How do you generate good B2B leads and convert them into new buyers? It’s not an idle question. The lead-gen process tests the minds of B2B sales and marketing managers the world over when considering their entire B2B sales strategy.
That’s because a B2B product or service is usually more expensive and complex, requiring much thought on the buyer’s part, and contact with them, before you can close a sale.
For example, it’s not every year a company decides to swap their accounting software for your much better one. Or chooses to replace their tractor fleet with your own offering, however advanced it is!
In addition, due to greater deliberation before a decision, the B2B sales cycle is longer, and the funnel full of many different kinds of sales material/activities. We’ll mention those below. But as a direct result of this special B2B scenario, you need to develop a sound B2B sales strategy that steadfastly moves your ideal prospects towards that purchase.
The rewards in B2B sales are, of course, usually greater than B2C! Forrester forecasts that U.S. B2B e-commerce (never mind other commerce!) will hit $1.8 trillion by 2023. So it’s time to tune up your B2B sales strategy using our pointers in this article and reap your rewards!
5 Ingredients of a Good B2B Sales Strategy
1 Embrace Sales Enablement
We’re starting a short way down the B2B sales process for a good reason: You must NOT leave your sales people in the lurch in the funnel! What do we mean?
Before a customer buys a product/service from a salesperson, they need to have found answers to all their questions and requirements. That mostly comes from the information your reps can provide.
How does information look in the sales funnel? Let’s assume for a moment you’ve generated leads, provided a good landing page, harvested contact details, and sent out a white paper or sell sheet in return.
What your sales people now need is readily accessible, in-depth knowledge of your product or service. In other words, material they can absorb and use during the longer sales process of emails, webinars, videos, meetings, phone calls, etc. B2B buyers expect reps to have excellent knowledge and critical thinking abilities in relation to their firm’s needs.
To ensure this, you also need to “translate” any very technical information into purely in-house documentation so your reps learn the material well enough to talk about it from many angles. (Your copywriters will also appreciate this “interpretation” for newsletters, white papers, email chains, and ads.)
2 Focus on Selling Solutions, Not Products
The B2B sales strategy should focus on what you’re bringing to the table in order to make your customer’s life easier. Your sales people can then focus on finding their prospects’ pain points and how your product or service solves them.
Because B2B sales are not instant, you want to become a guide in the prospect’s buying journey to make sure all their needs are met. This prevents your sales reps endlessly repeating the same information pointlessly and – instead – helps them home in on the “conversation of the moment” with the prospect and the queries they’re bringing up as they show more interest in your offering. This is where in-depth, easily accessible, shareable information come in.
Your B2B sales strategy can also include offering a custom solution. Maybe your buyer can be lured by a custom solution that offers benefits specific to their unique business needs.
For example, do they long for more tailored accounting software? Your salesperson can offer to write a specific add-on module that addresses their specified need.
3 Focus on Individual Accounts
How can you do this with so many possible leads? The answer is to qualify the most appropriate leads and get to know them better. The closer your leads align with your Ideal Client Profile, the more you can invest in pursuing them and the higher your probability of success.
With detailed information about these ideal leads, you can then
- identify key areas for follow-up conversations and activities
- focus your sales and marketing on them appropriately using the material we talked about in point 1 because sales messaging done well is a powerful tool
- take time during the sales funnel process to create content relevant to their needs, and custom solutions that will resonate with them (as in point 2).
4 Empower Your Salespeople
Salespeople are the life raft of your company! Your survival depends on them. It makes sense, therefore, to empower them instead of micromanaging them.
In the scenario of a B2B sales strategy, why not equip them with the appropriate resources and let them make more decisions?
Will they go adrift on today’s stormy economic ocean? No! They should have aligned themselves with your overall sales and marketing strategy – whether RevOps or your equivalent. This provides a framework in which you can free them to do B2B sales nurturing effectively.
Given this empowerment, they’re well placed to win sales due to
- the longer timeframe and
- their growing one-to-one, in-depth knowledge of both your product or service and the client, and
- their increasing confidence in their ability to lead the buyer through your buyer’s journey.
5 Nurture Your Leads With Digital Marketing
Remember that Forrester report up top about e-commerce? In today’s world, improving the number of touch points and using multi-channel digital marketing will help you reach a bigger audience faster. Your ideal customers are in those digital channels waiting to be nurtured!
What are the digital benefits for your B2B sales strategy?
1 You can learn about your ideal B2B prospects from their own social media. This is invaluable. What they put out is how they wish to be seen. How can you feed into that aspiration with your product or service’s sales material?
2 You can monitor their current customers’ reactions. Twitter threads, for example, may disclose problems. Can you address these pain points during the B2B funnel?
3 You can nurture your leads through
- personalized digital ad campaigns in addition to print campaigns
- online educational materials such as white papers, e-newsletters, case studies
- customer training via explainer videos to master your product or service’s USP
Which B2B Sales Process Can You Improve On Today?
Your business is unique. So – scan both your goals and your customers’ needs. Then choose any of these pointers that stand out as something you know you could improve on. An effective B2B sales strategy will help you close B2B sales.
At 360 Consulting, we’re passionate about all things sales. We’d be happy to help you take your B2B sales strategy to a new level! Contact us today to schedule your free call with one of our experts.