B2B Sales And How To Close Your Next Deal
Making a hundred cold calls a day and going to clients' offices are both things of the past when it comes to B2B sales. And long gone are the days when your sales force was inundated with qualified leads from your ideal customers at your target companies.
Despite the fact that traditional B2B sales methods such as cold calling, inbound marketing, inside sales, and field sales all have their place in many companies' sales strategies, today's B2B buyers seek new ways to engage with B2B sellers.
A buyer's journey typically begins with them conducting online research and conducting an engaging content search on Google. Customers are comparing your product to the competition and weighing their needs against the wide variety of available options.
HBR found that 90% of B2B decision-makers do not respond to cold outreach. When making a major purchase, 74% of business buyers in today's era of social selling prefer to do their own research. Specifically, before contacting a sales professional and becoming a qualified lead, 41% of B2B customers view 3-5 online pieces of material.
By 2023, it is anticipated that B2B e-commerce revenues will total $1.8 trillion.
COPYRIGHT_MARX: Published on https://marxcommunications.com/b2b-sales/ by Keith Peterson on 2022-10-07T05:13:48.748Z
For comparison, that is three times the predicted $600 billion in B2C e-commerce sales by 2024.
Therefore, contemporary sellers must understand digital sales techniques, buyer interaction in a distant selling setting, and the usage of remote selling technologies.
We'll discuss the most crucial B2B sales components in this article, as well as how B2B sales operate.
What's the B2B sales process?
Examples of typical B2B sales include:
- organizations that offer businesses professional services (like market research)
- companies that offer businesses digital/software services (like CRM)
- producers and distributors of raw materials for manufacturers
When a firm sells its goods or services to another business, this is referred to as business-to-business (B2B) sales. B2B organizations need to retain a team of highly-trained B2B sales experts in order to generate revenue because B2B sales typically involve higher price points, more intricate processes, and numerous touchpoints across multiple channels.
B2B sales can be classified into one of three categories depending on the sales model:
The proprietor of the business, or supplier, offers consumables that aid another enterprise. This includes equipment, clothing, and office supplies.
They follow a similar procedure to B2C companies. The quantity and purchasing authorization are different, though.
An employee will acquire 50 ink cartridges instead of one and get permission from a boss or decision-maker before making the purchase.
One business that specializes in these kinds of B2B transactions is Lyreco, a significant retailer of office and equipment supplies.
The wholesaler offers important raw materials to other companies who are involved in production or retail.
An illustration of a wholesale food distributor is JJ Foods. They supply restaurants and fast food chains with basic food items, which they subsequently resell to consumers at a higher price.
Instead of selling products, the service provider sells services, most frequently SaaS sales tools.
Using tax accounting as an example, this may be a small business accountant or an accountancy firm that works with larger companies.
It might also be a service offered through software, like Quickbooks for tax accounting.
Direct sales from a company or salesperson to the customer are known as B2C sales. They are typically smaller in scope than B2B sales and just involve the consumer's choice.
Examples of typical business-to-consumer sales include:
- an auto dealership salesperson.
- a clothing retailer with an internet store.
- a store that sells a range of consumer goods.
B2B sales are distinct from B2C sales in a number of respects, in addition to the distinct differences between the target purchasers.
First off, because their solutions are frequently bigger and more complicated, B2B offers typically have a higher price point. Due to the size of the agreements, the complexity of the solutions, and the number of stakeholders, they also have a substantially longer sales cycle. Third, B2B sales are often not completed in a single transaction since they require many touchpoints to finish deals.
B2B transactions frequently need approval from a number of decision-makers inside an organization because of the pricing points. As a result, compared to B2C Sales, B2B Sales processes tend to be more strategic.
B2B selling strategies frequently appeal to a buyer's reason, but B2C selling strategies frequently appeal to a buyer's emotions. The usual B2C buyer's journey is significantly simpler than the B2B buyer's journey.
The usual B2C buyer's journey will be examined. A new toothbrush is required for Rachel. She uses Google to look for "best toothbrush" online. She discovers a report on a high-end electric toothbrush. She purchases the toothbrush after reading a few encouraging reviews on Amazon. Ideally, B2B sales would be that easy. B2B transactions can involve high risk and big profit. Consequently, there are a few significant differences:
Gartner estimates that the average buying group for a complicated B2B solution includes 6-10 decision-makers. So, why do B2B sales necessitate such a large number of important decision-makers?
Assume a new Chief Marketing Officer requires a costly marketing automation solution. Before locating an offering, she may consult with important members of her team. After she has decided on a feasible solution, she must obtain the budget approved by the CFO.
A CIO or Chief Data Officer may also be contacted to ensure that it is compatible with the company's current technology stack. A CEO may even be involved in important purchasing decisions at small to medium-sized businesses.
Almost every salesman who has ever worked for a B2B organization has experienced frustration with the lengthy sales cycles at some point or another. How long do B2B sales cycles last then? In a study by CSO Insights, it takes three-quarters (74.6%) of B2B sales at least four months to close, and nearly half (46.4%) take seven months or longer.
What does this signify for B2B salespeople dealing with lengthy sales cycles? This necessitates that they always are working on new deals. Thus, there is a need for close cooperation in B2B sales. While some B2B AEs do their own deal sourcing, the majority rely on marketing and sales development reps (SDRs) to provide a consistent stream of qualified leads.
B2B purchasers are extremely picky. They are selective in who they do business with and are creating their own purchasing criteria on their own, independent of salesmen.
