Managing a successful B2B company is obviously a lot different to one that sells directly to consumers, and therefore it comes with its own set of unique challenges. When it comes to closing sales in this arena, there are a number of things you should keep in mind in order to have the greatest chance at winning a deal – here are our tips for doing just that.
Qualify Leads First
Although it can be tempting to just pick up the phone and start cold calling as many businesses as possible, this kind of tactic just doesn’t cut it anymore. As well as becoming frustrated very quickly, you’ll also waste time and money and could end up damaging your company’s reputation.
Instead, take the time to ensure you’re only reaching out to leads who are suitably qualified. This means checking things like they have a need for the product or service you’re offering, that they have the right kind of budget, and they’re in the right location. It’s also important to determine how soon they’re likely to make a purchase, so that you’re able to priorities those who are further along in the sales journey.
In order to qualify leads efficiently you can seek out information from their website, social media pages, and company reports etc. A quicker solution might be to use a third party resource; for example if you’re expanding into Mexico you could use a Mexican business directory – just ensure that they have the data you need beforehand.
Do Your Research
Today more than ever it is essential to tailor your approach to each prospect, to demonstrate that you understand how their business operates and the current challenges they’re facing. In order to do so, you need to carry out enough research prior to reaching out to allow you to build a complete picture of their organisation.
In order to do this you should check their website and/or blog for news and updates, read their reports and press releases, follow their social media pages and monitor reviews left by current and previous employees on sites like Glassdoor; these can often throw up interesting details about a business that you otherwise might not have been able to find out.
Don’t Go For The Hard Sell
Trying to get too sales-y early on is a sure fire way to turn your prospects off. In B2B, a much better approach is to frame your calls and meetings as interviews; a chance to listen to the company’s needs and then letting them know exactly how you’re able to help them. This not only avoids you running the risk of coming off as desperate, but also helps to build rapport as you engage with potential clients in a more friendly and genuine way.
It’s also vital to remember that when you do get a meeting, you need to be as specific as possible in how your product or service is going to benefit the prospect. Don’t just list off all the features or different aspects of your product – let them know exactly why their company needs it, and offer them specific figures wherever possible.
Target the Decision Makers
In order to have any hope of closing a sale in the B2B market, you need to ensure your contact in the company is someone who has the power to make purchasing decisions. While it may be convenient to reach out to buyers and other frontline staff, the reality is that most of the time they’re not actually able to go ahead with a commitment to buy.
Avoid wasting time and energy forging relationships with these employees, and skip straight to decision makers wherever possible. If you’re struggling to get hold of the people you need you can try a resource designed for the purpose, e.g. if you need to find CEOs in Amsterdam you could use a Netherlands phone directory – just be sure to check if it includes direct contact data for decision makers.
Once you’ve identified the decision maker for your prospect company and made initial contact directly, try to meet in person wherever possible. Selling face-to-face is usually much more successful because it allows you to engage people much more easily, and it will also help to set you apart from all the other companies who haven’t had the foresight to do so.
B2B Is Still About People
If you’re selling exclusively to companies, it can be all too easy to forget that it’s still people you’re dealing with. Be friendly and genuine, and focus on building a good working relationship instead of being pushy. Ask enough questions to get to the heart of what your prospect needs, and show that you’re actually interested in making their life easier. Then, make sure you listen to what they have to say. This not only allows you to get all the details you need, but also is far more likely to endear you to the employee as opposed to if you’re doing all of the talking.
Don’t Get Desperate
If a deal isn’t going well, it can be tempting to lower your price in a bid to finally get a close. However, this ultimately cheapens your product and is likely to see you lose out in the long-term. Instead, focus on explaining the value that your product can bring to them, and how it is superior quality to that offered by the competition.
If you’re still not making any progress, it’s probably a good sign that you’re not targeting the right kind of company. Make sure you’re qualifying leads and only reaching out to those with an immediate need and the right type of budget.
Selling B2B is incredibly different to B2C. In order to be successful at closing deals in this market you need to commit the time to carry out thorough research before hand and ensure leads are always qualified. Ultimately you’re still dealing with people, however, so it’s important to focus on building effective and trusting relationships with decision makers in order to get those deals closed.