B2B (business-to-business) sales refer to companies or salespeople who sell products and services directly to other businesses.
In B2B sales, the transactions occur between two businesses. In simple words, one company or business sells a product or service to another business. For example, if a ketchup manufacturer sells its ketchup to various fast food outlets, that’s a B2B sale. Generally, this type of sale is considered to be complex, however, the sales process is pretty much the same; you need to generate leads, create awareness about the brand and sell it.
These sales need effective sale strategies to convince all parties involved in the business deal. They are often more complex than B2C sales because of their higher-order values and longer sales cycles.
Following are a few fundamentals of creating a great B2B Sales Strategy.
Focus on Customer Need
The whole B2B sale starts by identifying a customer’s need and then planning out a solution to cater to it. For a B2B sale, your solution will need to increase revenue, decrease cost/expense, improve productivity, or avoid something bad. These are the key benefits that B2B organizations are looking for.
The Ideal Customer
It is essential to find the right organizations and contacts for sales success. There are many sale strategies to reach out to targeted clients.
Strategies that can be implemented to generate leads via marketing include:
- Onsite and offsite content marketing
- Personal branding
- Search engine optimization
- Influencer marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Cold Calling
Study the Buyer’s Behavior
How great would it be if you could just read the customer’s mind, right? Well, the best we can do is make assumptions based on data. Consider how your potential customers make decisions? The key to mapping out your sales process is to understand your customers. Understand the steps, information they need, and the people involved. This allows your organization to align your sales and marketing efforts.
This chart from the Content Marketing Institute shows how B2B content marketing has changed from 2017 to 2018 by customer need.
Build Your Sales Team
The efforts of good teamwork always go a long way. At the start of your organization’s sales efforts, it is important to plan out the type of future sales and related skills that you will be needing. Hire a team according to your business demands and equip them with the means and technology to build a trustworthy B2B impression on potential clients.
Set Realistic Targets and Goals
Organizations will typically have a revenue target for their sales effort. Revenue is a lagging result. There are activities that need to come first that lead to sales. This could include things like booked meetings, demos, proposals, and other steps. You should have targets set on these activities to ensure you are making revenue.
While planning to initiate B2B sale strategies, ensure that you have budgeted enough for the activities essential to B2B marketing. It’s a process that needs to be optimized from time to time, in that customer needs are constantly evolving, and B2B companies that do well are those with the capacity to quickly adapt.