Selling technique tips for Business-to-Business.
Business-to-business (B2B) refers to a situation where one business makes a commercial transaction with another. Reaching new customers is not an easy thing to do. Selling B2B requires a different mind-set than selling to consumers. Great sales people do more than stay in touch with their customers—they look for ways to improve the customer experience and provide additional value.
Business to business selling requires a fairly long sales cycle; this can be challenging for your sales force. Careful implementation and management of your B2B marketing strategy will help you sell successfully; and strengthening the B2B supply chain will help you improve your business sales and service.
However, many small business owners don't want to sell, some even think their product or service is so great, it should sell itself. So this key part of the business - sales - is often overlooked or neglected until it's a significant problem for the business.
- Research and Networking
Be the most knowledgeable sales rep your customers have ever known. Ask them how you can learn more about their business and develop that deeper understanding of how they compete and succeed in their marketplace. Attend user meetings or meetups, industry conferences and speaking engagements, not necessarily to generate new business (although this can certainly happen), but, more importantly, to become better acquainted with their challenges and hot trends. This gives you an open opportunity to learn from your customers and from their competitors at the same time. You can gain and offer valuable insights by listening to them, talk about their competition's positioning, strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t get emotionally sucked in.
Without an established sales process, it is easy to get caught up in your emotions during a sales call, and this only serves to generate further fear and nervousness. Rehearse and refine your sales messages again and again, preferably with someone you know and trust who can give you constructive feedback. The more familiar you are with your pitch and the information that you need to share with your prospects, the more confident you will feel. Always visualize a positive outcome before every sales meeting. Your thoughts can strongly influence the outcome and if you are able to imagine a situation in an optimistic manner, then the result will be much more likely to be positive.
- Tailor your Pitch
Since B2B sales are often larger sales, there is a need for a customized solution to the customer, so they can make sure it meets their needs, and it's worth the effort for the sales person since the commissions per sale are correspondingly larger as well. The more the proposal specifically addresses the customer's needs and solves their current problem, the more likely they will be to purchase it.
Don't wait for the phone to ring or the email to arrive. Keep track of your customers' news, events, blogs and social media updates by following their company on LinkedIn and hashtags they use on Twitter and Facebook. You may also want subscribe to their blogs.
- Map the market and break it down
There is no such thing as the B2B market; in fact, it is a general label to describe hundreds of markets, each with their own particular requirements and selling points. If there is one consistent message that successful B2B sellers repeat, it is that business customers respond best to a sales pitch that is tailored as much as possible to their circumstances. How you break down the market depends very much on what is being sold and the value propositions it presents to business customers. Other lines markets can be divided along include age, income, political or cultural beliefs and buying behavior – in the technology space, for example, identifying early adopters can be important.
- Direct marketing and telemarketing can work in B2B
Telemarketing is an invaluable B2B marketing technique for businesses. Even if a prospect isn’t ready to buy, the phone offers a great opportunity to personally introduce your brand. By leaving a positive image, cold calling encourages and nurtures the possibility of a future sale. Cold calling shouldn’t stand alone. It should be fully integrated into your marketing campaign, as it is often most effective when accompanied by email and direct mail communications.
- Build trust and credibility
Business buyers are often spending large amounts of their company’s money and if they make the wrong decision in can have an impact on their career. Based on this, these buyers will need to have a higher level of trust in the business and its products before buying.
- Finalize the Sale
Once the terms are agreed on, a purchase agreement, or contract, is signed to finalise the agreement. Send the final proposal over to the client, along with a contract they can sign and return to begin the process. Once the signed document is received, the sale is complete and the implementation process will begin.