A business requires several well-crafted strategies to thrive. Especially if you sell products and/or services to other businesses, having good B2B sales strategies are a must.
We have been in the B2B space for more than 2 decades now and thus we feel we are in a good position to publish this article. Let’s be honest. scaling a B2B business is not easy. Unlike B2C, the average ticket size and the number of people involved in the process are high.
In this article, we have listed down 4 B2B sales strategies that are used all over the world as well as 4 key steps to build your own B2B sales strategy.
What is a B2B sales strategy?
A B2B sales strategy is the plan or tactics involved to ensure business development at a scale. Since the B2B space is way different than the B2B market, a well laid out strategy is key for companies in B2B space in order to scale their revenue.
The traditional ways of selling product(s) and/or service(s) are not much effective these days, it’s changed a lot over the course of time. Let’s compare the buyer’s journey in the early days and these days.
- Buyer’s journey Then
The buyer’s journey was quite a straight forward process. When a person needed a solution or a product, he contacted the relevant vendor. If he liked the product, he’d purchase it.
- Buyer’s journey Now
These days, when a person needs to find a solution to his problem, there are multiple steps involved before he zeroes in on a particular product or service. Before choosing a solution, he does research online, checks with friends and takes into consideration reviews of other consumers. Even the B2B sales funnel has evolved over time. Thus, your B2B sales strategy should change as well.
Keeping these trends in mind, let us go through the 4 B2B sales strategies that are still widely used.
4 Ultimate B2B sales strategies
In the case of B2B sales strategy, the focus should be on clients rather than on the products or services. Building a good relationship with the client will give you a long term business. There are four significant B2B sales strategies most of the businesses adopt:
- Strategic Selling
- Solution selling
- Account-Based Selling
- Social Selling
Strategic selling defines current selling activities for future targets. This strategy is employed in the B2B selling process to enhance the sales volumes and to endure the relationship with the clients. There are several techniques all businesses adopt to strengthen strategic selling. The techniques are:
- Personal Selling: This technique is used to build a good relationship between sellers and buyers. A good relationship creates trust. Most of the B2B buyers prefer not to be pressurized to purchase the product. Your personal care towards your clients makes them buy your product provided you show them the features of the product that will be helpful for them. This technique is applied for long term business.
- After-sales Service: This technique is employed in the business to be alive in the clients’ minds. Once the products and services are provided, clients tend to forget but it is your responsibility to alive in their minds.
Contact them once in a while after-sales. Ask for feedback on the product they are using or provide any kind of offer for the next product or service as the valuable existing clients. This activity will make them feel that you care for them post-service. This is another way of building a good relationship with your clients.
- Maintaining Contact: This is an important part of the sales process. Maintaining contact with the buyers after or before sales can give you amazing results. Though they will not buy the products immediately, being in contact they will keep you in mind and may purchase in the future when they need it.
- Low Pricing Strategy: This technique is applied to increase sales volume. Sometimes, you need to keep the lees margin and offer the product or services at less price compared to your competitors to have potential clients. But this strategy is applied occasionally, not every time.
2. Solution selling
According to the HubSpot report, only 3%of buyers trust salespeople. So, you stand nowhere in these statistics if you care about selling a product than the solution your client needs. This strategy focused completely on the solution to the pain point of the clients. There are 6 steps every business adopt for this strategy:
- Prepare: At the outset of the process, you need to research and find the pain point of your target audience. Once you find their pesky problems, catch hold of the solution they need.
- Diagnose: In this step, talk to your audience and ask the details openly regarding their problems and what exactly they need. Note down every small need they want.
- Qualify: Based upon your conversation, check if the prospect and his requirement suit your ideal customer’s persona. There are three things to check:
-If he is a decision-maker
Once all the above points are good, then the qualifying process is done. If not, then your control is on two things. Those are “Budget” and “Urgency”. You need to create urgency (if your client is planning to buy later), adjust the budget (with less margin) according to their expectations.
- Educate: Once the qualifying process is done, then educate your clients on your product and service. Explain to them how the features of your product are helpful for them and solve their problems. Also. don’t forget to let them know you are providing better products and services than your competitors.
- Solve: Once you educate them on your product, offer them a unique solution that will heal their pain. Also, let them know the case studies and present the benefits your existing clients have.
- Close: After all the above processes, close the deal and have them onboard.
This strategy is adopted by 75% of B2B businesses in 2019. This is all about collecting the accounts and sells the product by nurturing step by step. Account-Based selling is involved in three steps.
An account-based selling strategy is good for companies that have lengthy sales cycles and complex sales interactions.
- Target: Select all the relevant companies and categorize them based on the service or product they need and your offer.
- Understand: Research on each and every company and find their common challenges and pain points. See if your product or services can be the solution to their pain point. Identify the decision-makers of the company.
- Engage: Outreach the decision-makers of the companies and start the conversation.
4. Social Selling
The social selling strategy is the most effective strategy for both B2b and B2c companies. Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks are reliable medium to prospect the clients.
Three is a difference between social marketing and social selling. Social selling is building a relationship with every contact through social networks by providing personal nurturing. But social marketing is broadcasting the message from one account to all contacts at a time.
Choose social selling for your B2B sales strategy and nurture your client to build a good relationship for long term business.
4 Steps of a B2B Sales Strategy
As the buyers are a step ahead of you these days, you need to go through four important steps when you strategize your sales.
- What is the Unique Selling point your business provides:
57% of buyer decisions are made before buyers even pick up a phone to speak to suppliers.
When you approach your product or services, you need to show them your unique quality which they can’t avail it from your competitors and how it is helpful for your clients. Once you justify your products, the decision of your prospect may be changed in the last minutes.
Therefore, having the Unique Selling point (USP) of your business is the first step of the sales strategy.
- To whom you are going to sell:
The second step of the sales strategy is your target audience and finding potential prospects. Categorize your audience matching their industry and your product. Keep them on your target list based on the industry, employee size, their requirements and how soon they need the solution.
Once you have an entire list of your prospects, you can start reaching them one by one. Listing down your target audience and adding them to your calendar based on their urgency to outreach is also another significant step in sales strategy.
- How are you Going to reach them:
Choosing the channel to outreach your prospects is another important step in the sales strategy. There are several methods to outreach your prospects but finding a convenient and right channel to reach them can give you the conversion. Here are a few effective channels you can outreach your prospects:
– Cold Email
– Cold Call
– Warm Call
– Personal Meet
Don’t stick on to one channel. Identify who is reliable through which channel to communicate and keeping the timing in your mind proceed accordingly.
- Stop Strategizing, Start Implementing:
The last step is to implement your strategy immediately. Your competitors are prospecting and if you don’t take care of your prospects, your competitors will. Once you are done with your step by step plan, don’t delay. Your prospect may be taken care of by someone else.
This article covered four steps and four strategies for B2B sales. Apart from these, if any other strategy worked for your B2B business, we would love to hear and share it with others.