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When one business sells goods or services to another business, this is B2B sales. To complete a successful B2B sale, you often need an effective customer relationship management (CRM) software to generate and track leads, a strategy that focuses on solution-based sales to resolve nagging business challenges, and patience to build and maintain meaningful and productive relationships.
B2B sales differ from B2C (business-to-consumer) sales because it usually involves:
Implementation of B2B marketing tactics
Higher product or service values with larger transaction totals;
Longer sales cycles due to the greater risk and increased involvement;
Opportunity for negotiation; and
A more complex payment process.
Due to the complicated nature of B2B sales, we created this comprehensive guide to help you understand the B2B sales process, learn the most commonly used B2B terminology, discover how B2B sales work in conjunction with marketing, inform you of the most effective B2B tools, help you connect with some of the top sales professionals in the B2B sales industry, and provide you with actionable steps to generate more B2B sales.
The B2B Sales Process
The B2B sales process generally involves six stages in what’s called the sales cycle. This process can vary slightly depending on the nature of your company. But if you follow these steps, the accepted rule is that you can achieve a successful sale.
First, you need to do your research. Learn who you’re marketing to, who’s competing with you, and what your ideal customer needs. Also, know what you have to offer. Understanding how your product or service can improve their business operations and maximize their profits is paramount to making the sale.
Get Your Prospects
Before you can start selling, you need to figure out who you’re selling to. You’ll want to find, evaluate, and qualify your potential customers and key decision-makers who have the authority to accept the sale. Make sure you choose prospects that will benefit from your product or service. Also, ensure the affordability factors and other key elements that make them an ideal target.
Sometimes, finding leads is designated as a separate step from assessing their viability as a sale. In that instance, qualifying your prospects would be step three.
Make Initial Contact
Let your prospects know you exist and you have something to meet their needs. You can use outbound, inbound, direct mail, and email marketing to attract your buyers. Use social media to show them who you are, establish your brand, and inspire them to learn more about you. You can create useful content to lure them in, build your credibility, further your exposure, and provide relevant information. Mail-outs, cold-calling, and in-person meetings are helpful when accompanied by strong follow-up.
Additionally, as you venture to introduce yourself to potential customers, various email and other marketing tools can also help you analyze your reach, determine response rates, and track conversions for best practices moving forward.
This stage often includes the preparation and delivery of your sales pitch or presentation. If this is to be a separate step in your sales process, it should come before the initial contact to prepare you to make a good and memorable (for all the right reasons!) first impression.
Negotiating The Sale
At this stage, you need to muster the skills to handle and overcome objections. It’s helpful to know potential obstacles ahead of time to have answers or solutions already available by the time your prospect presents their problem.
Also, due to B2B sales’ complexity, you need to be open to and flexible in negotiations. Have a predetermined number in mind and aim higher so you can meet somewhere in the middle. Never start by offering your final sale. Give yourself wiggle room to meet your potential client’s budgetary needs and produce the best deal.
Finalize The Sale
Closing the sale should be the most natural stage when you follow all the other steps correctly. At this stage, your prospect should want to become a customer; they thoroughly understand your product or service’s value and decide it’s something they need.
Sometimes, though, buyer’s remorse sets in, and new questions or concerns might arise. Reassure your potential customer to instill confidence in them about the sale. Make sure to continue building trust at this stage to establish a long-term business relationship fueled by mutual respect and satisfaction in the B2B sales process.
It’s important to maintain the relationship even after the sale expires. Never underestimate the power of a repeat or happy customer in B2B sales. Not only will your customer likely buy from you again as needs become apparent, but they’re essential to bring you new prospects as well. Let them know you care beyond the initial sale.
B2B Sales Glossary
B2B terminology is extensive. In addition to B2B sales jargon, sales professionals need to know the acronyms and shorthand that accompany the industry-specific lingo. Keeping your sales reps up-to-speed on the latest terminology reduces the time it takes to decode sales discussions, which leads to successful onboarding, effective skills training, and more productive conversations with your team and prospects.
B2B sales terms you should know include:
This is an experiment that compares two versions of a sales or marketing tactic, method, process, or strategy to see which performs better (i.e. receives more clicks, responses, and conversions).
This is pretty self-explanatory. Everything you do as a B2B sales professional is to build a relationship that eventually turns into a sale. Popularized by the famous speech by Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross.
This is a measure of the average total of each order placed with a B2B business over a set period of time.
This refers to data sets that are too large for traditional data processing applications.
