What sets a successful sales team apart from the competition, especially in the B2B marketplace? The 10 sure-fire ways to enhance B2B selling in your organisation we’re about to talk through are particularly helpful for businesses with limited access to sales targeted resources.
Let’s take a look.
Even if your sales team is starting out cold, setting sail in the right direction is all about quantifying quality leads. Where are you going to focus your energy and attention? Who are your targets? Brainstorming and coming up with a comprehensive list with as many leads and as much information as possible will help. Think previous customers, contacts, enquiries, and contacts. Your list of prospects is your treasure map, building on this and qualifying as you go along provides a bounty of its own.
Do your research. Knowledge about the industry goes a long way. What are some of the current challenges that your product or service can assist with? What are your competitors doing and how can you top that? A quick Google before a call as well as thinking specifically about how your service might help relevant areas of their business will go a long way towards helping you demonstrate your value-adding ideas.
To have a successful conversation, sales executives need to know how they are going to approach prospects. For many teams, the use of a call script is very beneficial as it guides the call through the sales process; often using a series of questions for lead generation. Business decision-makers or C-level executives do not have time for unprepared, unstructured, speculative calls, so teams need to ensure B2B touchpoints are prepared, effective and demonstrate value straight-up by answering the questions ‘Who are you? And what can you do for me?’
4) Infectious confidence
We come at this from two angles. It’s important that you have achieved inherent confidence in yourself, that is easy to spot, and assures the potential client who you are talking to that you are confident, professional, have something of value to offer and will deliver on promises. Closely related is your strong belief in the company you are working for and the products and services on offer. Knowing not just what you do, but also how engaging with your business can deliver real benefits is what your B2B customer really wants to hear. Having some current examples and case studies can go a long way to supporting your proposition.
5) Unlocking secrets with open-ended questions
By asking the right questions, and then really listening, your prospects will tell you everything that you need to know to then close the sale. Asking really great probing questions will get your prospects to open up, and also make them feel you are interested. It builds trust and favour and allows you to respond directly to their actual needs. ‘Explain to me how” and good old “Why” are always winners.
6) Position yourself as a trusted advisor
Strong rapport and trust is what really separates leading salespeople from the rest. Positioning yourself and your company as a trusted advisor will ensure your customers will buy from you.
It’s worth learning and training up your team so they are essentially experts in the areas where they are selling. For example, if you are selling a phone system – then learn your product, and also know what’s happening in businesses and the industry. How can you help? What’s new? Why will your solution work better in this instance? Having a wide range of promotional assets including your website, industry papers and a targeted email marketing strategy allows prospects to build their own knowledge, establishes awareness and facilitates confidence to engage with your brand.
7) Speak at their level, and in their language
Effective communication is a multifaceted skill. Inherently linked with positioning yourself as a trusted advisor, speaking at your leads’ level goes beyond reading from a scripted guide. Knowing who you are talking to and learning their lingo will give your sales team a distinct advantage. For example, if you are talking primarily with CFO’s you’re going to want to speak around ROI, budgets and CapEx while an HR manager may be more interested in ideas around wellbeing and cultural impacts. Figure out what they care about and speak on their terms.
8) Tracking the process – don’t forget to close
You have probably heard the ‘always be closing’ line before, and this is always true in sales, even in B2B. At every touchpoint comes the opportunity to close or engage the client into business. This might not specifically be a sale, but can include arranging a meeting, or receiving permission to send a sample. It’s important to build the relationship incrementally without losing sight of the end goal.
9) Seeking and pursuing referrals
Get more leads. Sounds like common sense but it’s easy to forget that whoever you’re talking to may be the gateway to your next big customer. If things are going well, ask for that referral. Remember the mantra: don’t ask, don’t get!
10) Network! Network! Network!
Every day and every conversation is an opportunity to network and spread awareness of your brand. Think of yourself as a brand ambassador at all times. Keep business cards on hand, link across social and professional networks such as LinkedIn, and make the most of industry events. Smile and connect – think of it as fun and watch your prospects naturally come to you!
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