No matter how good your B2B sales team is, there’s usually always room for improvement. Sales can be a hard world, full of awesome highs and frustrating lows, but it’s always worth the roller-coaster when you close that huge deal that’s taken months, and feel on top of the world. Sales teams constantly strive for success, so let us help you along with these 5 helpful tactics…
1) Get to the right decision maker (and do it fast)
In a B2B sales process (especially a long one!), an average of 7 different decision makers are involved in the purchase. You obviously can’t talk to all of these people at once, but you’ll likely need to bypass the front-line managers that don’t hold a power card. Find your way to the specific people who can sign the dotted line and agree to a purchase, then unleash your sales charm.
You need to track these people down fast, as the longer you spend building relationships with people who can’t make the buying decisions, the longer the process drags, meaning you lose crucial power over the prospect. Needless to say, your sales velocity will move in the wrong direction and your team will become less efficient.
These people can be very hard to seek out. Make sure you’re using online sales tools to find the key stakeholders and decision makers you want to speak to. Also use your listening powers, to pick up everything said by those who answer your phone calls to begin with. Remember – you can ask for a lot, as long as you’re always polite and courteous. Ask to arrange a call or meeting with those important KDMs, ask for an email address to start a conversation, add them as a connection on LinkedIn and ask for your name to be passed on. You’ll be surprised how far good manners and a well phrased question can get you.
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2) Make sure you’re helping the prospect
On a sales call, there’s plenty to cover – what you do, why it’s great, how your customers have done etc. This is important; however you need to make sure you’re not just self-promoting, or being pushy – you’re being helpful. Recent studies have shown that 82% of B2B buyers think salespeople don’t provide them with any valuable information on their first call. If you’re not giving prospects value – then how are you going to obtain more customers?
To be helpful – you need to be aware of your prospect’s industry, and the struggles they’re facing. This helps you understand what their current needs are, therefore what reason they could have for investing in what you offer. The answer seems simple – just ask them about their needs – but this doesn’t work. Though 64% of salespeople want to discuss an organization’s overall goals and their needs for purchasing on the first call, less than 40% of prospects are willing to discuss that early on, and to be honest – they still gain no value from just telling you.
So, use your initiative – and do the research. Know their organization inside out, especially what industry they derive from, and what pain points they could currently be facing. Use LinkedIn to cast a wider net over your prospect – see their personal profile and absorb any information you can from there, then look at the groups they’re a part of and see what topics are regularly discussed.
This short time spent researching allows you to hold the power cards on that phone call, so throw away that script on your desk, and apply your research to their needs.
3) Qualify with care
This doesn’t just mean making sure they have the means to support buying your product or service; this means facing the challenges square in the face. Show the prospect you care by explaining what problems they as an organization could face after purchasing your offering, and how you can work them into successes. Know exactly where every single inch of the purchase stands, and use this technique to gain truly qualified leads. This does several things:
- Asserts credibility – This approach helps you come across as a trustworthy person. You’re open enough to look at the challenges faced after purchase, and you’re helping them apply solutions that they could realistically implement. You no longer appear a cold, money thirsty salesman; you’re someone with genuine care for your prospect.
- Helps close those bigger sales – Bigger organizations with huge budgets that could be worth a lot to you in revenue won’t fall for fancy sales talk. You need to have a new tactic ready for them. This is that tactic – they know nothing is perfect, so agree with them! Then explain why that’s not a problem. This is what will seal those big deals for you.
- It lets the prospect be honest with you – If you’ve already broken the ice by mentioning the challenges faced with your product, then the prospect will be inclined to also share the full extent of their concerns. This enables you to know exactly what they’re thinking, and tackle worries head on. They may otherwise have withheld reservations, and just stop answering your calls.
- Benefits your long-term relationship – If you’re offering a contractual service, asking people to sign up for a year – you know already what your CS team might face later. This makes customer retention easier after closing that big deal (which makes it a huge win for the whole business pipeline!), and if you’re not running a contractual service it means they have no reason not to come back to you for more!
Ensuring all prospects become qualified leads is an essential process, and one that many brush over or forget entirely. Take time and pride in creating qualified leads, and you’ll see yourself closing more deals, worth a lot more in revenue!
4) Stand by your prices
This is where many salespeople lose their sale, without even realizing. It’s not that the salesperson fails in convincing their prospect to buy, it’s that the product is sold for half of its value, just to get the prospect over the line.
The most successful B2B sales team will stand by their prices. Allow a little wiggle room, but believe that your product or service is worth good money, and if sales leads are not willing to pay for it – then why not? (This is helped by knowing what their worries about the product are – see point 3!). The moment you doubt your own prices, you’ve lost all the power you hold, and the prospect will negotiate until you’re down to a price they want. You need to keep them wanting; allow them to desire your product so much, they come up to meet you on price.
This can seem like a stand-off-ish move, but it will help you close bigger deals more often, with better quality prospects. It always comes back to the argument of quality over quantity – why make 5 small sales for $1,000 each, when you could make 1 big sale for $6,000? You’ll save time as well as gain money – a win-win situation!
5) Give them a choice
Nothing is more frustrating than sales that fall through at the final hurdle – so here’s an easy fix. When giving them a quote – give them a choice. Offer 2 or 3 options, all at different prices and with different areas of value. This lets your prospects make a choice as to what’s more important to them – a better product, or a better cost. You’re covered either way – you’ll make a smaller sale, but have good upsell opportunities later, or close a big deal.
You’ll be truly surprised by how many go for the pricier options; if you’re working with properly qualified leads, they’re so keen to have the product (and they’re convinced it will solve all their problems!) that they’ll want to take the best option.
This also increases those negotiating powers – if they’re trying to lowball you – offer them the lower option explain that they won’t get as much, but it’s all you can do. This way you’re not stopping the dialogue, and you’re not selling your product short.
Being a salesperson is never an easy ride, but hopefully these tactics will offer a smoother experience for your sales teams, and create a winning offer for your sales leads. Why wait? Evolve your sales strategy today!
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