A percentage of email addresses returned by the mailer server or rejected/blocked by the prospect. Also used to reference the percentage of website visitors that view only one page on your website.
This is a sales specialist focused on qualifying inbound leads to find new prospects, establish an initial relationship, and refresh the sales pipeline.
A description of your target customer. It might include age range, gender, goals, likes, dislikes, motivations, income, profession, title, and where and how often they make purchases.
How much it costs to turn a prospect into a buyer. Calculated by taking the number of new customers during a predetermined time period and dividing by the total costs during that same time period.
The percentage of customers that leave or cancel their subscription within a set period of time.
This is a percentage of the number of clicks on a link or ad divided by the number of times the page containing the link is shown.
This metric represents the average revenue derived from a customer over their expected lifetime relationship with your business.
A phone call to a prospect with no prior contact.
Educational and valuable content created for prospects, usually only indirectly related to the business’s offering. Content marketing helps to build brand awareness, trustworthiness, and authority.
This is the process of turning a prospect into a customer.
A statement that intends to persuade or encourage a prospect to act or take steps toward a purchase, such as Request a Demo, Contact us, or Join our List.
A culmination of all interactions a potential customer has with your business, including website engagement, communication with your sales team, and use of your product or service.
This is a system or set of practices used to improve customer engagement and revenue. It involves recording, managing, and analyzing customer data and interactions. Salesforce is an example of CRM software.
A 12-month period used for accounting (i.e., budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting) purposes. Your business’s fiscal year does not have to follow the traditional calendar year. SaaS companies usually follow the calendar year or the delayed calendar year, starting February 1.
This is a thorough description of the type of customer you want to target and sell to.
These indicators determine whether the right actions are being taken to be successful. Examples of KPIs include lead response times, win rate, and call connect rates.
A prospect or contact that matches closely to your ideal customer profile.
Technology that helps sales and marketing businesses get conversions using automated solutions, such as Pardot, Marketo, and Hubspot.
A standard metric to determine the sentiment of an account using a singular question on a scale of 0-10: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?
A way to track outcomes using objectives and key results, or qualitative and quantitative methods, respectively.
A lead that has a high likelihood of converting to a customer based on predetermined characteristics and values. This is usually defined as someone who has decision-making authority, budget, timing, and intent.
The total opportunity value potential, in dollars, for a salesperson or sales team.
This internet marketing model involves advertisers paying a fee each time a user clicks on one of their ads. It’s a way of buying visits to your website using a platform such as Google Ads.
This is a three-month period in a company’s fiscal year used as a cut-off to track performance, compare and measure improvements, identify and forecast trends, and report earnings.
A quota is a predetermined benchmark of sales to be acquired within a set period of time. It’s intended to measure the performance and success of a salesperson or sales team.
A measure of prospects that respond to email.
This is a request issued by a company to receive vendor bids for various products and services or solutions to problems.
This acronym refers to the value you receive back on an investment of time, money, or talent. It is used to determine whether the gains were worth what was invested.
Software available online usually in a subscription-based model. Upgrades are usually seamless, and adding new users is quick, making SaaS great for new and upsell B2B sales.
A lead determined by the sales team to be pursuable. Sometimes used interganchably with SQL (sales qualified lead).
Sales reps that focus on outbound sales prospecting.
This is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website via organic search methods.
An acronym used for setting quality goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
This is the use of social media to connect and interact with prospects. B2B social selling relies heavily on LinkedIn, although other platforms are gaining traction including Instagram and Facebook.
A period of time starting at the beginning of the year and ending at the present date.
How B2B Sales and Marketing Work Together
While the B2B sales process focuses largely on the seller’s goals, marketing helps pull together a picture of the buyer’s journey within this process. A B2B sales funnel provides you with a visual of a prospect’s likelihood to buy what you’re selling. The funnel elements consider a buyer’s cognitive stages and behaviors that accompany a purchase.
You can structure a B2B sales funnel several different ways, but there are generally five essential phases, including:
Consideration / Interest
Preference / Decision
Loyalty / Repeat customer
Often included in the sales funnel is the buyer’s evaluation of the product or service and their resulting satisfaction or displeasure. This phase follows the purchase and comes before a repurchase or the establishment of a long-term customer.
