What do you currently have in place regarding this particular product or service?
You need a well-thought-out strategy to connect with potential customers and keep them engaged for the long haul. Rather than relying on businesses to find you, there are a variety of B2B sales strategies that you can follow to maximize business growth efforts.
In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
B2B sales is a business growth approach where companies aim to drive revenue by selling to other businesses. While a B2C (business-to-consumer) sales approach puts specific individuals at the center of their selling efforts, sales and marketing teams that practice B2B lead generation aim to find decision-makers with company buying power and convert them into potential customers.
When comparing B2B and B2C sales, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between the two sales cycles. The B2C sales cycle is typically much shorter than B2B because the only person B2C sales teams have to rely on is the potential customer. This is because they could wake up, see an ad, and decide they want to buy right then and there. However, when it comes to B2B sales, this process doesn’t evolve quite as smoothly because it could take several months before the buying decision could get approved by the company.
Every company has its own B2B sales process, but it often depends on the business’s mission, vision, and values. When it comes down to it, companies follow four selling strategies to maximize business growth.
Strategic selling is a B2B sales strategy that prioritizes winning business opportunities through a scalable, insight-driven approach. Through strategic selling, sales professionals identify different individuals who may be involved in the buying decision of a prospective business. The salesperson explores who is the most involved in making decisions, creating a hierarchical approach and climbing up the ladder to connect with those who are influencers and, overall, the most involved in the buying decision process. Once the salesperson identifies the best decision-maker for your company’s product or service, they’re converted into a qualified prospect.
For more information on what it means to be a qualified prospect, check out our blog here.
Solution selling is a sales and marketing strategy where your team prioritizes the prospect’s needs over making a sale. This B2B sales strategy helps potential buyers identify their wants, needs, challenges, and pain points. Once they understand these components, your sales team provides solutions on how your product or service can help them reach their goals.
Here’s what the solution selling process can look like for sales teams:
- Prepare your pitch: What issues are prospects in your target market currently facing? Having a general understanding of those issues before making the cold call or sending the sales email can help your sales reps have a productive conversation from the get-go.
- Diagnose their problems: Once your sales reps talk to prospects, they can learn if they’re experiencing many of the same pain points as many potential buyers in their target market. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to learn about the prospect’s current situation and if they’re happy with their product or service solutions. Here are some questions to consider implementing in your sales pitch to learn more about the prospect:
Where are you seeing weaknesses with your current product or service solution?
On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your current provider?
If not a 10, what would they need to change for them to have a better rating?
- Qualify them for your products or services: Qualifying the lead after exploring their problems can help you determine if they meet your ideal customer profile. If they know their pain points, meet your predetermined qualifiers, and are in charge of making buying decisions, they’re qualified for what you have to offer.
- Create a solution for their weaknesses: Account executives should provide qualified prospects with a solution that helps them relieve their pain points. For additional value, account executives should share case studies from clients who have been in similar scenarios and how your company has been able to provide support.
- Close the deal: After your account executives share how your business can help the prospect, it’s time to follow up and secure the sale.
Account-based selling is a multi-touch, multi-channel sales and marketing strategy companies use to connect with various decision-makers to pitch their company’s product or service as a solution that could benefit the organization.
To practice account-based selling, your sales and marketing experts must:
- Select target accounts to pitch in various scenarios
- Investigate and identify who the decision-makers and influencers are
- Add personalized value to each prospect in the sales pipeline
- Actively reach out to the decision-makers you’ve identified
Account-based selling is a B2B sales strategy that takes advantage of data to help lead generation teams learn about their target marketing and identify common interests between prospective buyers. When it comes down to it, an account-based selling strategy requires 90% strategic prospecting and about 10% pitching a solution to the decision-maker.
This B2B selling strategy is good for businesses that require approval from several decision-makers before making a purchase decision and have a complex sales development strategy and long sales cycles. Additionally, account-based selling gives sales reps and account executives the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell existing customers.
Social selling is a B2B sales strategy that companies use to engage with potential buyers in their target market over social media and build relationships with them until they’re ready to buy.
Social selling in the B2B atmosphere is often done through professional networking platforms like LinkedIn because it’s a platform that many business decision-makers use to learn about new industry trends and connect with like-minded professionals in their industry.
It’s important to remember that while social selling is a way to engage with potential buyers, it’s not the same as marketing. This is because, unlike marketing, social selling requires:
- Social listening, forecasting, and sentiment analysis
- Competitive watch on what other businesses in your industry are doing
- Researching your target market and curating content based on their interests
- Sharing content marketing materials and interacting with your market
- Gathering and responding to data generated by your social selling efforts
While there are many B2B selling strategies for you to choose from, you must select one that aligns best with your business. Before simply selecting a sales strategy, it’s vital that you:
Consider Your Ideal Customers
What does your ideal customer look like? Is it a specific industry they serve? A certain number of full-time employees they have on staff? As you think about your B2B selling strategy, it’s essential to consider what your perfect sales opportunity looks like. For example, if the most common decision-maker for your industry is active on LinkedIn, a social selling strategy might work best for engaging the right prospects. However, if you see that most (or all) of your prospects have the same or similar pain points, a solution selling strategy might work best.
Think About Your Short- and Long-Term Goals
What do you want to achieve from your lead generation strategy? Do you want to get more prospects for your sales pipeline? Are you looking to generate more inbound leads? As you consider your B2B sales strategies and techniques, it’s essential to think about your short- and long-term business growth goals. For example, if you want to get as many contacts and prospects in your sales pipeline as possible, it may be worth considering implementing a strategic selling strategy. However, if you want to generate a fair amount of outbound and inbound leads, it may be worth your while to implement an account-based selling strategy.
Examine Your Success With Your Current Approach
Have you seen success with the B2B sales strategy you have in place? What could your sales team implement to maximize results? If your current approach to engaging with your target market works, there may not be a reason to make adjustments. However, consider trying new things if you see the potential for generating better leads. For example, if you have a solid outbound selling process but want to implement a digital approach, account-based selling can help you get more leads from various channels.
Rather than winging it and hoping for the best, implementing a B2B sales strategy can help you create consistent revenue and generate a sustainable sales pipeline with prospects you’d like to close business with. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our sales experts help growing B2B companies produce a B2B sales strategy that empowers them to yield the most significant results. We use a combination of all four B2B selling strategies to ensure we’re meeting clients with prospects that meet their qualifications. When you’re ready to get the most out of your B2B sales strategy, contact the lead generation experts at Abstrakt!