8 Best Practices for B2B Sales Teams
Successful sales teams are constantly analyzing the results of their processes to grow. In today’s fast and competitive market if teams are going to build on success in their teams, they need to know how best to attract their customers. Developing trust and relationships that convert leads into wins needs good compelling content and a great B2B process.
Watch this video to learn how to support your customers.
What is B2B sales?
Or business-to-business sales: refers to companies who primarily sell products and services to businesses, rather than direct to consumers (B2C, business-to-consumer).
B2B Sales Today
With automated selling techniques becoming more and more common, it's getting harder to stand out from the crowd.
Virtually all B2B sales are initiated by searching for solving a problem online. The speed and ease they can consume information are faster than picking up the phone to a potential vendor.
Our customers tend to ask for recommendations from friends, colleagues, social media. They can review platforms like G2 to find out what other people are saying. They might be enticed to click on a google ad whilst researching, and at that stage, they may reach out to the supplier for more information.
In other words, there is no straight route for the B2B buyer on their journey. They’re loaded with information from various websites, social media, forums, and more before they start a conversation with a salesperson.
To succeed in the modern-day sales process we need to understand what the buying habits and behaviors are of the B2B buyer.
We need data to determine how to connect with the customer. How to build a solid relationship to sell your product or service.
To do this we can follow sales processes and best practices to ultimately convert more leads into sales.
Gartner research finds that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of that time meeting with suppliers.
When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with any individual sales rep may be only 5% or 6%.
Today B2B sales teams need to consider how the information they share will assist in driving purchases and more sales.
Buyers have expressed that when the information is good by being concise and answers their questions quickly and efficiently then they’re 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal.
Making the buying process supportive, helpful, and easy to navigate is now a must-have for sales teams in this market. This is called “buyer enablement.”
It’s great to have a sales process that is both lucrative and rewarding.
Below is how to do it!
8 B2B sales strategies, techniques and tactics
- Recruit a great sales team
Having a diverse group of salespeople that are open to listen, learn and grow is so important to any B2B sales team. Having great salespeople that make lasting and memorable impressions, can learn quickly from mistakes, and show determination are important for any business. A mix of personalities and strengths and weaknesses means the team can learn from each other and succeed together.
- Know your market
Before getting serious about any business you need to know your market.
- Conducting quality market research.
- Knowing what your competitors are doing.
- Have your USPs at the tip of your tongue.
- Understand key challenges with your market.
All will help you position yourself when talking to potential buyers. Have a strategy in place to answer customer problems or queries.
- Determine your ideal customer
Knowing who to target and when to reach out to them is important when sourcing quality leads with a strong chance of converting. Background research on the stakeholders who have the authority to buy (like reading their company blog or social media feed) can help you realize when the time is ready to make your direct pitch, send some useful information, or hold back (for now).
- Remote pitch meetings due to COVID-19
If you’re reading this in February 2021 you may be unable to meet your prospects for a face-to-face to pitch. You’re probably using video software like Zoom or Google Meet to hold your meetings.
Building an early rapport with a solid introduction can help you build trust with the customer and qualify your lead. Make sure you’re pitching in a way that shows what results and outcomes they will achieve if they buy from you.
Explain how you are different from the competition, what makes you stand out (for them); and what value you will bring to their business.
Try and be as human as you can on camera by going the extra mile to create an appealing video environment that will spark their interest.
Selling can be tricky and it’s important to stay resilient, motivated, and confident after your meetings, even if not all of them are plane sailing.
- Revisit your conversations with the best sales tools
Trying to improve sales performance and boost the pipeline is easier if you equip your team with the right platforms.
LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, PlanHat, SalesForce and so on can help reps target and manage leads.
Sales Intelligence tools go further by capturing data and creating searchable playlists so you can easily find customer conversations that you can later review.
Revenue Intelligence tools go one step further by providing analysis as to where and why deals went well or wrong. These insights will give your team tools for self-reflection and then make actionable targets to improve and set achievable goals.
It can help you strategize accurate revenue goals and KPIs you can measure in sales. Find out more here.
- Winning a deal and customer retention
If you win the deal, make sure the finance and customer success department is ready to send the due diligence & deliver the onboarding.
Ensuring your customer is happy they bought into your product or service will be shown by the after-sales support they’re given.
A customer is more likely to stick with you, even if there are some teething problems if you show you care.
If you don’t close the deal you can use this as a learning process to see what you can change for your next sales approach.
- Growing your productivity and revenue
We all want to improve. Smash targets. Outperform. Capturing, analyzing and making data actionable is great for B2B sale teams as they have the metrics to help improve their team’s sales performance. Tools that give you actionable insights post conversations are crucial for sales teams to develop and learn fast.
Find out how here.
- B2B sales training, coaching and team bonding
Communicating well with your team is so important. The team needs to work well together, have a common goal, and have a relevant reward system that will keep all motivated.
Celebrating successes openly and helping each other when things are difficult is all about good communication. This is key to retaining a hardworking, happy B2B sales team. Teams that keep united are more likely to succeed in meeting their goals.
Investing time in your team’s career development with training, coaching, and bonding sessions can help your reps improve with bigger wins. When the team bonds well every salesperson is more likely to participate and stay motivated to accomplish their targets. The business can grow with the team as a winning unit where all celebrate successes when they are achieved.
Future of B2B sales teams
B2B sales are changing fast and sales teams need to keep up to survive and thrive. What used to work doesn’t anymore. The B2B buyer is mostly in control.
Younger professionals now have the power to make buying decisions and they are keen on using digital technologies to help them research and decide. They will use a mixture of online sources and content and prefer doing this rather than being pushed by a sales rep.
Salespeople should try to listen and understand their buyer’s needs and provide them with relevant, useful information rather than being “sold” to.
More time spent on nurturing a relationship with a potential customer through various content about you and your organization can help build that trust to move the seller-buyer relationship forward.
The influence of social media and marketing has a big impact on the buying decisions of the customer. The content delivered from various channels in your organization can now guide buyers through a decision-making process and help them make a decision to purchase.
Sending potential buyers relevant material to read can help them convert deals. Encourage sales teams to be experts in their field by creating and sharing their own relevant content helps build trust and knowledge of the product.
Aligning sales and marketing teams not only increases brand awareness but helps to hit revenue targets and goals. Giving a prospect a multitude of channels to come to you via social media, LinkedIn, email, webinar, an online review creates a functional sales tool that gains trust for the buyer and helps them make the decision to buy.