You can tweak the funnel as you go through the process to better match your customers’ behaviors. You might have an opportunity to increase conversions between stages or experiment with additional stages to tailor the process to what works best for and fits your company and your prospects.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based marketing (ABM) helps deeply engage your buyers in the selling process. Survey data reveals that ABM-achieved buyer accounts often accompany increased revenues with larger average transaction amounts.
The idea is for marketers to work closely with sales professionals to identify and narrow in on those high-value prospects that best fit the product or service offered. ABM contrasts with typical marketing campaigns or efforts that aim to target a larger audience by focusing on select key accounts. In other words, marketing to these valuable assets results in a more direct, individualized approach that changes from one prospect to the next based on each prospect’s unique needs, behaviors and perceived challenges.
The complexity of B2B sales makes ABM the perfect solution for hard-to-secure accounts. It provides unmatched one-on-one contact and intelligence that can lead to an even more solid long-term business relationship.
B2B businesses typically don’t pay much attention to lead nurturing, but it’s paramount to your business’s success. You don’t want to come on too strong, but you also don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to close a sale. Knowing when to provide more information and when to accept the sale is an essential skill for B2B sales professionals. You need to readily identify when someone is ready to purchase and be available to secure the deal before the interest wanes. Additionally, you don’t want to assume incorrectly that the sale is yours and risk deterring an otherwise vital prospect.
Lead nurturing is often a lengthy stage in the process, especially in B2B sales. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to pull off excellent lead nurturing. One estimate shows that the average passage of time through this stage is about 84 days. But when done right, lead nurturing can significantly boost revenues.
Arm your sales team with great content to help nurture prospects. Content represents your brand and develops trust with your buyers, or those you’re hoping will become your buyers. Useful content engages your audience, boosts your credibility, establishes your authority in the industry and generates interest in what you’ve got to sell. Content can also reach those customers who are skeptical of ads. It’s cost-effective, proven successful when done well, and helpful to support your other marketing tactics, such as search engine optimization, social media, and public relations efforts.
Content is more than just written words. When creating and implementing an effective content marketing strategy, you can opt to deliver content in the form of blog posts, video (live streaming and produced video) and audio (podcasts). No matter what form it comes in, truly informative content utilizes search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help new prospects find you and increase your opportunity for conversions.
SEO generates organic traffic that leads prospects to your site to learn more about you, what you have to offer and if what you’re offering can potentially fulfill what they lack. It involves:
Site speed and technical optimization and accessibility for search engines to find and index you;
Great user experience (e.g., fast page loading times);
Share-worthy information and anecdotes;
High-ranking titles, URLs and descriptions for increased clickthrough rates (CTRs); and
Rich snippets and schema markup to highlight your brand in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) – this is Google’s response to a user’s search query.
Tools for B2B Sales
Various B2B software and sales tools can help organize data and streamline your business processes. Different tools that are effective for maximized B2B sales methods include:
Sales Engagement Tools - Outreach & SalesLoft
SalesLoft is useful to close more B2B sales by integrating CRM (customer relationship management) to make data more digestible and actionable. With the help of SalesLoft, you can better understand what your customers need and how to engage them to fulfill those needs by also better understanding their behaviors. The goal is to help you connect with your customers in a meaningful way and get you the “yes” you need to move forward with the sale.
Outreach is a similar sales engagement tool that provides a single, secure, efficient and effective platform to market, sell, collaborate, develop, close and drive success within your team. By optimizing each stage within the customer lifecycle with Outreach, you can boost your revenues with increased conversions. Outreach’s Galaxy extends the core Outreach platform with native integrations to other B2B tools.
Live Chat - Drift & Intercom
Live chats are a relatively new tool used to interact with website visitors. The urgency of a live chat can result in better customer service and increased conversions. Some data shows that conversions can increase as much as 20% with live chats and that customers who utilize the tool are 3x more likely to become buyers.
Other than real-time support, live chats are effective at qualifying leads and shortening the sales cycle. When used strategically, live chat software can nurture prospects from start to beyond the sale. Key benefits of live chats include:
Reduced inbound phone calls;
Faster contact and result times;
An alternative for those who don’t want to provide contact information yet;
Instant resolution and response time with the use of bots.
Some popular live chat software options include Drift and Intercom. The live chat software you choose for your business depends on what features, integrations, pricing structure and other details you’re looking for. Both options allow for customization of the chat box colors, fonts and icons. Both platforms allow for integrations with popular marketing and sales tools.
