Making sales consistently is not easy. And with the rapidly changing landscape of how B2B sales happen, many in the sales industry are finding themselves looking for answers in articles just like these.
But while some would like you to believe that the pandemic has turned the B2B sales world upside down, that’s not necessarily the case. Sure, the way people conduct business or even work is different, but the underlying principles of sound sales tactics remain the same as they were for a long time.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the top sales tactics you should use to close more sales. But first, let’s explore how B2B sales are different and why that difference matters.
How Are B2B Sales Different?
One of the main reasons some struggle with B2B sales is that they fail to understand the key differences between B2C and other types of deals. Even though the psychology behind sales can be similar, the way that the sale actually goes is usually completely different.
For instance, unless you’re working in SaaS markets, you will probably find that the B2B sales cycle is much longer than in eCommerce or other B2C industries. Impulse purchases are almost nonexistent, so you have to be prepared to invest time and effort into acquiring, nurturing, and converting leads into customers.
Another critical difference between B2B sales and other types of sales is the number of decision-makers you will have to go through. Although it’s not a hard rule, you will likely have to go through multiple people until you find the real decision-maker, and even then, the decision to buy from you will probably be collective.
The good news is that in many cases, B2B sales can result in longer relationships and larger transaction sizes. If you manage to sell the benefits of your solution for a specific client, they might stay with you for many years, ensuring a steady stream of revenue that you can rely on.
Essential B2B Sales Tactics You Should Consider
Now that we’ve established a few key features of B2B sales, let’s explore some of the top sales tactics you should add to your process if you want to maximize results and convert more leads into paying customers.
Understand Your Market
No matter how unique you think your product is, it likely won’t be the only one your customers are considering. And that means that if you don’t want to be out of touch with the concerns and expectations of your buyers, you need to know exactly what’s happening in your market and how your products fit into the picture.
You’ll need to get very familiar with your competitors, collecting as much information as possible about everything they’re doing.
Start with looking into their product selection and dig deep into the core features they offer. Compare those features with your own and map out potential opportunities for a USP, as well as areas where they might have the advantage.
To get a more objective understanding of how their products perform, look through as many reviews as you can, writing down key points and common themes repeated by many buyers.
You should also look at how your competitors position themselves in the marketplace. Who’s the budget option? Who has the most unique features? And which solutions are niched down to sub-segments of your market?
Once you see what others are doing, finding your own USP will become much easier. You’ll know exactly what your strong suits are and will have a much easier time standing out and finding ways to draw the attention of your best buyers.
Get to Know Your Ideal Customers
Your ability to make sales is largely based on how well you know your customers. B2B audiences are some of the most sophisticated and educated you could deal with, so cheap tricks and salesy gimmicks won’t impress anyone.
The only thing your buyers will care about is how your product can help them. And to make sure that your product is actually the right choice in their situation, you will need to perform a deep dive into audience research and figure out who could benefit the most from what you have to offer.
If you perform market research, you will have a much better understanding of the landscape in your market and how your audience behaves.
But you will need to develop a thorough and in-depth ideal buyer persona that will help you narrow down the specifics of where to find them, how to approach them, what to offer, and how to guide them towards deciding to buy from you.
A good way to think about your ideal buyers is to consider at what point they will need your product the most. Are they a growing startup that’s failing to keep up with their customer support needs? Are they an established company that needs a more efficient way to handle project management?
Whatever problem your product solves, start with the moment in which your audience could benefit from it the most and build out your ideal customer from there. However, make sure to verify assumptions through interviews and surveys of your customers at every stage of the process.
Lead With Value, Not Price
Price is one of the most common objections you will have to overcome. Many sales pitches have fallen through the moment that price was mentioned, so most sales reps are hesitant about introducing price and feel guilty even mentioning it.
But the most successful salespeople know that the price is not just a number; it’s a representation of the value that your product can offer. And because of that, if you lead with value and can prove it, you can justify any price you want.
