How to Sell B2B Services? A Comprehensive Guide!
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With spending on B2B services is about to increase by 20% next year, you can’t afford to be left behind. Perhaps you’ll need a lot of preparation to take an effective B2B service sales approach.
However, the question is, how to prepare? Well, we don’t want to scare you, but selling services to other businesses is so tricky. It is much more challenging than selling directly to consumers. If you attack a situation in the wrong way, you’re going to be doomed from the start.
But no problem! As you’re reading this article, you’re at the right place. This guide will show you what B2B services are, 5 necessary steps to sell B2B services, and 5 common mistakes to avoid when selling them.
Let’s get started right now!
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Table of contents
- What are B2B services?
- 5 steps to successfully sell B2B services
- 5 mistakes to avoid when selling B2B services
- The bottom line
What are B2B services?
B2B services, or business-to-business services, involve the transaction of services from one business to another, instead of from business to end consumers. When compared to B2C services, B2B sales deals often have higher dollar values and longer sales cycles.
When done well, the sales of B2B services are more likely to be lucrative and deeply rewarding. As a B2B service professional, it is essential to develop a sales process that works well for your business, prospects, and overall goals.
- Differences between B2B and B2C
- What is B2B Sales Experience?
- 3 Steps to a More Successful B2B Sales
5 steps to successfully sell B2B services
Selling B2B services is not simply a whirlwind of individual people making purchase decisions for themselves. It requires thorough planning and involves a lot of people when making a purchase. B2B service sales usually follow a B2B sales funnel that requires careful planning, engagement, and closing.
Now let’s walk through what a successful B2B service sales process could look like:
1. Research and contact
The very first stage of the B2B service sales process is to figure out who your target customers are and create a buyer persona that you can start focusing on.
At first, conducting market research may be tough and time consuming for you to find the right people for your B2B service business. But you can start searching online for businesses that you think are likely to use your services. Once you identify the target group, you can compile an identity, including your ideal business demographics, founding dates, business type, culture, financial situation, and pain points.
Research and contact B2B service buyers
Once thoroughly researched and you get a strong profile about them, contact them. Whether via emails, events, or calls, make sure you create a great first impression that focuses on their needs. Not only should you educate them on your business, but you also give them solutions for their pain points.
Note: Believe it or not, referrals probably account for 50% of your B2B service success. Companies that come to you from an existing company’s recommendation via word-of-mouth are much more likely to be your next customer, and they are less likely to push when negotiating price. Social proof is an amazingly powerful source of business these days!
- Top 30+ Social Proof Examples Which Increase Conversion Rate Instantly
- 25 E-commerce Companies Use Social Proof Successfully
- How to Add Social Proof to Landing Page in 11 Easy Steps
So, why focus on cold connections while you can connect with the warmth of business friendships? If you treat referrals carefully, it will create a positive experience in which existing customers will want to buy and refer you again and again to more prospective customers.
2. Qualify leads
Once you have researched and contacted potential customers, it’s high time to see if they are good qualifiers! To confirm or qualify properly that there us an opportunity to make a B2B service sale, you need to ask them the following questions:
What is the problem they’re trying to fix? - This question will help you determine what service to recommend as the sales process progresses.
Have they tried to solve the problem before? If yes, why didn’t the previous solutions work? - This gives you a crucial context about what will and won’t work to solve their problem. Also, you can know exactly their pain points to speak to if your service is the right fit.
Who makes the final purchasing decisions? Unlike B2C services where you sell directly to a consumer, in B2B, you may have to work with several points of contact to close the deal. Figure out who they are!
Qualifying leads is an essential step in the sales process, as it helps you rank potential customers on the likeliness of purchasing, and split your efforts and time amongst them.
Note: Make sure to have a sound system for tracking your customer information and where they are in the sales funnel process. You don’t want to miss a deal just because you’ve lost their contact information or forgot to follow up with them. Having a CRM system will make this easier!
3. Meet face-to-face
If possible, avoid selling your services over the phone, as you cannot present your b2B services effectively to them that way. When you have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a potential customer, don’t waste their time.
