Three Important Tools for B2B Sales
When asked to describe a salesperson, people generally start to imagine a sharply dressed individual standing in a lot of used cars, or someone going door to door with a trunk full of product. While this type of business-to-consumer (B2C) sales does exist, it is not as common as many perceive it to be. The under-the-radar world of business-to-business (B2B) sales is far less transactional than B2C, and therefore, it requires a bit more care. Industry knowledge, relationship building skills, and success stories are key tools that help turn B2B sales into long term business partnerships.
When selling into a business within a particular industry, it is important to know the industry inside and out. If a salesperson is able to navigate industry changes throughout the sales cycle, he or she will have a leg up on competitors in closing business. The technology/software industry, for example, is developing as you read this post. Every prospective company you sell to faces challenges directly related to their industry. By understanding these challenges and explaining how your product solves these problems, you show understanding and earn credibility. Whether it is new legislation being passed or new products hitting the market, it is important to stay on top of it all.
Knowing the competitive landscape for your product will help you pivot when you get stuck comparing features with a prospect. Having a sense of how your product differs from the others in the market is imperative. More often than not, the prospect will already have something in place that is somewhat similar to what you are offering. By doing the research, you are able to poke holes in the offerings of the current vendor and demonstrate the value of your product.
Relationship Building Skills
At the end of the day, consumers often buy from people they like. In the B2B world, one company’s relationship with another is something that needs to be nurtured. As a salesperson, you are the contact who represents your entire company. Individual actions and interactions with a prospective business will go a long way in determining whether or not a business partnership will develop.
Obviously, being truthful and transparent with a prospective business is extremely important. There is no sense in exaggerating product features or boasting benefits that aren’t really there. If you clearly and honestly explain how your product or service can benefit their business, prospects will be receptive to your pitch. Trust is not something that is earned overnight. It takes time, effort, and understanding. If a prospect tells you to touch base in a few months, do exactly that and show that you appreciate their time.
There are very few sales tools more powerful than a relevant success story. If you can articulate to a prospect how your product has benefitted a similar business, they can imagine your product helping theirs. To a prospect, the opinions of peers hold much more weight than anything they hear from salespeople. Making a good impression on a few companies can have a snowball effect on the entire industry.
By following through on promises and providing the value you pitched to clients, you create advocates. Soon enough, your product is selling itself by word of mouth.
These are a few tools to consider when selling to high-level executives at large companies. Ultimately, the goal of B2B sales is not simply to close the business. It is to close and close again until it becomes a profitable partnership and you have gained a flagship client for your product. Read more about how Acquirent helps B2B companies with outsourced sales.