5 Steps to Developing Your B2B Sales
Finding customers can be down right challenging. In this article, we are exploring the key steps you need to take to develop and grow your B2B sales.
A solid B2B sales strategy is the backbone of every respectable wholesale business. It’s all about how you and your sales team approach potential prospects, present your products to them, and keep them satisfied until – and after – they turn into customers. Initially, you may find it hard to approach new customers and even harder to persuade them to choose your company to do business with.
1. Research, research, research!
The first meeting with a potential customer is a lot like a first date. Yes, a date – and in fact, it is usually a blind one. Now, you wouldn’t go to a blind date with just anyone, would you? So, why would you randomly approach your customers? In other words, it is extremely important to research prospective clients before picking up the phone, emailing, or “asking them out” for a meeting. Browse through their business site and research their business on social media. In this way, you will get a taste of what their business is and how your products can fit their goals and needs, before requesting an actual meeting.
Tip: Before contacting a prospective client, research your competition too – you will learn how they are approaching sales and what you can do to set yourself apart.
2. Get up close and personal.
While the average sales rep’s weapons of choice are the phone and, as of late, email, nothing says “I want to do business with you” more than a face-to-face meeting. So, get your business face on and pay a visit to your prospective customers.
Potential clients who have seemingly been ignoring your business will instantly know you care enough to bring them onboard when you actually hit the road to meet them in person. Furthermore, this eyeball-to-eyeball strategy could potentially pave the way for you to speak with the highest decision-maker of the business you are approaching. According to Salesforce, this is also the best way to close B2B sales deals with tough and cold customers, as it is easier to win customers over when meeting with them in the flesh. Why? Because your focus instantly shifts to your prospects and their business.
Tip: While meeting with prospective clients, it is essential to maintain focus on them. Try to understand their challenges better, present what you can do for them, and ultimately, explain how your products can meet their needs and provide solutions to their challenges. Don’t look at prospective customers from afar – talk to them face-to-face.
3. Let them eat cake.
Now, we don’t mean that literally – unless you are in the food supply business. What we actually mean is, if you’ve set up a meeting with one of your prospects, why not give them an idea of what your product is like? Although product sampling is mainly a sales promotion tactic used by B2C businesses, it can also be successfully applied to B2B sales.
Providing samples to a business prospect is a successful get-your-foot-in-the-door technique as it entitles you to contact your prospect to follow up on their samples you provided. It is also an effective sales technique, especially if your products are not easily or widely understood. Finally, product sampling is a cool way to get feedback from your target audience: What did they like about the product? What were they not so fond of? Would they use it?
Tip: If you want your B2B sales strategy to stay on the unobtrusive side of things, contact prospective clients and ask them if they would like you to send some product samples to them.
You can also give product samples to potential clients during a face-to-face meeting or follow up on a meeting by sending samples to the prospects you’ve already met in person.
4. Ace the trade… show.
Being part of a trade show is one of the most effective ways to reach out to new and existing clients. Trade shows have immense benefits for B2B businesses. Whether big or small, trade shows are a great vehicle to increase your visibility, credibility and awareness. They are also a good way to develop new sales deals.
How? Exhibiting at a trade show gives you direct access to an untapped pool of important prospects that are actually in the mood to buy. Moreover, trade shows can facilitate a much shorter sales cycle as they allow you to cut to the chase and close the deal faster.
When you participate in trade shows, consider the unique setting and avoid time-consuming speeches. Your prospects are not interested in long-winded explanations. Instead, they are interested in what your solution can actually do for them and they are ready to hear it — clearly and concisely. So, be direct and focus on presenting the benefits and results of your business and products. This also means that, if possible, you should push for closing the deal in the moment and try to capitalise on the very foundation of any business trade show: selling and buying.
5. Get referrals from your customers.
Two things are certain: word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing and sales techniques around, and your happy customers are your business’s greatest ambassadors. In fact, they are the ones that will consistently show support for and champion your products and your business – especially if they feel you are consistently trying to keep them happy.
Your customers can provide a veritable horn of plenty in terms of lead generation, which you can then explore as part of your sales strategy. In fact, you can capitalise on your customers’ good experience with your products in order to approach new prospects. Here’s how: once you have sold to them, your customers can help you sell to others. So, ask them for references or referrals by reaching out to their business associates.
Tip: Turn your customers into champions of your products with reviews or testimonials.
Ask your customers to provide reviews or testimonials of your products or establish a refer-a-business-associate campaign that will provide rewards to them. And remember to keep a close and engaging connection with customers who do act as your business’s ambassadors. In this way, they will know how much you appreciate their valuable contribution to your business growth.