Instead of being apologetic about your price and rushing to offer discounts or free trials, remove the cost from the equation until it’s absolutely necessary.
The good thing about selling to B2B audiences is that they make calculated business decisions when making purchases. And that means that as a sales rep, you will have the perfect opportunity to show how your product solves problems in their situation and why it’s worth every penny you’re asking (and more), at least if you take the time to qualify each lead beforehand.
When you build up the value and can show how much using your product will save or make, you can quote your price with confidence, knowing that it’s a good value deal in their situation and they’d be making the wrong business decision by saying no.
Showcase Past Successes
One of the most common challenges sales reps face is proving that their product is the right solution for a prospect. You can talk about the features as long as you want, but clients expect you to embellish the truth and hide the flaws, which is why you should expect resistance from them every step of the way.
However, there’s a way to instantly remove all of that friction and allow your product to tell your story for you.
If you know your customers and have a track record of success, you can mix and match specific case studies to prospective clients facing similar issues, creating the perfect process for showcasing how your product works in action and how big of an impact it can make.
Instead of having to make estimates of what your product could do in their situation, you could point to past successes that were similar, showing hard data and specific results your other clients were able to achieve with the help of your solution.
Most of the time, you want to maintain a positive and light atmosphere during your sessions with a lead. But if you keep everything too polite, you might end up missing key opportunities to get their attention and actually get them to listen to what you have to say.
That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to call out your clients and be more direct in how you lay out the situation. If you notice they’re not really responding, you should stop your presentation and ask them what’s missing and what’s causing them to drift off.
If you believe they’re just price shopping and aren’t really interested, call them out as well, asking who they’re considering instead and why they think it’s a better option.
You might find that once you cut through the conversation and get to the heart of the situation, you may discover unique insights about your buyers, seeing what they’re really thinking, and identifying the tools for getting them on board with your pitch once again.
If they tell you that they’re looking into a competitor, you can lay out your arguments for why that product doesn’t come with everything you have to offer. If you’re prepared, you might even be able to convince them that your product is simply a better fit in their situation.
Follow Up Consistently
Most salespeople know they need to follow up with leads consistently. But few have the persistence to actually follow through on this, often giving up much sooner than they should have.
And without them even knowing it, that can often result in countless missed sales opportunities that fell through before the buyer had time to consider their options and find the time to make a decision.
B2B buyers are busy, stressed, and concerned about budget. But if your solution works and can help them, you need to hammer home the facts about why it works and how it can help them until they take the time to listen. You also need to remove all friction from the process, showing them exactly how the onboarding process would go and minimizing any effort on their end.
Without being intrusive and annoying, you need to stay on the mind of the leads you’re trying to convert because, more often than not, the only thing between you and the sale is the wrong circumstances at one point that might change the next.
Find the Decision-Maker
The need to find the decision-maker in a company you’re selling to is one of the oldest sales tactics you will read about. But there’s a reason for why it’s remained a constant throughout the decades – B2B sales often come down to whether you’re talking to the right person or not.
If you know your market and your customer persona, you probably already understand what position the decision-maker typically has in the company.
But since each organization is different, you will need to verify that your assumptions are correct and go through multiple people until you are at the point of making the sale.
However, if you use a B2B lead generation service like TaskDrive, you can minimize the time it takes to perform thorough lead research and receive enriched data about each prospective client you’re considering.
When you know more about the companies you’re pursuing, you can provide your sales team with the complete picture about who they’re trying to sell to, avoiding having to deal with middlemen and getting straight to reaching out to the people who can say yes to your offer.
Making B2B sales is hard work, especially during the pandemic. Most companies are more hesitant about committing to a purchase, so sales reps need to get creative in how they approach clients and ensure that they say yes.
However, if you use the sales tactics above, you will always know how to position your products, what clients to pursue, and how to structure the sales process to maximize the number of leads you can convert.