How to Improve Your B2B Sales Techniques
Not every ecommerce business sells only to consumers. There are many that offer products or services that other businesses can take advantage of as well, opening them up to entirely new audiences to increase their revenue potential. However, there are a few key differences between selling to individual consumers (B2C or business-to-consumer) and selling to other businesses (B2B or business-to-business). In business-to-business transactions, a sale must typically be approved by multiple people versus a single consumer making a buying decision. Business-to-business relationships also tend to last longer but require more attention to develop and more time to close a sale. Here are eight tips to improve your B2B sales techniques:
- Research the company you are selling to
- Make communications personal
- Know your product and be upfront about it
- Share your data
- Focus on ROI rather than price
- Be flexible during the buying process
- Be an expert in your industry
- Differentiate yourself from the competition
Research the Company You Are Selling To
Most business-to-business relationships start with a cold call. Companies selling their products or services must make potential clients aware that the product or service exists and the fastest way to do that is to reach out to them in person. However, a poorly-research cold call is likely to be a waste of your time and theirs. Prior to reaching out to a business, study their website, blog and social media, read their customer reviews, take a look at articles written about them then use all of that information to determine the challenges they face that your product or service will improve. Being able to present a solution to their problems in a moment’s notice will grab their attention more than if you blindly fish for a viable reason to encourage them to buy from you.
Make Communications Personal for Better B2B Sales
Instead of sending out generic email blasts or reading from a cookie-cutter script, take the time to personalize all of your communications to the business you’re reaching out to. This increases your chances of building a meaningful, lasting relationship with them (and improves your sales). Use the name of the business or, if you know it, the name of the person who will be in charge of connecting with you. Tailor your pitch to their brand to illustrate exactly how your product or service will improve theirs in return. A personalized pitch is more likely to succeed because it proves to the company that you genuinely care about building a strong connection with them.
Know Your Product and Be Upfront About It
The first step in the B2B sales process is interesting a business in your product or service. If you have successfully completed that step, the company is going to want more information about the goods you want to sell to them. Not knowing the product like the back of your hand is going to reduce the trust they have in you and the items you’re selling. You also should be upfront about your goods. Any business considering buying from you assumes a certain level of risk by proceeding with a professional relationship. Because there are very few perfect products on the market, outline how you handle any issues with defects or glitches. The solutions you present might be an extended warranty, a 24/7 customer service team, or free repairs.
Share Your Data
Many B2B sales bring in more revenue for a business than a dozen consumer sales. Because of the higher investment a company is making into your product or service, they’re going to want to be as confident as possible that what you sell is the best option for them. You can help bolster their confidence with thorough data about your product. Include empirical data such as sales numbers, rate of product success, and more. However, don’t neglect to also share social data such as customer reviews and case studies to illustrate how happy your product has made past customers and how happy it will make your new client.
Focus on ROI Instead of Price
While price is an important factor when it comes to B2B sales, the return on investment a company will receive from buying your product is often a more enticing selling point. If you can solve one or more major challenges a company faces and thus improve their business in return, they will be more eager to sign the deal and offer you a sale.
Be Flexible During the Buying Process
Every company is different and should be treated as such. That’s where a flexible buying scheme comes in handy. A large corporation is going to be able to pay more than a small business. While you may not be able to (and shouldn’t have to) lower the price of your product to serve a small business, consider offering them an extended payment period so they can pay smaller amounts but over a longer period of time. Work with each business you sell to to come up with a payment plan that works for them. Your willingness to be accommodating will make them even happier to do business with you.
Be an Expert in Your Industry
B2B sales all come down to trust: if a company doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. You can increase the overall trustworthiness of your business by proving you are an expert in your field. Use social media to answer questions that pertain not just to your business but to your entire industry. Start an educational blog on your website. Reach out to news publications that often discuss topics related to your industry to increase coverage about your brand. By proving your expertise publicly and not just during a private pitch, you show how trustworthy you are to potential clients (and also increase public awareness about your business).
Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition
Unless you operate in an incredibly niche industry, chances are you have competitors who are also pitching their products, services, and solutions to other businesses. Why should a company pick you over one of your competitors? By differentiating your brand and highlighting the unique benefits you offer when compared to other similar services, you increase the odds of a company connecting with you and thus increase your sales.
B2B sales are much different than consumer sales and must be approached differently. Take the time to build a personal relationship with your potential clients. The effort you put into making your first sale with a business will help create a lasting connection that will result in repeat sales down the road.
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