The key to a successful meeting is to prepare carefully, pre-run them in your minds, and make a note of your conversation. When looking at an actual B2B service sales pitch, it may be best to work within this flow:
- Introduce yourself and your business
- Explain your customer’s pain points and their negative impacts
- Introduce your solutions and time frame
- Explain why you are different from your competitors
- Set your pricing strategy
- Summarize and review your main points
By generating a pre-plan of the meeting, you can communicate your thoughts and unique selling points better than just winging it and rushing to the deal closing! If you’re holding the meeting remotely or in the form of a video conference, make sure to improve audio quality so that attendees have a pleasant and productive time.
4. Close the deal
As your B2B service sale comes to a close, it doesn’t mean the work is done. If the result is a sale, congratulations! It’s time to think of facilitating an agreement outlining the terms payment. Besides, you may want to coordinate with your company’s customer service department to make sure the customer has been onboarded and feels supported using your service.
If the end result is not a sale, no problem! Thank the B2B service buyer for their time, and offer to keep in touch to support any needs they have in the future. Sometimes, a “no” is simply a “not right now”, and you will gain valuable insights that support your future service sales.
5. Measure your results and improve
When you’re constantly measuring and striving to improve your company’s B2B service sales metrics, you and your team can boost productivity and overall performance. You can track some following key metrics:
- Average lead response time - The more quickly you can respond to a lead inquiry, the more likely you will land the sale.
- Sales productivity metrics - The less time it takes a salesperson to meet the quota, the higher the sales productivity. This metric helps identify inefficiencies in the sales process.
- Conversion rate of marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads - This measures how many leads brought in through marketing efforts become sales qualified.
- Closed-won opportunities - Track how many of your total closed-won deals versus closed-lost opportunities can help you understand your sales process’s overall success percentage.
Read more: What is lead generation? Optimize online lead generation
5 mistakes to avoid when selling B2B services
Highlighting your services without considering the client’s needs
Self-centeredness is one of the most mistakes in any aspect of a person’s life. Such a scenario is the same when it comes to selling B2B services. Gone are the days when prospects only care about the features and benefits of your service. Instead, they want to know how you can cure their pain points and business problems.
So, always show that your service can do for them once it is integrated within the business needs. In addition, keep your talk straightforward and concise as much as possible. After all, it’s a B2B partnership of two.
Giving proposals with only one option
Keep in mind that no one likes the feeling of being caught in the trap. Giving a one-way proposal is one of the many ways to lose a deal with clients.
It would be better to provide them with alternatives, and you can do that by starting off with at least three options, which can vary depending on the circumstances and needed solutions. Multiple options - ranging from the lowest end option that still solves their problem to a higher-end option with the most value - can boost your average sale size and the number of deals you close.
Depending solely on the phone and Internet
There has been a significant change in B2B sales towards selling online and via the phone. In some cases, this can be helpful and efficient, but if you are selling a high-end and expensive service that requires a serious investment, you can’t skip out on a direct conversation.
Instead of phone or Skype calls, face-to-face meetings assure your client of a trustworthy business deal, especially with huge companies.
Failing to clarify your value proposition
Every time a B2B buyer asks what exactly your company does, you should have a rehearsed and quick response that best describes the value you create. Script out, clarify, and memorize your value proposition. Also, this is one of most crucial parts of your sales presentation you have to remember.
Rushing to offer discounts and deals
Your ideal client cares about value, not price, so don’t talk too much about deals and discounts. It only lowers your value proposition in the eye of your prospects. Instead, concentrate on the value you create and be proud to offer the best solution in the market. This will attract the type of customer who values you for years to come.
- Best B2B marketing strategies
- What is B2B marketing?
- What is B2B PR?
- How to use LinkedIn for B2B
- What is B2B Event Marketing?
The bottom line
Clients want to buy, but they do not like being sold to. Instead, they do appreciate being helped by a trusted advisor. If your business asks questions and listens to what they are actually telling you, a consultative approach will lead to much more sales.
So, in this guide, you have learned 5 practical steps to successfully sell B2B services, as well as 5 common mistakes to avoid when selling. And there is one last thing we want to remind you: Don’t be a kiosk salesperson, become a helpful B2B consultant!
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