New to B2B sales or looking for ways to fast-track your sales process?
In November 2022 alone, the U.S. Census Bureau registered 418,905 new businesses.
That’s a whole lot of competition for many different fields.
You need a way to stand out from the crowd. Developing a great B2B sales process is the best place to start.
You’ll need a streamlined B2B sales operation and an effective sales team to thrive. When you have a system to identify new opportunities for sales and enhance your business exposure, you attract more leads and convert them.
Sales professionals will agree that winning prospects is becoming harder every day. What you need is insight from proven strategies – that’s where we come in.
Our B2B sales guide will share some effective approaches to help you bring in prospects and scale your business.
An Overview Of B2B Sales
Before we explore our best tips on B2B sales, here are some basics you need to know.
What Are B2B Sales?
B2B sales refers to business-to-business sales, namely, the exchange of services and products between businesses. B2B sales transactions can often have lengthy sales cycles and be a little more high-ticket orders and services.
While B2B selling can be a rewarding realm of business to consider, it can also be complex. More significant and high-value B2B purchases involve many different steps (and company departments), and usually involve the company’s decision-makers.
The total B2B online sales market in the U.S. will likely hit $1.8 trillion in 2023.
Is this a good thing?
Of course, yes. But only companies that embrace strategic selling tactics will boost their profit margins.
In addition to increased sales, B2B selling is vital to your business because:
- It can condense the sales cycle
- B2B selling strategies can minimize B2B marketing costs
- Can convert many leads easily
- Increases brand recognition
- Creates more opportunities for loyal clients/customers.
B2B Sales Vs B2C Sales
B2C sales stands for business-to-consumer sales. In this case, a business sells its products or services directly to consumers (end users).
The B2B sales vs. B2C sales comparison table below summarizes the differences.
|Higher ticket purchases
|Lower ticket purchases
|Company or business
|Buying and Selling duration
|Lengthy with complex decision making
|Short with quick decision making
|Emotional and impulse buying decisions
B2B Sales Vs. B2B Marketing
B2B marketing is also known as business-to-business marketing. It refers to marketing campaigns or B2B marketing tips a business uses to have another company buy its products.
B2B sales are transactions based. The approach focuses more on the company’s needs, products, and sales.
On the other hand, B2B marketing aims to attract, convert, and retain customers. It’s more about understanding the market to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. It’s customer oriented.
Both are needed to work together – the B2B marketing directly impacts B2B sales.
For instance, 71% of B2B customers will consume blog content during the purchase process.
That means sales and marketing departments should align to maximize the company’s revenue (more on this later).
7 Effective B2B Sales Tips
When you implement these tips in your business, from your marketing department to your sales reps’ process, you are on your way to more sales = a greater bottom line.
1. Clarity Is Important
For prospects to buy from you, they want to know how your products and services will benefit them and increase their bottom line.
That might sound obvious, but it’s a real struggle for most businesses.
As a salesperson, for clarity, focus on explaining the product’s features and how they transform clients from the current to desired state.
Pro tip: Prepare adequately by understanding everything about your products and anticipating the questions that might come. Also, engage your prospects and develop consistent communication to show your consideration for their needs. That enhances clarity and trust in the product and process.
2. A Winning Sales Script
A defined B2B sales script enables you to map your sale process from when you initiate a call to the final conversion. This is especially helpful when you have a team of salespeople and you want to keep the standard consistent.
Ensure your sales script showcases the following:
- How and how long to qualify the prospect
- How many questions to ask
- How long to spend explaining product features
- When to bring in benefits of features
- When to ask for the close
- What happens when prospects don’t close
- And much more.
The procedural approach makes it easy to follow and replicate. Onboarding sales reps become easy because they know what’s expected.
Improve your script based on the feedback you get. It helps because the next time you engage another prospect with a similar concern, the sales team will know how to handle it.
3. Acknowledge What The Buyer Knows
Modern B2B buyers are pretty knowledgeable. They have access to adequate resources to learn about your products beforehand.
One thing to remember is that multiple sellers often approach them with the same product or service.
Speak to that.
Start by acknowledging the buyer’s awareness of the other brands out there to build rapport. Let them know the benefits of going with your company instead and how your brand is differentiated from the rest.
Most salespeople assume that being point blank will have clients go away. That’s not the case with clients who know what they want. You’ll be happy to solidify the process and build transparency.
An example of this is if there is another product out there that is cheaper than yours and directly competing for the buyers’ money. You can speak to that by sharing, “we are aware that other products like [insert competitors name] are cheaper. However, the downsides are…” or you could share that the higher price tag that you are offering is justified because of the higher quality that they will receive, etc.