Features also differ between the two live chat softwares, with Drift offering the more comprehensive list including enriched data with Clearbit (reverse IP lookup for ABM & intent use), saved replies, complex bot workflows and automation, chat targeting, live view of website visitors, and complementary tools such as the free Drift Video. Drift Video offers asynchronous video messaging with embedded live chat capabilities.
Marketing Automation and Email
Marketing automation software enables your company to have a streamlined and organized approach to your workflow and to strategically design campaigns to help you effectively market your B2B business and nurture prospects across multiple channels with ease and consistency.
Some popular marketing automation platforms include Pardot and Hubspot. Both are helpful to individuals in B2B marketing and sales. They allow you to create, execute and manage campaigns in one place.
Salesforce Inbox is a CRM email connector, meaning it combines email, calendar and CRM for sales reps’ convenience. It also updates CRM data in real-time, keeping you in the know.
CRM - Salesforce
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a tool to help B2B businesses organize and access customer data. Increased connection and meaningful interaction with your customers leads to business growth as customer relations improve, retention remains high. Streamline your processes and your revenues climb. Salesforce offers a Salesforce Customer 360 CRM system that integrates all areas of your business where customer interaction might occur.
Shared views of customers across your organization
Automated workflows and processes
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) using Einstein
Easy integration with existing data and systems
Customization and scaling for companies of varying sizes
Sales Intelligence and Contact Information
Sales intelligence software collects, analyzes and presents information about customers and helps sales professionals identify new prospects. This software can also help fill-in-the-blanks when customer contact information is missing, qualify and prioritize leads, track email and website interactions, and gather contextual data from social media.
Sales intelligence software often integrates with CRM software, sales email tracking tools and predictive sales analytics tools. ZoomInfo (provides detailed profiles for individual and business professionals), Seamless.ai (a real-time search engine for B2B contact information) and Salesintel (provides comprehensive contact and company data) are three of the more popular options in this category.
B2B sales professionals have many conversations with multiple prospects throughout the day. The culmination of valuable information received is often too cumbersome to retain, and important aspects of conversations may never make their way to sales leadership. Conversational intelligence provides a way to evaluate your conversations’ quality, including talk time, common keywords, objections, pain points, and suggestions for improvement. The technology records information from communications, transcribes it, analyzes it (searching for conversational cues), and breaks it down into a digestible format to improve strategy and inform sales team members of where buyers are in the buyer process. Recordings and transcripts are also available in CRM systems and automatically associated with the correct account or opportunity.
Gong is one of the frontrunners in conversational intelligence that markets itself as a revenue intelligence software, meaning it helps generate increased revenues. Another popular choice for conversational AI is Chorus.
B2B Sales Thought Leaders & Communities
Who should you be following for knowledge bombs?
It truly takes a village to succeed, and that’s why it’s so important to have a solid community you can rely on for tips, advice, and the newest industry-specific trends. Here are some of the best in the biz to help you throughout your B2B sales journey:
Sales Hacker is an interactive B2B sales community created to 1) elevate the sales profession and 2) support and equip sales professionals to succeed. The site uses various content delivery methods, including articles, webinars, podcasts and videos, all neatly organized and easily accessible. All content is created by sales professionals who know what works because they have proven their methods in the field. In mid-2018, Outreach.io acquired Sales Hacker to continue their mission to improve the processes of sales professionals and help them do better on the job or level up by using the latest technologies and sales practices available.
Modern Sales Pros
Modern Sales Pros is a diverse peer education community providing an opportunity to connect with sales leaders from around the globe. More than 20,000 leadership professionals can network both digitally and in-person at regularly scheduled events. Being a part of this peer learning experience allows you the opportunity to gain insight, opinions, and answers to relevant questions about your specific professional responsibilities from some of the best in the business.
Keenan is an author, speaker, award-winning blogger, Forbes contributor and CEO of A Sales Guy. Keenan aims to help sales professionals take their businesses “to the next level.”
Additionally, Keenan authored Gap Selling, a Best Selling Sales Book and Amazon #1 Hot New Release, and took the title of Forbes Top 30 Social Sales
Influencers in 2014. He has 37 years of sales experience in inside and outside sales, inbound and outbound sales, ABM (account-based marketing) and content marketing. Keenan acknowledges that the 21st century brings about big changes in the sales industry. His goal is to keep his clients informed of the newest trends and methodology and prepare them to compete and succeed, as reflected by increased revenues.
