B2B sales (business to business) is the process of companies selling products or services to other companies. The B2B sales process is an ongoing cycle that begins with identifying a need and ends when you have generated enough qualified leads to sell your products or services.
If your company is in the B2B space and looking for ways to improve sales performance, then this article is for you. Here we will discuss some tried and true methods that will help increase your conversion rate and generate more revenue. Let’s get started!
What Is B2B Sales?
The term B2B, or business to business sales, is typically used when a company sells its products and/or services, not for individual consumption but rather targeted towards another business.
Types Of Bids: How Should You Go About It?
There are two types of business transactions – consumer and commercial, so whether a company sells its goods/services directly to the public (B2C) or another business (B2B) will determine which type of sale they should focus on more intently. For example, an eCommerce retailer selling clothing would generally be considered as a B2C transaction, whereas a wholesaler who does bulk supply for other companies would fall under the category of B2B.
Now that you know the difference between B2C and B2B, let’s discuss how each type of sale differs from one another:
When a company sells its goods/services to the public (consumers), it will typically use more aggressive sales techniques such as discounts and contests to incentivize buyers with lower prices or prizes. Meanwhile, when an organization sells its products/services to other businesses, it generally entails fewer risks. This is because most companies are concerned about maximizing profits rather than offering incentives for buying bulk quantities.
The critical thing to remember is that you should always go after the highest value customers – those who are willing and able to pay a good price for your goods/services.
How Can You Improve Your Conversion Rate?
There’s more than one way of going about this, but here are some tried and true methods:
Offer Value First
Whether you’re selling goods or services, always ensure that your customers are receiving a valuable product. In most cases, they will pay more for something if it offers the most value to them instead of purchasing from another seller who isn’t offering anything unique.
Referrals And References
Referrals can be highly beneficial when looking to generate new business because there’s no better form of marketing than a positive customer experience shared with others – word-of-mouth is still one of the best forms of advertising out there. In addition, a reference of your work or products from existing happy clients is another excellent way to ensure prospective clients that you are taken seriously, and that other industry players have seen and are utilizing your industry value.
How to Keep Customers Happy?
The key is staying in contact with your customers and ensuring that they receive what you promised them regarding delivery time and quality of goods/services rendered. It’s also vital that you offer after-sales services such as refunds, exchanges, etc. Happy clients remember excellent sales service, and B2B markets are known for their buyer consistency when quality products or services are delivered.
Understanding How B2B and B2C Differs
B2B sales differ from B2C in several ways, and they can be broken down into three main categories: – The buyer’s journey – How the buying process differs between business to consumer and business to business purchasing. – The sales process from the point of contact to sale, and beyond.
It’s important to recognize how a consumer makes buying decisions.
When I’m looking to make a personal purchase I browse around a site, find some things that fit my criteria, put them in a cart then continue shopping. If I do decide to buy, I can enter card details to pay. That’s a typical B2C purchase.
However, what about buying from another company? What if I’m a company looking for a new lead generation tool.
I’ll do some research on different products online and communicate details with my team members either through Zoom or by email/phone. I’ll study this new lead generation tool compare it to what we are currently using by examining how many leads/contacts/customers we generate through each one; then I’ll look at pricing, features, future potential – a whole range of things.
If I’m happy with what I saw, then the next step would be to arrange a demo.
This is the start of the B2B buyer’s journey.
The B2B buyer’s journey and sales funnel is different because it requires input from multiple people, is usually more expensive, and takes place at a usual pace over several months rather than minutes (longer sales cycle).
Understanding the B2B Buyer
When buying B2B, the process varies for each company – but there are some basic steps to follow along the way.
1. Identify The Problem
At the start of the B2B buyer’s journey, a problem needs to be solved. This could be because they are unhappy with their current solution, or maybe it’s a new project, service, or product they want to implement. It’s essential as a salesperson to identify this to talk about how your solution can solve their problem.
After identifying a problem, prospects research what the best option might be. Often this is through speaking to current customers or people within the company who have experience with other companies that deal with similar products and services. See: Intent Data
3. Seek Information
The buyer will want to find out more about your product or service, so they will need marketing material, usually in the form of a brochure, website, case studies, and social media. They will also want to speak to you and your competitors.
The B2B buyer analyzes their options and evaluates which products would be best suited to their needs. Then, they will typically ask for a demo, trial, or consultation.
5. Request a Demo, Trial, or Consultation
Once B2B research is complete and the buyer feels that your product or service meets their needs, they will ask for a demo. In most cases, this is in-person or live over Zoom. Your sales reps need to be able to answer any questions the prospect might have along with showing them the value your product brings.
For a trial of your software product, they will usually ask for access to a sandbox environment or an abbreviated version. This is where the value of customer profiles comes in, which you can use to ensure their experience is positive from start to finish.
Once the demo has taken place, and if it’s a positive experience, then you can expect an evaluation. This stage could take weeks or months depending on multiple factors, such as how long it would take for implementation and training or how long it would be until the return on investment is seen.
Before a sale is made, the buyer will decide whether to recommend your product. They may seek advice from colleagues and other departments within their company before deciding which solution would be best for them. If they choose you, then it’s time to close the deal!
B2B Sales Focus Areas To Consider
A B2B sales rep needs to be able to identify and target the right prospects so they can be provided with the correct information and the best solution possible. This means you’ll need a strategic marketing campaign that will produce leads and attract the right contacts.
In B2B sales, all the people involved in the decision-making process must be informed and should be satisfied with the purchase. This could be key players or even a whole board of directors, so you’ll need to make sure everyone is kept up to date with what’s going on.
