B2B sales can be tricky, so we’ve put together a list of seven B2B sales tips to help you close more deals.
1. Research your competition
No matter how great your product is, if your customers believe your competitors do it better, you don’t stand a chance. So, first thing’s first – know your enemy. A quick Google search of your biggest competitors can provide you with a wealth of information.
Use what you find to figure out what is and isn’t working for your competitors, so you don’t make their mistakes. Eventually, you’ll begin to anticipate their next move so you can position yourself a step ahead.
Inc. offer 10 tips for carrying out competitor research if you’re stuck for ideas about where to begin.
2. Differentiate yourself
Once you’ve learned all there is to know about your competitors, it’s time to make yourself stand out.
Every business is different and offers something unique to their customers, so spend time figuring out your unique value proposition. Your UVP will be something valuable that only you – nobody else – can offer to customers. Jeremy Smith has an excellent post all about how to better explain and gain conversions from your UVP for further reference.
3. Research your prospect
It’s time to turn your attention to your customers.
Having a thorough understanding of your prospect before you even approach them is one of the best B2B sales tactics out there. Putting in the leg-work before your first contact helps you to establish a relationship and figure out where your product fits with their business model.
Timely, well-researched calls are far more effective than any number of cold calls.
4. Keep the sales cycle short
As buyer behaviour changes and adapts, the B2B sales cycle keeps getting longer. And, as everyone knows, a longer sales cycle leads to wasted resources and missed opportunities. So, what can you do about it?
The best way to overcome a lengthy sales cycle is to only pursue highly-qualified leads. Selling to people who urgently need a solution to their problem is a good way to shorten the cycle. Avoid wasting time with unqualified prospects who either aren’t yet ready to buy, or simply never will.
5. Speak to key decision makers
Wherever possible, always sell to high-level decision makers who have both the authority and the budget to buy your product.
How? If you’ve followed tip #3, your research should have pointed you in the direction of who exactly you need to be speaking to.
After that, assuming you have successfully got past the gatekeeper, make sure you sell face to face. B2B sales are usually long-term and high-value, so it is always worth your while to put in the extra effort and secure a meeting in person.
Face to face meetings are more persuasive than a phone call or an email, so it’s important to plan ahead. Before you go, make sure you’ve done your homework on the prospects’ company, their timescales, and have some answers to potential objections.
6. Sell the business outcomes and benefits
Just like in B2C sales, your B2B pitch should always focus on the benefits your product offers, instead of its features.
A good B2B salesperson understands the importance of selling an outcome, not a product. What problem does your prospect have? How will your product solve this?
7. Give demos
One of your most powerful sales tools is the sales demonstration. It creates buyer engagement, and helps to move the sales process along faster.
There are three key steps to giving an effective sales demo: the preparation, execution, and the follow up.
- Research your prospect (again) – use social media to find out everything you can about the people you’ll be demonstrating to.
- Anticipate – think about things from the prospects’ point of view. What questions, objections and hesitations might they have? Anticipating their concerns will help things run smoothly on demo day so you’re not put on the spot without any idea of how to answer.
- Create a dialogue – remember that your objective is engagement. As you’re demonstrating, generate interest by giving prospects the opportunity to interact with the product. The worst thing you can do is stand and give a monologue, so make sure you’re paying close attention to prospects’ body language. If things seem a little stale, ask insightful questions.
The steps you take after your demonstration are equally as important to those you took before and during.
- Reach out – send a timely follow up email afterwards. Make sure your email is centred around them, not you. Did you learn more about their pain points in the demo? If so, send them useful information about how your product can solve them.
- Anticipate (again) – based on what you learned from the demo, what does their timescale look like? When can you expect them to move to the next step of the sales process? Make sure you identify opportunities to close the deal and are ready to act.
What’s the best B2B sales tip you’ve ever been given? Let us know in the comments section below!