If you've recently landed a new job or promotion as a B2B salesman or account executive, congratulations!
The world of B2B selling is an honorable and exciting profession. No matter where you go, businesses need people just like you. They need employees who will work hard to promote their products and services and to make the sales needed to grow the company and take things to the next level.
Not only does your company need you, but your clients and potential clients need you too. They require support in order for them to carry out their business and to meet the needs of their own customers.
That's where you come in. Those other companies need the goods that your company provides.
What Is B2B Sales?
There are essentially two kinds of sales: sales made from one business directly to the consumer (B2C) and sales made from one business to another business (B2B).
As a B2B sales professional, your job is to sell your company's products and services to other businesses to support their efforts to create, market and sell their products and services to their own customers.
So for example, if your company sells its accounting and bookkeeping services to small businesses, you would be a B2B salesperson. Or if you are a wholesaler that sells products en masse to retail stores, that would also fall under the B2B banner.
4 Tips For Getting More B2B Sales
Selling to businesses is different from selling directly to the end customer, so as a B2B professional you'll need to work a little differently than you would if you were engaging in B2C sales.
Your customers, like you, are business professionals who are trained to get the best deal possible for your respective employers, so the tactics you use on professional buyers at other companies will often differ from those you'd use calling on consumers.Here are 4 sales tips you can use to improve your sales numbers.
1. Get Past The Gatekeepers
When cold calling a new prospect, the first person – or first couple people – that you speak to are not likely to have any actual decision-making power. Receptionists, administrative assistants and even buying managers are often not the people with whom you really want to speak.
To secure more sales, you should always try to get in touch with the actual decision maker. You might try calling earlier or later in the day, outside the receptionist's scheduled work hours, since many executives put in extra hours before and after the other office staff come in.
You can also get out there and try harder to make sales calls in person. If most of your competitors are just sending emails and making phone calls, you might stick out by showing up in person. If the sale is that important and that profitable, it might be worth the extra effort and time commitment.
2. Follow Every Successful Sale By Asking For A Referral
There is no such thing as a full pipeline. You need to be constantly generating more sales leads, and asking for referrals is one of the best ways to get more sales.
Unlike calling a cold prospect, a referral can warm up the other person a bit or at least help you get your foot in the door with a potential client that you otherwise might never have had the chance to see.
If at all possible, when asking for the referral, ask your client if she can help set up an appointment with the other prospect.
You'll need to use good judgement before making this request, in order to avoid overstepping your boundaries, but if you can manage to get a face to face meeting with a prospect who your current client has already contacted on your behalf, that's about as close to a done deal as you can get.
If done right, these kinds of opportunities might come to you more often than you'd think was possible.
It all comes down to delivering overwhelming value to your clients. When you go above and beyond the call of duty to genuinely care about your clients and help them succeed, that can open many doors for you to obtain future sales.
When you build positive relationships with your clients and work toward their success, great opportunities are likely to come your way.
3. Hold Firm On Your Pricing
If your product or service is as good as you say it is and is worth every penny, then what kind of message are you sending a prospect when you buckle and bring down the price?
Instead showcase the true value of your product/service and show that the value is worth the price.
Know your product's value and proudly stand by it. You'll inspire greater confidence in your company and in your products and services and you'll ultimately drive home more sales in the long run.
4. Ask Clarifying Questions
Cold calling is a challenging yet necessary activity in B2B sales. Despite the drudgery of making dozens of phone calls per day in order to get a single sale, the practice has continually proved itself to have a great return on investment (ROI).
A common way that prospects blow off cold callers is to state that they don't have time at the moment and that you should just send them more information that they can look over.
If you're an inexperienced salesman, you might not see this as a brush off and enthusiastically end the call and follow up with an email. But that rarely leads to a sale.
Instead, enthusiastically agree to send more information, and then ask one or more follow-up questions to clarify exactly what kind of information will be most helpful to the prospect.
Remember, they don't need a generic email that introduces your company to them. They have problems that need to be solved, but you still need to qualify their needs in some way so that you can send them some targeted info that has a real chance of leading to a sale and benefitting the prospect.