Is Your B2B Sales Process a Competitive Differentiator?
With 5.72 million B2B businesses in America, it goes without saying that running a B2B company is challenging in such a highly competitive environment.
And yet, not that many firms are doing a great job at the sales process: recent research shows that only 52% of B2B buyers were satisfied with their last buying experience. The good news is that this leaves a lot of room for you to corner the market with your own solid B2B sales process, thus generating higher revenues.
Having worked with many B2B firms to improve their sales process, below are some tips that will help you improve your success:
Focus on standardizing lead response time
Do you know how long, on average, it takes your sales team to respond to an acquired lead? If they are like most B2B sales teams, it takes them longer than an hour: only 37% of companies respond to leads within an hour, causing your team to risk losing potential business.
If you do not know how long your sales team takes to respond to a lead, find out: if a sales rep follows up on a lead within an hour, they are 7 times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a person who makes decisions.
You should know, and all of your sales representatives should know, that 35-50% of sales go to the first B2B firm that contacts a vendor.
Lead nurturing isn’t an option
Nurturing leads is imperative.
Nurturing isn’t just a task for marketing. Your sales team, too, needs to be interacting with a lead through the sales funnel. Often a two-pronged approach of calling and emails coming directly from you or your sales reps works well. And yes, these emails can also be automated to help reduce your workload.
If you have a marketing team, have them work in concert with your sales team to reach out to leads in imaginative ways, using a blend of email marketing, social media, paid retargeting, and other effective sales tools.
Your B2B sales reps have something to prove
B2B buyers are savvy. They don’t toss their money around without knowing the ROI and benefit they will get from a purchase. Your sales team should be able to leave a buyer with clear, undeniable reasons as to why the product or service they are selling is the best option.
To enable this to happen consistently and effectively, have relevant sales enablement materials tied to each stage of your sales process for your sales reps.
Start teaching your prospects a thing or two
By the time your sales reps are ready to nudge a lead to make a purchase, the typical buyer is 60% of the way to making that buying decision, having researched pricing and solutions, and ranked the options available to them.
B2B buyers value new information that will help them make better decisions for their organizations. Part of your B2B sales process should be arming your sellers with information that is highly useful to the prospective client: Train your sales reps to ditch the hard sell for an educational approach that naturally guides the buyers to your products and services. And align your content marketing with the sales process.
An effective B2B sales team tells great stories
In addition to providing leads with useful information, using storytelling can also help close the deal.
In the 2016 Content Preferences Survey Report, B2B buyers reported that hearing stories about others like themselves, who face similar challenges, is useful to them. And 73% of buyers surveyed had read at least one case study prior to sales meetings.
Find ways to incorporate case studies and testimonials into your sales and marketing process.
Paying attention to your sales process, and aligning the value you deliver with each stage of the buyer’s journey, will ensure that you stand out in a crowded B2B marketplace.
Our sales and marketing leaders are available today to answer your B2B Sales Process questions. To learn more, contact our team today!