In B2C, sales can largely be completed in a one-to-one setting, but with B2B, this is much rarer due to the number of people involved and the amount of time it takes for deals to go through. The majority of B2B buyers are found through prospecting, so sales reps need to be able to write persuasive messages and follow up with several emails before landing a discovery call or demo.
B2B purchases have many more factors involved – from product cost, implementation, maintenance, and the cost of training staff. Pricing is also often more fixed, so it’s essential to establish who has the more disposable income when dealing with potential B2B customers.
What is the B2B Sales Process?
The general B2B sales process includes 7 steps:
1. Research Your Target Market
Begin by narrowing down your target market to a select group of potential B2B customers or ICP. And get an understanding of their current pain points and what existing systems or products they are currently using – or trying to use – within their organization so that you add value to their current situation.
Look at their company profile, website, and social media channels to understand who they are as a business. You will also want to look into competitors that would be in direct competition with your solution so you can create an edge over them by highlighting the benefits of using your product or service instead.
Researching your b-to-b target market is the first step to a successful sale. Don’t miss this opportunity by making these common mistakes!
2. Prospecting / Lead Generation
Now that you understand your buyer’s pain points and needs, it’s time to reach out to your prospects and get them interested in what you have to offer. This could be done in a variety of ways, including LinkedIn messenger, phone, and email. Of course, one of the best sources for lead generation is your website visitors.
So, what you’re aiming to do here is attract their attention and get them on a discovery call or demo. Here are ideas on key areas that need your focus:
- Use visuals in your content. It will make your website stand out from the rest!
- Make sure you have a clear call to action, make it easy for visitors to understand what they should do next.
- Include short and snappy paragraphs in your website copy. If you’ve been writing lengthy blog posts, this is the time when you need to condense all that information into 500-word chunks!
- Your sales message should be punchy and persuasive. You need to convince your prospect that you’re the best solution for their problems, so make sure it’s convincing!
3. Discovery / Needs Assessment Call
A discovery meeting is used so the B2B buyer and seller can get to know each other and determine if you can provide the needed value and benefit to the prospect. It’s important to ask discovery questions to determine your prospect’s needs, wants, and pain points. For guidance, develop a discovery call strategy and script.
This is the time to prove that you are different from your competitors. So, focus on highlighting your expertise and what makes you better!
After this step, if everything goes well, then it will turn into an opportunity for a demo or presentation of some sort. That’s where you need to be super prepared with all the content thoroughly thought out and all the facts and figures at your fingertips!
At this stage, you’ll want to be ready to show off everything that your product can do and the value it can bring to your prospects. Since the buyer has done their initial research, they likely know most of the features you offer, so focus on the value you bring and how you can solve their problems.
Be confident and passionate about your product. This is the time to show why you are different from everybody else!
If prospects are interested in what they have heard, then it’s likely that they will want a demo or trial of some sort so everyone involved can get further clarity on how everything works together.
5. Creating a Solution & Objection Handling
Now, if you’ve done an excellent job in the previous stages of the B2B sales process, then there won’t be many (if any) objections that can stop your sale at this point. However, make sure you’re prepared for anything you may come up against, some common objections, and ways to overcome them.
If you’re able to create a solution, now it’s time to handle the objections.
6. Closing Contract Negotiation
To avoid losing prospects, set clear expectations and next step meetings. Close the deal. Sales reps need to be able to close a sale and negotiate on price. If you’re working with an SMB buyer, then this could be as easy as them saying yes. Still, for larger B2B buyers, it can take some time – remember that the company is likely going to have to go through several different approvals before an order is placed.
7. Execution And Post-Sale Follow Up
This final step of the B2B sales process is vital to your success. It’s important that you make sure that everything runs smoothly and, if it doesn’t, then you should be ready to deal with any issues in a timely and professional manner. After a sale is made, your company needs to make sure that the customer experience is as positive as possible. This means providing ongoing support and any training they might need throughout the implementation of their product or service.
Identify how you can help them with their problems quickly. It is important to pay attention to the personality of the various buyers that you work with. These people buy for a living. They’ve seen every sales pitch and know what they are doing. The question is, how are you going to stand out in a B2B sales environment? Be authentic, be honest, be available and be on time.
How To Be Successful In B2b Sales
You can do several things if you want your business to be truly successful at generating revenue through online channels – the first of which is to understand what your customer base wants. By doing so, you can develop an effective strategy that will allow you to generate more revenue and close deals at a faster rate than ever before. You’ll also need to be sure that your website reflects the values of your brand and showcases the value proposition for both existing customers and prospects alike.
Lastly, it’s essential to keep in mind these simple tips when selling B2B:
- Cultivate relationships with industry experts through networking events or blogging about topics relevant to their interests/industry
- Focus on creating content tailored towards potential clients rather than focusing on self-promotion all the time
- Use social media campaigns sparingly since they may have a negative effect on your target audience
- Always provide quality customer service because it’s the best way to keep customers coming back for more!
- Make sure you have a dedicated page that lists out all of your products/services for easy viewing.
If these tips are implemented correctly, they will give any business an edge over their competitors and help them stand apart from the rest. Best of luck with selling online, we hope this comprehensive guide helps generate additional revenue in no time at all!
B2B sales is a complex process, but you’ll be able to build a successful and long-lasting business if you follow the right steps. Tools such as Visitor InSites will help identify B2B buyers shopping for what you sell around the web and on your website, resulting in warm sales leads.
What is B2B Sales?
B2B sales specifically refers to business-to-business transactions (or any transaction between two businesses) such as buying office supplies from your local supplier. This type of sale can be more complicated than a consumer purchase because there are many more factors that need to align correctly in order for it to happen successfully.
How do you generate leads as a B2B business owner or marketer? You most likely have some stories to tell, as well as plans in