Because of this, content - like case studies, for instance - has grown to be a crucial component of the B2B sales process.
In an inbound business-to-business sales cycle, Marketing may initially generate some of the leads through various channels (e.g., web forms, trade exhibitions, email marketing, advertising). The inbound-focused SDR would then qualify these leads. The frontrunner may be eliminated from contention for any number of reasons. In contrast, once a lead is qualified, the inbound-focused SDR will pass them off to the AE so they can schedule a demo.
There are also outbound-focused salespeople in many thriving B2B sales businesses. These outbound SDRs (i.e., hunters) discover potential prospects who match ideal customer buying profiles using strategies like cold phoning, cold emails, social media connections, and more.
Until they can start a dialogue with a potential customer, they frequently reach out in a cadence (which typically needs numerous touch points such as calls, emails, texts, and social media). The outbound SDR would then pass the buyer along to an AE for a demo after qualifying this lead.
The AE must figure out how to assist the potential business the most effectively throughout the B2B demo. This entails conversing with prospects, learning about their problems, and working with them to find the best solution (if one indeed exists).
Great B2B AEs are experts at establishing rapport, getting through objections, coming up with creative solutions, and, most importantly, they listen well. An excellent demo requires both science and art. At Revenue.io, we provide AI-based solutions to sales coaches to help them identify best practices that provide effective results during demos. In order to scale out the best practices across the entire team, coaches can learn which ones to use.
An AE will have an internal champion within the client company if a demo goes well. The AE's role is to enable that internal champion to sell to other important stakeholders inside the firm.
When working on competitive agreements, AEs frequently work with Marketing teams to develop decks, sales collateral, battlecards against major competitors, ROI calculators, and other deal-advancing materials. One perspective is that purchasers frequently have a string of buying jobs (e.g. calculating ROI).
And B2B vendors ought to provide the tools necessary for those customers to do their tasks (e.g. an ROI calculator). B2B deals often go through Procurement and Legal before receiving approval during the contract step of the late sales cycle.
A B2B sales cycle is far from over once contracts are signed. Customer success representatives, a cross between sales and support representatives, frequently work with clients to make sure they are happy with the product.
This is crucial since B2B sales rely heavily on expanding and retaining customer bases. In reality, many businesses use a strategy called "Land and Expand." The idea is to start with a lesser deal, make sure the customer succeeds, and then gradually increase the deal size over time.
The most effective salesmen for B2B organizations are frequently going to be their clients. A standout case study or recommendation can be pure gold. After all, it's one thing to hear Joe Salesrep praise a solution. But watching a video of a senior official at a Fortune 500 business praising a solution will be significantly more impactful.
Sales between businesses involve a lot of labor. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, from the first prospecting to turning a qualified lead into a sale, a firm needs a committed sales team.
Typically, sales development representatives (SDRs) are in charge of managing:
- Cold calling is the practice of calling potential customers and speaking with them.
- Sending sales emails to verified lead lists is known as outbound email.
- Social selling is the practice of interacting with leads on social media and making a pitch to them.
Prospects are forwarded to Business Development Managers (BDMs), who negotiate contracts and conclude business if they consent to a demo or meeting.
B2B salespeople's success depends a lot on marketing as well. The two departments must work together for the pipeline to be built and expanded. The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) must be agreed upon by both teams before the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for each team's respective business can be developed (TAM).
The task of producing content that appeals to your ICP and distributing it through a variety of digital marketing techniques, like blog posts, whitepapers, email campaigns, paid advertisements, and social media, is the responsibility of a data-driven marketing team. Due to the steady flow of warm leads, they generate into the sales funnel, all of these activities boost B2B sales productivity and shorten the sales cycle.
Together, the B2B sales and marketing departments should create a bigger revenue team.
When Marc Benioff unveiled Salesforce, the first cloud-based CRM product, B2B sales had gone a long way since the Yellow Pages were first published (1966 in the UK!). Over the upcoming ten years, further advancements are anticipated to occur.
B2B sales will continue to change as a result of the present worldwide pandemic and the widespread use of remote working by businesses. With advancements in technology, AI, analytics, and lead generation, it's going to be even simpler and more effective than it's ever been.
B2B examples include semiconductors, apparel, accessories, and manufacturing supplies. These items are a result of a transaction involving two companies.
Which category does Amazon fall under, business-to-business or business-to-consumer? Unlike many other companies, Amazon serves as a supplier to both other businesses and individual customers. Given Amazon's vast selection, more and more small businesses are turning to the site to stock up on necessities.
9 Essentials for a B2B Sale
- Promote value
- Build up your accounts
- Bring your customers new information
- Stop, work together, and listen.
- Reduce the perceived risk for customers
- Locate the Domino
- Take initiative
- To maximize your sales productivity, manage your time.
- Develop the necessary B2B sales abilities.
One of the most recent technical advancements that are assisting B2B sales teams in increasing customer conversion is real-time coaching. By automatically identifying key terms during calls and dynamically presenting reps with useful guidance and content that helps them be more effective, real-time solutions can aid in scaling coaching.
The B2B sales process is no longer a straight line.
It's an overlapping Venn diagram full of touchpoints, pain areas, and value-oriented buyers. Should this change make B2B firms and sales reps despair? As an astute woman once said:
"Oh, heck no!".
On the contrary, it's cause for celebration. A more difficult process equals a higher barrier to access. This is a positive development.
More sales will go to B2B businesses that are focused on their customers, and outmoded dinosaur businesses that are unable to change will be kept out.
It's a new age, and I'm ready for the next B2B sales challenge.