4. Do Your Research
Buyers trust a seller who’s more knowledgeable than them in their field. You can showcase that by prioritizing market and industry research.
Anytime you are on that sales call, come out as an authority. Research and address the issues clients face before they mention them to you.
At Scaling With Systems, we help you create reports to understand the market, clients’ frustrations, and what they desire.
5. Provide Value
Today, the best-selling companies offer utility by acting as knowledgeable and valuable consultants.
How do you give value?
- Identify the problems they are facing
- Understand the client’s situation and problems in-depth
- Offer solutions with actionable steps that work before any sale is made.
Pro tip: As the sales call ends, give clients a choice. They can use your solutions or decide to work with you to uncover more benefits throughout their success journey.
6. Leverage Urgency And Scarcity
Many buyers understand the basics of B2B sales – like cold emailing – and might glaze over these emails and not acknowledge them. If you do get them on a call, being too pushy will not entice them to buy – it doesn’t feel good to anyone to be pushed into something.
Instead, create some urgency and scarcity without commanding or sounding salesy and desperate.
Let’s say a prospect has a hard time generating leads and has a target to hit before the year ends.
Here’s what you do:
- Reveal the amount of money they are losing in their current state
- Tell them what they are missing on
- The future implications if they don’t act
- And your honest approach to the issue.
You can give time-based solutions if you’ve handled such a client and generated results within an agreed time frame. Reliability and transparency matter most.
7. Have Crystal Clear Next Steps
Don’t let the prospect end the first call without telling them the next steps. It’s suitable for complete fulfillment.
Clarify the following:
- When to meet again
- Whether anybody else, say a business partner, will be on the next call
- Why a second call instead of closing on the first engagement
- Any details you will send to them before the next call.
A bonus B2b sales tip: Follow Up
Keep incredibly detailed notes and recordings of your sales calls inside a CRM.
As we always say, “A weak CRM makes a wake sales rep.”
With everything detailed in the CRM, follow-ups become easy. Also, when one of the sales reps quits the job, the incoming sales rep knows where to start and close the ongoing deals.
What Are The 4 Types Of B2B Selling Categories?
You’ll find B2B sellers in every industry. Most target profit businesses, non-profit institutions, or both. Below are the four primary B2B selling categories.
Producers acquire raw materials and transform them into other products or services. Manufacturers and service businesses fall in this category; their products go to other companies or the end user.
General Motors and McDonald’s are excellent examples of B2B producers. General Motors acquires raw materials like steel to create cars. McDonald’s requires 100% Arabica beans for their coffee recipe.
Resellers are businesses that sell goods and services from other companies. Retailers and wholesalers are categorized here.
Examples of B2B resellers include stores like Walmart and Amazon. These stores acquire products from other businesses and resell different companies and consumers.
In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the U.S. federal government spent $6.27 trillion. As a result, a significant amount went to business-to-government (B2G) sellers and B2B government sellers like Pfizer.
Federal, state, and local governments acquire many goods, services, and programs to meet communities’ demands. These supplies come from companies, private businesses, and individuals of special groups.
Some of the supplies acquired are used for:
- Health and medical
- And more.
Charities and non-profit institutions need a constant supply of goods and services. They generally prefer working with businesses with the capacity for large supplies, excellent quality, and affordable prices.
Examples of these institutions include Red Cross, schools, and hospitals.
Businesses like Johnson & Johnson, Pearson, and others could work with such B2B clients, because they supply medicine and books.
What Are The Latest B2B Sales Trends?
It’s simple: Take into account the tips we’ve shared above, and be on the lookout for the latest B2B sales trends.
You’ll be able to position your business to be in line with what people want and need in this industry. That means aligning your marketing tactics, sales process, and even product and service development with the market’s demand.
Customers Engagement In Digital Channels
Customer engagement is about creating connected experiences with buyers. That’s the best way to know the customers’ needs and act accordingly.
These customer engagement stats show why you should personalize your sales in digital spaces.
- Video, emails, and phone calls remain the most preferred digital channels for engaging buyers.
- B2B decision-makers prefer video conferencing when engaging vendors.
- 90% of buyers start their purchase journey with a quick online search.
- 31% of sales team members have made over $500k in sales without physical interaction with buyers.
Being Efficient With Your Customer’s Time
Suppose you find a buyer ready to close a deal and wants your solution immediately. How fast can you act? Without the right information and systems in place, your team might be unable to action the potential customer’s queries soon enough.
