It’s no news for anyone that working in sales can be incredibly difficult. You need to learn how to approach people, connect with them, and figure out ways to present what your company has to offer in a way that appeals to a vast spectrum of needs – all of this while balancing deadlines and monthly targets.
All of this becomes that much harder when you are working in a business-to-business (B2B) environment, having to deal with companies instead of retail consumers. This means you’re not trying to fulfil the requirements of a single person, but the ones of a large, sophisticated organization. Not to mention that, instead of communicating with a single person, you are often talking to a group of decision-makers who all have distinct priorities and objectives.
If you are running a B2B company, and you are looking for ways to improve your sales and grow your company, we are here to help. We have done our research (as you should when you are working in sales) and managed to come up with this list of things you can do to improve your B2B sales efforts.
Trade cold-calling for thorough research
Back in the day, when technological resources were limited, cold-calling used to be one of the most popular methods to capture leads. For the most part, it worked, but now, in the era of the Internet, only under 5% of cold calls turn out successful.
In the 21st century, everything revolves around data – sales included. Not only can data help you capture leads, but it can also provide valuable insight on how to approach a company for maximum chances of success.
Through proper B2B research and data analysing, you can get access to information such as when it’s the best time to contact the company, who are the decision-makers, which needs you can satisfy, and how to present your offer in a way that fits the client-company’s business model.
It is true that proper research takes a lot of time, so you won’t be able to cover a huge number of leads at once. Still, even if you need to reduce the number of prospects, you will get a much better chance of converting them, plus, you don’t need to do it alone. A simple search online is enough to find the best B2B research services in London, throughout the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in the world.
Learn what makes your company different
This piece of advice is suited for anyone working in sales these days and wanting to stand out from the crowd. At the core, you and your competitors are all selling the same type of products or services, so you need to focus on the elements that make your product different and make your company recognizable.
Sure, in many cases, learning to take advantage of the elements that make your business unique is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. What you need to keep in mind, however, is that your competitors will probably try to do the same. If you come up with something original that appeals to the clients, it won’t take much until someone decides to copy your idea, or even upgrade it in a way you never thought before.
To keep up with this ever-changing landscape, you need to be sure of what the core strengths of your company are, constantly review them in comparison with your competitors, and leverage them to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Don’t keep your leads waiting
When talking to experts in the field, most of them agree that one of the best ways to improve your B2B sales is by getting back to incoming leads as fast as possible. Studies in the industry show that the likelihood of securing a lead lowers significantly if you wait for more than 5 minutes to contact them back after they reach out to you. This applies to emails, phone calls, web forms, or any other inbound method you use.
Ideally, you should call the lead within the first two minutes they contact you. If a potential client reaches out to you, your job is half done, as they are already interested in the products you offer. You need to take advantage of this moment and win them over before a competitor reaches out to them and makes them an offer they cannot refuse.
Encourage existing clients to recommend you
To secure leads, you have to get clients to trust you, and one of the best ways to do so is by showing them other people trust you as well. If potential leads see that your existing customers talk good about you, are satisfied with your services, and don’t lose any opportunity to recommend you, they will at least get curious to know your business.
To do so, you need to start cultivating what experts call a trustworthy online presence by encouraging customers to leave reviews and provide feedback. If you happen to receive any negative feedback, treat it with respect and look to see if there is anything you can learn from it. This will show that you value your clients’ opinions, no matter if they are good or bad.
If you want to, you can provide incentives in the form of discounts, coupons, or gifts for clients to encourage them to leave a review, or you can even go ahead and provide these incentives if the client recommends you to someone, and you end up closing the deal.
When you develop your B2B sales in the proper way, you’ll end up with more clients that will stick with you in the long term. That’s why it’s critical to rethink your lead generation strategy and focus on creating connections rather than completing sales. Sure, every company is different, and every sales team functions differently, but the advice above can be applied to almost any circumstance. Pick at least one or two of these strategies, try them out, and see the results for yourself.