Follow Keenan on LinkedIn
John Barrows of Boston, Massachusetts, is the CEO of JBarrows LLC, a company helping elevate sales professionals. He provides sales training and consulting services for big-name clients, such as Salesforce.com, Box and LinkedIn. He adds his own flair to the MJHoffman & Associated (aka Basho) training techniques to meet his clients’ changing needs. He credits his success and learning to the people he meets and the opportunities that arise throughout his career.
Follow John Barrows on LinkedIn
Trish Bertuzzi is the author of The Sales Development Playbook, CEO of The Bridge Group and LinkedIn Top Sales Voice of 2019. The Bridge Group has been around for more than 20 years and helps B2B companies build a stellar inside sales team and expand and optimize sales development. Additionally, Bertuzzi’s company provides account-based revenue (ABR) services to help B2B businesses create, implement and execute strategies intended to drive higher value transactions with big-deal companies.
Her Sales Development Playbook is available on Amazon and teaches its readers how to build a reliable and stable pipeline that’s repeatable for accelerated growth.
Follow Trish Bertuzzi on LinkedIn
Matt Heinz has more than 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience. He is president of Heinz Marketing Inc., a keynote speaker, author and host of Sales Pipeline Radio. His company focuses on strategic customer acquisition and retention. He works primarily with start-ups and fast-growing businesses looking to accelerate their reach.
Tuning into Sales Pipeline Radio, you can expect to receive tips and advice to help your business drive “greater volume, velocity and conversion of sales pipelines.” Heinz explains that his acceleration methods are transferable to any industry.
Follow Matt Heinz on LinkedIn
Scott Barker looks to the future of B2B sales and marketing. Situated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Barker currently heads strategic engagement at Outreach and he’s also head of partnerships at Sales Hacker Inc. He’s the co-host of a podcast on sales engagement, and hosts Demolitions, a video series that breaks down a real sales demo and how the salesperson can improve.
Barker received the honorary title of “Top 25 Sales Leaders You Should Get to Know in 2020” by Crunchbase.
Follow Scott Barker on LinkedIn
Max Altshuler of Austin, Texas, is VP of Sales Engagement at Outreach. He describes what he does as “helping people make money and build exceptional careers.” Altshuler is also the founder of Sales Hacker. He advises big names in the industry, such as Gong, Drift, Catalyst, DataGrail, On Deck, Mindbloom and Multicoin.
Altshuler is the author of three books, two published by Wiley. Hacking Sales became a bestseller in 2016. This publication focuses on building high-velocity sales machines with the leverage of technologies and modern sales tactics. Altshuler also points to empathy as a driver of sales success. His follow-up publication in 2019 dives deep into the discussion of sales engagement. Career Hacking for Millennials is geared to a younger, more ambitious mind to help these high-powered professionals gain success in less time.
Altshuler has a heart for various causes, including the advancement of women and minorities in the workforce, transitioning military veterans and helping animals (especially dogs) in need.
Follow Max Altshuler on LinkedIn
Sarah Brazier describes herself as “an educator, actor and people mover who thrives in a fast-paced, competitive environment.” Brazier is a freelance public speaking coach and actor in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s also an Account Executive with Gong the past six months after working her way up from a Sales Development Representative and Founding Coach for SDR Nation. As a coach, she focuses on social selling.
Her LinkedIn profile features several webinars and podcasts she’s been a part of, including “Grit Personified with Gong’s top SDR Sarah Brazier” on Sales Success Stories Podcast and Gong’s “Life After SDR” series on YouTube.
Follow Sara Brazier on LinkedIn
B2B Sales Channels
A B2B sales channel is simply a means to access your customers and make a sale. It’s important to use the proper channels to reach your specific audience. Additionally, while face-to-face contact is still relevant, many businesses are opting to go digital for convenience, greater reach and in the midst of pandemic concerns.
Here are some common B2B sales channels to consider:
B2B prospecting is the backbone of lead generation. You want to acquire as many suitable prospects as possible quickly and efficiently. To do this, you need to have your ideal customer profile completed to know who to target, and where and how to target them effectively. Some ways to fill your pipeline using prospecting include canvassing or door-to-door contact, cold calling and emailing, social selling, direct mail, in-person and online events, and referrals.
Reach out to your network for referrals. Don’t be shy to go beyond your existing customer base when requesting referrals. Also access your professional acquaintances and even friends-of-friends. The more you spread yourself out, the more likely you are to see new prospects roll in. And be sure to reciprocate. Not only does it encourage the person you sent business to to continue sending business back your way, but it strikes a connection with the person you referred that they’ll remember when they’re in need, or they come across someone in need, of what you have to offer in the future.
