When you are developing a sales strategy, the first thing you need to know is what kind of selling you are doing. In this case, you are engaging in B2B selling. Okay, so now that you know that, what’s next? You can’t just jump into selling blind, you need a strategy.
If you aren’t sure where to get started or where to go after your initial steps, B2B selling can be more than a little intimidating. However, with the right resources, you can learn everything you need to know about B2B selling in a short amount of time. In this article, we are going to spell out the ultimate guide to B2B selling.
The first thing you need to know about B2B selling is what it is. In short, B2B stands for business to business selling. In other words, you, as a firm, will be selling to another firm. This differs from other types of selling – such as B2C (business to consumer) and C2C (consumer to consumer) – because there isn’t a singular consumer involved.
There are two main types of B2B selling: sales in which you are selling a product and those sales in which you are selling a service. It is important to note that in this type of selling, you might be selling finished products or you might be selling components that the buying business will use in their manufacturing process. Both types of sales require the same things, though; for the selling firm to convince the potential buyer that they need what is being sold to them.
If you are used to B2C or even C2C selling, you might be surprised at how B2B selling can be a little different. Mainly, it is different due to its process. When you are selling to a single consumer, you likely only have to converse with them about the sale and then you know rather immediately if they’ll be buying or not.
When you are working between two businesses, though, there is a little bit more too it. You might hear this process referred to as either the sales cycle or the B2B sales funnel. This usually starts when you initially reach out to the business you are selling to and follows a course of meetings and proposals until the business accepts your terms and the deal is sealed.
When you are running a business’ website, one of the first things you do is fill it with extraordinary content. There are even services that can help you create great content that is search engine optimized to help your site get more views. Here is an example of one of those services.
When you are creating a sales pitch, content is just as important as it is on your company’s website. If you have a poorly written or haphazardly put together sales pitch, your potential customer is going to catch on pretty quickly and you’ll lose the chance to make the customer feel important to the transaction. After all, you want each potential buyer to feel like their business is being uniquely helped – not like they’re just another sale.
As such, it is best to craft a script for sales. You can have a generic script but remember, you should add touches to make it feel more personal to each business. For example, give them an example of how what you’re selling could specifically help their business.
Personalizing your sales message to the business you are working with brings us to another important point: you have to do your research.
Before you try to sell to a business, you need to know about them. The information you walk into a meeting or pick up the phone with has to be much more than who they are and what they do. In fact, the more information you have about the company, the better. Whatever you can use to appeal to the business’ needs and make them feel like what you are selling is crucial to them, the better.
Before you can research your potential buyers, though, you need to know who they are. So, how do you find these prospects? After all, you can’t just start cold calling random companies and crossing your fingers.
Well, the first step is to figure out what your product or service is and who you want to market it to. These businesses that you think would benefit from your product or service are your target customers. You can further specify with a customer profile – this includes information like what your target customer’s business type is and who they cater to.
After you get an idea of who your target customer is, start looking for businesses that match your customer profile. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even buy a list of customer contacts to make your search easier.
Remember, ideally, you want your customers to reach out to you as well. After all, those customers who come to you of their own accord are even more likely to seal the deal than those you reach out to. As such, if the option is available to you, you will want to advertise your business as well. However, make sure that you do your research and advertise on the right platforms so you actually draw customers in, not just waste money on a failed marketing venture.
When you have finished a deal off, it’s best to try and stay engaged with the customer for a while after the sale. For example, call them a few weeks after they made the purchase from you to ask them if they are still happy with their purchase.
This might seem redundant, after all, they already made the purchase, what more can you offer them? Well, at this point, it’s more what they can offer you. Not only is a happy customer more likely to come back, they are more likely to refer friends and colleagues to you.
This is important because referred customers come in with a pre-established high regard for your business and what you are offering as well as the fact that they are less likely to argue with you on terms like price than a brand new customer is.