales.
When it comes to B2B commerce, this involves conducting in-depth research into your prospective client and their business needs. Today’s B2B client is not looking for a product but a solution to their problem(s).
Also, given the current rise of millennials to executive positions in companies, sales and marketing methods can no longer solely rely on passive sales strategies.
Similarly, a stand-alone sales strategy won’t do. It takes a combination of different methods.
For instance, most young executives no longer act on cold calls as their sole source of product information. Instead, they want their business solutions to be backed by verifiable research and information.
With a vast cache of information at their fingertips, courtesy of computers and mobile phones, they will relentlessly search for products that best meet their needs.
Therefore, it pays to know what those needs are and where these executives hang out on the digital landscape as they seek answers to those problems.
Positioning yourself as the supplier of this crucial information allows you to engage with them in their turf, where they are likely to be more responsive. It is a process known as social selling and includes online methods such as LinkedIn messaging.
2. Empowered sales team
Aim to have a sales team that understands your products, what the client needs, and what the competition offers.
Your salespeople should comprise people who are passionate about your products and can respond adequately to client queries regarding those products.
They should explain why your brand presents a better solution to the client than those offered by your competitors.
In addition to product knowledge, it also pays to have individuals in your sales team who can read the industry pulse and market trends.
Where possible, organize on the job training sessions to ensure that your team is constantly up to date and can approach prospects from an informed perspective.
If your business products involve tangible goods, equip them with the right props to use when explaining them to your prospective clients.
3. Get in touch with decision-makers
Reach out to the decision-makers in your prospective industry.
Here, enlisting the services of an Email Service Provider (ESP) is advisable, as they can handle the digital marketing strategy for you.
Professional ESPs can generate verifiable and dependable email lists containing contacts of some of the biggest decision-makers in a given industry.
The ESP then begins hunting down leads for you through cold calling and business emails with these contacts. That leaves your Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) free to focus on converting the funnelled leads into sales.
4. Customer support
Beyond giving the traditional after-sales support, offer your clients an open line of communication and a repository where they can gather helpful information about your products.
That may be in the form of a blog where you have consolidated updated answers to frequently asked questions.
It can also be through a dedicated social media handle where your sales reps are at hand to answer any queries your clients may have.
A responsive customer support system prevents any misunderstandings about what your product entails. At the same time, it helps you build brand confidence while also gathering helpful market information about your client’s needs.
The best customer support strategy today transcends mere after-sales support. Where possible, it also includes valuable tips on how the client can also grow their business.
According to the Harvard Business Review, it takes an average of 18 phone calls to connect with a prospect and even then, only about 2% of those calls wind up in an appointment.
Meanwhile, B2B clients place a lot of trust in referrals. 69% of businesses with referral programs indicated that referrals have a higher conversion rate than other lead generation strategies.
While most B2B employees may be willing to take referrals from different sources, testimonials from peers and industry experts are the most valued.
Interestingly, as The Marketing Blender found out through one of its studies, 91% of customers indicated their willingness to give a review. Still, as it turns out, only 11% of salespeople ever ask for these reviews!
From the above, it is apparent that reviews and testimonials are a vastly under-utilized yet valuable sales strategy.
Incorporate reviews and testimonial pages on your company website and remind your sales reps to request reviews from past clients.
Another way to secure reviews and testimonials and ensure that the reviews get a broad audience is by collaborating with social media influencers.
These include persons with the kind of social media following that your brand is targeting.