It’s great when we can help each other out. Partnering with vendors who share similar ideal customer profiles, consultants and managed service providers can further your reach and accelerate your growth potential by adding insight and another dimension to your business. By introducing your business’s presence into new markets and verticals, you can increase your brand awareness and credibility, stretch your following by making yourself more accessible, and inevitably generate more revenue.
Inbound marketing involves creating and distributing content. Content that is informative, relevant, useful and actionable is key to building your pipeline. Effective inbound marketing strategies can help nurture leads to become sales opportunities.
SEO is essential to your inbound marketing and content strategy. SEO refers to search engine optimization and helps drive organic (non-paid) traffic to your website. Effective SEO tactics improve your Google rankings and help users find you when searching for specific keywords and solutions to their problems.
SEO is more than just using the right words, though. For more information on how to leverage SEO as a significant part of your B2B online marketing strategy, review our guide to B2B Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Paid advertising includes Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other ad platforms. When used in conjunction with content and SEO, PPC campaigns help your business stand out on heavily saturated channels. Presently, the average person sees between 6,000 to 10,000 ads and processes about 100,500 or 34 gigabytes of content a day. The overwhelming nature of digital marketing makes PPC optimization, reporting and analysis important to provide you with a solid understanding of what’s working (i.e., what results in increased clickthrough and conversion rates) and what needs improvement.
New complications accompany trade shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are ways to take the show online. Now is the perfect time to work on your company’s digital presence by hosting virtual events or hosting live streams. Implementing the right technology is key to your event’s success.
You also want to make your event accessible by meeting your prospects where they’re at and adapting based on their behaviors. Some users have online experience, while others might be adjusting. Know the best way to help them easily and effectively consume the information to make informed decisions.
Lastly, make sure to support your initiatives with valuable content and a top-notch team. Empower your team by equipping them with the proper training, materials and digital competency to pull off the event without hiccups.
Taking care of your existing customers is often the best way to grow. Word-of-mouth is not only cost-effective, but it works to acquire new prospects, increase conversions, and generate revenue. According to a select group of B2B purchasers, 91% of their buying decisions happen due to word-of-mouth.
Upselling is another technique used to increase revenue from existing customers, where you invite them to purchase additional services or products, add additional licenses, or extend their term. Review your accounts’ net promoter scores (NPS) for high scorers and reach out for upsells and referrals.
5 Things you can do today to increase pipeline and generate more B2B sales
Here’s a list of five strategies you can implement now to help move your leads from prospects to customers:
Empower your marketing team to create great content. Content is essential to connect with your audience and boost your bottom line by getting exposure and encouraging your customers to act. But writing great content isn’t everything. Get your marketing team involved in the entirety of the sales process early and often. To start, let them listen to sales calls, invite them to sales and product meetings, and teach them the terminology you and your prospects are using.
Leverage technology, automation and data. Automation of data saves time, ensures accuracy, increases proactivity, improves processes and communication, and generates more insightful, reliable and quality information for your business. Using technology to collect, organize, analyze and integrate your data, allows you valuable access to the right audience at the right time for faster, more effective results.
Double-down on SEO. B2B sales professionals aren’t exempt from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Sales experts need to emphasize search engine optimization (SEO) to adapt to the current economic times. As others pull back on their marketing efforts due to budgetary concerns and product or service scarcity and shortages, you need to step it up while the competition is low. Capitalizing on SEO through content marketing provides consistency in an otherwise unstable environment and increases your brand’s reach and recognition.
Talk to your customers. B2B sales are all about the customer. Listen to what they have to say, even when they’re mad. Use both positive and negative feedback to create trust and build mutual relationships. If you only focus on happy customers, you’re missing an opportunity to learn what’s not working and why, improve or change your methods, and develop as a sales professional and a company. Hear out your customers—all your customers—so you know how to meet their needs best.
Take a step away from what has traditionally worked. Don’t be afraid to try unsaturated marketing channels. Now is the time to step up innovation and set new trends. COVID-19 introduced us to a new world for B2B sales. In-person events are changed forever. Social distancing, closures, quarantines, masks, and hand sanitizer are our new commonplace concepts that put a dent in large gatherings. But don’t just run another webinar. Try a live stream, test new social media advertising strategies, find industry influencers, or test direct-mail services like ReachDesk. In general, start thinking outside the box and going places digitally that you’ve never been before.