The b2b sales process refers to a step or phase when a company sells its product or services to another business. Many SaaS businesses invest their time and energy to create an effective B2B sales process that closes more sales deals.
B2B sales used to be a lot easier
It was a relatively straight forward process, in which marketing was responsible for filling up the sales funnel with leads, and then for sales teams, they were responsible for getting those leads into a sales pipeline and moving them down the funnel and into a sale.
“The traditional purchase funnel diagram, one which any marketer could sketch from memory, is officially dead. The singular, orderly sequence of purchase stages has been scrambled, and marketers need to conform. In today’s world, where consumers have access to constant information through computers, smart phones and tablets, each person’s path to purchase is complex and unique.“
And so, businesses have changed how they purchase new products or services. They now base a buying decision on internal research, which includes anything from Google search, friend recommendations, and scouting many other web sources.
As a result, the roles of sales and marketing has significantly changed, with marketing teams taking over many aspects of the sales process. This means the role of sales has been reduced to assisting in the final stages of the process – evaluating potential alternatives, and making the actual purchase.
An Overview of the B2B Sales Process
1. Research and Prospecting
2. Connect with Prospects
First contact is generally done through cold emails or cold calls. The goal at this stage isn’t to sell, though. It’s merely to “warm them up,” or find out if the lead is in the market for your product — and possibly to generate enough interest that they want to learn more.
3. Discovery: Ask Open-Ended Questions
4. Pitch and/or Demo
5. Proposal and Negotiation
In many cases, the prospect is interested in your product, but they need to iron out the details of the purchase, confirm implementation and customer support, get all their stakeholders on board. In these situations, there are multiple decision-makers, and you need to work with each of them to get their buy-in.
6. Close the Deal
Sources of B2B Sales Leads
Soft Sales Skills
Emotional intelligence (EQ) – Sales reps must be able to empathize with the prospect’s problems and be willing to spend enough time talking with them to discover the full depth of their problems. It’s also important to know when your product is the right fit, and when it’s best to admit your product isn’t the best solution to their problem.
Active listening – Active listening means you aren’t trying to push your agenda, and you aren’t formulating your response as the prospect is speaking. Instead, you’re listening for more than mere words. You’re hearing the emotions and desires that are communicated with body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
Time management – To hit quota, you need to be able to manage your time, so you’re as productive as possible with the time you’ve got. You’ve also got to be able to follow-up with leads in a timely manner. Nothing kills a deal faster than the loss of trust.
Research – A lot of lead generation and consultative selling depends on research. You need to be able to learn the background on companies, prospects, decision-makers, trends, and more. You also need to be aware of your competition and other solutions your prospect might be considering.
Negotiation – Every deal with go through a negotiation phase, where the prospect throws up walls and pull out every objection in the book. You need to be able to overcome objections and navigate this phase of the selling process to succeed.
Closing the deal – Closing the deal takes skills. You need to know when and how it’s done. It helps to be versed in the top closing techniques being used today. It also helps to be willing to role play and practice closing until it’s a fine art.
Tips for successful B2B sales
B2B Sales Techniques
Many B2B sales methodologies & frameworks are available, and your business can choose them for your needs. The best b2b sales leads are specific to your business and will help you grow. So it’s important before deciding on a lead. Understand the basic difference between the prospect vs lead.
The Business To Business sales process is about closing deals and getting business. Today’s buyers want more collaboration, less transactional interaction with their customers on a consultative level. This means that instead of focusing solely on what you can offer them (i e products/services), think like an authority figure that would make the customer happy. The sales reps would recommend moving the customer forward in the purchasing cycle.
B2B Sales Enablement
The sales process has undergone many changes to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing market. It’s never too late for success with the powerful innovation B2B business can simplify the sales process and coach the team more effectively with the most powerful sales enablement tool like Ambition, Cloze, Smartwriter, Fision, Emissary, and more. Here are the expert-recommended B2B sales enablement strategies For 2022
Thanks to the innovations and powerful sales enablement framework that have made the B2B processing more efficient than ever before. By simplifying the processes, your business can achieve great results through powerful training tools such as video tutorials or online learning modules, which provide constant feedback on performance levels all this helps teams ramp efficiently when needed yet maintain efficiency over time by coaching others.
B2B Sales Lead Generation
The process of finding the potential client for your product or service and then attracting them to make a sale is called the B2B lead generation process. This essential activity helps sales teams reach their goals by targeting prospective clients with relevant information about what they offer and how it can benefit them, specifically at an individual level.
Why is B2B lead generation important for any business? It is fundamental for a business to be successful. The b2b lead generation is taken through the process called B2B outbound. The Outbound sales strategies and sales lead acquisition process include cold callings, outbound email, social selling, and sales cadences. The primary goal of this process is to make the b2b leads enter the sales cycle.
Utilize customer relationship management (CRM)
Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) for any business if they want to reach out and reconnect with your prospects and have an idea about whom they are talking to. The CRM and the b2b email marketing tool helps to generate and track potential b2b buyers and build relationships throughout the sales funnel. The most popular options are Smartwriter, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, Pipedrive, Agile, etc.
There’s no one perfect option, so you must do your research when looking into what kind of system will work best within the budget constraints available on how big or small your company might currently exist.
Implement Social Selling
Today modern b2b buyers don’t respond to the traditional sales approach. To succeed in your b2b sales business, you need to build trust through relevant, valuable content. Social selling has become an alternative to B2B cold email and cold call approaches. This approach’s core is building trust and establishing a relationship with the prospects. Then creates an opportunity that makes the sales conversion much easier.
Beware that social selling is not all about connecting, and doing a sales pitch accepting your connection request doesn’t mean that the person is ready to purchase from your company. Instead, utilize social selling to create awareness about your brand and educate your targeted prospects. The best social platform for social selling is LinkedIn. Using Smartwriter, you can perform more effectively. Using social selling LinkedIn businesses can directly connect with the decision-makers and improve the sales conversion rate.
Future Of B2B Sales
The future of b2b sales is all about hyper-automation. Sales leaders looking for ways to improve their b2b sales experience & sales process will scale up with ease using AI-enabled automation and B2B customer experience at scale. The future of business is now easier than ever.
The pandemic has caused customer buying preferences to change, but digital sales tools are the only way for companies to reach online customers. Suddenly it’s become imperative that these items have good quality and functionality because if they don’t, there will be consequences.
Best Practices for consumer sales are now being applied to B2B sales. Customer-centricity is changing how people interact with businesses. AI and Machine Learning empower teams to scale both customer interaction and revenue.
Different sales strategies new technologies to boost sales. Meanwhile, the transformation has shifted focus from seller to buyer, emphasizing understanding them better through data collection methods such as interest rates or purchase history, among other things that can give you insight into your prospect’s needs before they even know what it is themselves.