These insights reveal why timing matters in B2B sales.
- During the purchase process, customers only spend about 5-17% of their total time with your salespeople along the B2B buying process.
- Buyers prefer sellers who have prompt solutions to their issues since they do not expect to have a lengthy back-and-forth with sales reps.
To be efficient with your customer’s time means having clear procedures to share information with leads and close the deals as soon as possible. Automation is one way to streamline the sales process (i.e., call booking automation or emailing certain information/reminders for B2B meetings).
Seller-Free Buying Choices Are In Demand
The general approach most B2B companies take is tiresome; it involves many interactions and one-on-one engagements to close leads.
B2B buying is changing pretty fast. Buyers now have no issue with self-service during the buying process.
According to Gartner’s study on the future of sales:
- COVID stimulated buyer-centric purchase behavior.
- By 2025, 80% of interactions between B2B sellers and buyers will occur online.
- 33% of buyers prefer seller-free buying.
- Seller-free buying enhances the brand experience, provided the buyer’s expectations are met.
What is seller-free buying exactly? Create a buying process that requires no one-to-one calls or back-and-forth communication. Can your B2B prospects buy while you and your team are sleeping? If not, explore ways that you could automate sales.
Marketing Content Is Getting More And More Attractive
Marketing content helps reach many buyers at once. With excellent content, your business also stands out as an authority.
People will view you as an industry leader. Since they have confidence in what you offer, it becomes easy to make sales.
Here’s what excellent marketing content does to B2B sales:
- 66% of marketers have evidence that marketing content generates more leads.
- 87% of B2B marketers prioritize informational content over random promotional texts for conversion.
How To Overcome B2B Sales Challenges
Here are some more common issues buyers will have in the B2B space, and how to overcome them:
Embrace Sales Stimulators
54% of consumers abandon an item when they feel overwhelmed by choice. Sales stimulators allow buyers to interact with you and your products.
Content is a crucial stimulator, whether in the form of blog posts, case studies, white papers, or videos. Just make sure the content is factual, relevant, and valuable. That allows people to feel more comfortable receiving from your business, before they’ve even made a purchase.
Have Expert Salespeople For Your Brand
Salespersons with little information and insights about what they sell find it hard to conquer the market. Additionally, they not only need to be well-versed in the product/service of your business but also intelligent in how they communicate with prospects.
Buyers want actionable solutions to their problems. With a knowledgeable team, buyers feel taken care of in the entire process, from being directed to the first sales call, to being followed up with, and eventually taken care of after the sale.
Align The Sales And Marketing Teams
Are you finding it hard to boost your brand’s awareness? Are social engagements low, or your website impressions not growing?
The problem could be the misalignment of your marketing and sales teams.
These statistics tell it all:
- 87% of sales and marketing leaders echo that alignment boosts business growth and survival
- 25.9% of sellers have had success from sales and marketing alignment.
Sales and marketing alignment looks like these departments working together to understand how the processes are working from either end. The marketing team effectively passes on the lead to the sales team. So, for the sales team to understand what information the customer had and the last touch point that occurred, that already helps them in their selling.
B2B Sales FAQs
What Is The Most Effective Way To Get B2B Sales?
The best approach to attract and win sales is to know the common mistakes people are making in B2B business marketing, what the current trends are, and learn from businesses that are doing it well. Read the tips in this article, and if you want to go deeper, personalize your sales process to scale your business by working with our team at Scaling With Systems.
How Can I Improve My B2B Sales Skills?
The secret is learning and implementing what you study. Learn how to listen, work as a team, negotiate, accommodate feedback, research thoroughly, and sell on social media.
How Do You Stand Out In B2B Sales?
Give value beyond what your competitors offer. Also, become an expert and authority in your industry and enhance brand awareness through effective marketing.
What Are The Five Typical Stages Of A B2B Sales Process?
- Researching and connecting with prospects
- Engage your prospects – to ask questions, connect, and discover them more
- Educate them on something valuable based on the engagements
- Qualify the lead
- Close the sale.
Wrapping Up On B2B Sales Tips
Given the seven practical B2B sales tips you’ve learned today, you have a deeper understanding of what it takes to create a smooth and effective sales journey for your prospects.
Remember that sales are your B2B business lifeblood — growth and sustainability depend on them.
Need some help? At Scaling With Systems, we work with individuals, teams, and businesses to boost sales and expand to greater heights through client acquisition systems. Book a free consultation call with us today.