So you finally made the leap and started your own business! Or maybe you have decided to transition from a consumer driven-business into b2b sales. Good for you!
Working in B2B sales can be both profitable and challenging. B2B sales have their own set of rules and drivers. Even if you are already established in your field, it’s good to go back to basics and make sure no basic key points have been overlooked.
What’s a B2B Company?
Although the label is straight-forward, let’s start by understanding what a B2B company is. Simply, it’s a company that sells products or services to other businesses rather than selling them to consumers.
It doesn’t seem like there would be a big difference between selling to consumers versus businesses. After all, in the strict sense, they are all consumers.
But the fact is there are many key differences between B2B and B2C that need to be taken into account. Here are a few important things to consider when creating your B2B sales plan.
B2B Buyers Are a Different Breed
You are often selling to professional buyers who are trained to get the best possible deal. They tend to be more savvy about the sales process and have the inside scoop on products.
These buyers also know exactly how to manipulate salespeople. They have their own set of tools and tactics they use to try to wrangle a better price from you on the product.
Keeping this in mind, when approaching buyers and creating sales’ strategies gives you the insight needed to boost sales and build relationships.
Know Your Product
B2B sales require a somewhat higher level of professionalism than B2C sales. Be well versed in all aspects of your product so you can promptly and easily answer any questions posed to you.
You worked hard to get your foot in the door the first time. Having to say, “Let me get back to you on that,” is dangerous because the executive might not open the door to you a second time, which would quickly result in the loss of a sale.
Know Your Prospect
Do your research on the prospect ahead of time. Have a clear understanding of what they do for the company and how they do it.
Educate yourself about the company’s products or services as well. Sales presentations will be more powerful and effective when you are completely prepared.
Clients will appreciate, if not be blown away, by your understanding of their needs and pain points.
Know the Gatekeepers
The first door you come to is rarely the buyers’ door. Often you will be required to deal with gatekeepers such as receptionists and assistants first.
Gatekeepers don’t have the authority to commit to the sale, but they do have the authority to decide whether or not they will let you have access to the person who does.
Take the time to do the same research you would on the prospect on the gatekeeper and build a respectful relationship with them. You also never know when they may move up the ladder and become a decision-maker or move to another company.
In the digital age, the inclusiveness of the C-Suite as the sole decision-makers has lessened but is not entirely gone. Executives can be intimidating.
Mentally prepare yourself to deal with executives in some part of your sales process. Remember, these are busy people who don’t like people wasting their time.
Don’t Waste Your Own TimeDo research in advance. Tap into the abundance of information available by doing simple searches online.
Find the key players in the company by going on LinkedIn. You can find all kinds of information about who works for the company, their job role, and how long they have been employed there.
Take into consideration that those who have only just started working at the company may not have as much influence in decision-making as others.
Expect a Slightly Different Sales Process
The B2B sales approach is usually similar to a B2C process. The biggest differences may be extra steps that need to be taken, such as getting approval from a department head or buying authority.
Demandbase and the 2018 Demand Gen Report shows that B2B sales cycles are getting longer, and more people are getting involved along the way.
More expensive or complex products require longer sales cycles and involve more people on the purchasing side. This isn’t necessarily always true, but when it is, it is important to be patient with and attentive to the process.
B2B Sales Is About Ensuring Repeat Business
There are far fewer businesses out there than consumers. This means that B2B companies rely on repeat business. Building strong relationships with clients is necessary.
Creating a Key Account Strategy is important as your key accounts are 60% to 70% more likely to close than a new client. They also spend up to 33% more than new customers.
Businesses are also less likely than consumers to follow the latest trends. Businesses thrive on efficiency— they want high-quality products and services that they can rely on to make sure you are delivering.
As a B2B company, we know the challenges that you are up against with your own. With over 20 years in the industry, The Waterways has built our business around providing quality products and service and being customer-centric.
Our main goal is to make the whole process easy and valuable for you by providing training, technical support, and prompt response times.
This way you can run your business worry-free knowing The Waterways is there when you need us. Contact us today and get long-lasting solutions and support you need to serve and grow your business!