How to Sell B2B? Best Tips for selling B2B!
Welcome to the future of unprecedented B2B selling strategies!
B2B market has quickly transformed over the past few years. Previously, B2B sales used to be a lot easier because sellers can predict customers purchasing behavior. But in these days and ages, the modern B2B clients have shifted the face of B2B business with different buying habits and traits.
Instead of relying too much on the potential vendors, they tend to conduct research themselves, reach out for recommendations, etc., before making the last decision. Therefore, they tend to place more expectations for your solution. If you fail to solve their pain points and offer them their wanted value, they are likely to turn back on what you provide.
A bunch of questions springs on your mind at this time: What are the buying behaviors of a modern B2B buyer? How can you use research to connect, establish a close relationship with them, and eventually sell your service to them?
In this article, we would love to share with you a comprehensive, systematic sales approach that helps you obtain a solid understanding of today’s B2B landscape, the trend and customer behaviors to stay closer to customers, increase leads, sales and revenue.
Table Of Contents
- What is B2B sale?
- How has B2B sale changed?
- What are the challenges for the modern B2B business?
- How to overcome sales difficulty and get successful B2B sales strategies
- Final Thought
What is B2B sales?
B2B sales is shorthand for “business to business”. It refers to a business model whose commercial transactions take place between two or more business organizations such as suppliers and manufacturers, manufacturers and wholesalers, wholesalers and retailers.
Typically, there are two types of B2B sales. The first one is selling items that meet up with business requirements at a go, such as office supplies or computer equipment. The second type is selling components that will be manufactured by the buyers as their own products later. B2B is much more complicated, usually brings about higher prices, more unique purposes, a longer sale cycle, and needs a lot of touchpoints to close the deal.
There are significant challenges that stand right on the path of B2B salespeople. Not only do they often sell to professional buyers who have years of experience in getting the best potential deal, but they also have to convince teams of decision-makers that this product is the best.
How has B2B sales changed?
Previously, B2B used to be pretty much easier. The customer was willing to make purchases if a vendor can pitch them with the best option for their needs at an affordable price. Here is the old way to convert customers into sales.
But today, this trading pattern has gradually gone out and left the spotlight for a new business model. So what makes such a transformation? Here are the four main reasons that have driven B2B sales cycle.
More than B2B clients are millennials
They are a new generation of buyer who grows up with a library of knowledge at their fingertips and specific requirement for product and service. The majority of them do not expect to deal with the salesperson until the last phrase of purchasing; instead, they do everything on their own from identifying problems, searching for a potential solution, etc. Of course, they hate the cold calls from the agency, what was supposed to happen in the old time of B2B trading.
The increase in the number of buying group members
Typically, there are ten members in a buying group, and then it is no longer rigidly identify the actual buyers among them. While 64% of C suite executives have final signoff, around 80% of non-C-suiters also have their influence in purchase decisions. Consequently, With more people participating in the process, the length of the B2B sales cycle has also increase by 22% over the last five years.
The new genre of B2B buyers can research a product digitally
The statistic shows that even in industrial and manufacturing industries, 67% of trading is affected by digital. The average B2B buyers often do 12 online searches before coming to contact with a vendor’s website.
Modern buyers pay a lot of attention to peer recommendations
Word of mouth is now the most powerful influencer in purchasing decisions. It is proven by the fact that 80% of B2B buying decisions are dependent on a buyer’s direct or indirect customer experience published.
The repeated cycle of purchasing
In the meantime, 90% of B2B buyers twist and turn through the sales funnel, looping back and repeating at least one or more steps in their buying journey. In a nutshell, customer purchase behavior changed dramatically into a maze, which is hard to predict. Their new journey will certainly surprise you
The trendy buying process will comprise four phrases:
- Multiple participant consideration with research, recommendation and discovery loop
- Making a purchase decision
- Post-purchase experience and loyal commitment cycle
From the crystal-clear evidence above, we can say that the new B2B buyers behave almost as same as a B2C client. This means there is no better way rather than offering target customers a digital-based experience that can guide them through the stages of B2C buyer’s journey and keep them staying with you as lifelong customers.
What are the challenges for the modern B2B business?
Changing brings both opportunities and challenges. All of the transformation we have already listed above is not an exception. It results in a wide range of challenges for any B2B sellers. We would love to give you the following brief before digging depth into the solutions.
- Prospects can make use of available information online to go through the sales process on their own without having the participation of vendors. This dismissed the influence of salespeople over the customer’s buying choice
- The role of sale and marketing become misaligned. Actually, marketing takes over many aspects of the sales process. Sales team step back to assist in the final phase of the selling process, evaluating potential alternatives and making the real purchase.
- The powerful influence of social media and peers instead of a salesman plays an important role in purchasing decisions.
How to overcome sales difficulty and get successful B2B sales strategies
Possibly, you have followed a number of steps here, which is typically found on many websites. Research: By searching your potential customers, you can get to know the current state of their demand for your offering
- Ask questions: After conducting detailed research on your prospects, you will get more information about them by asking many questions about their insights rather stop at the initial result.
- Listen to your prospects: Spending time and listening to the existing difficulties of prospers can helps to revel the problems that your company can solve
- Educate your prospects: Sharing new knowledge to help your B2B lead get clear on what they are interested in and flesh out what you can offer
- Go into a conversation with patience: In a conversation with the company you are selling to, do not rush to close the deal. You should be patient and clear about how can your product solve customer’s issues.
- Plan your questions and prepare for challenges: You should anticipate every possibility when customers ask you such unexpected questions.
- Close the deal: At this stage, all the questions are left behind, customers are more likely to make a purchasing decision.
- Practice: Try to avoid the mistake that you once made to and be prepared to enhance your performance when you meet new customers in the future.
It can not be denied that this formula is true. However, every business is different from each other, not to mention all the newly emerged challenges that B2B business is confronting. Of course, we need more comprehensive solutions.
Promote sales enablements to assist propers to arrive at a better purchasing choice
In spite of having more preference for searching online, B2B buyers can not stop interacting with you during the buying process. Even information can be found easily, it is not always the right one.
Actually, customers rely on reliable and necessary knowledge online to make a final decision. Therefore, you should provide them a fruitful source of information that can answer the most common questions your potential clients may ask at a different stage of their buying journey. This content library then can be proactively shared with prospects by salespeople. By doing so, you already take one step ahead to be closer to the customer.
What kind of content should be shared?
Case studies, industry article, and white papers, instruction will be the reliable and convinced source which can render target customers to be more responsive towards sales representatives. The effectiveness is proven by the statistic below:
- 95% of B2B buyers tend to choose a vendor who can offer them a rich source of content, which make it a lot easier to navigate through each stage of the buying journey
- 68% of customers place more trust in a brand after consuming content from it
- 62% of buyers can make a business decision based on online content alone (Content Marketing Institue, 2019)
Position your salespeople as an expert
As stated previously, the modern B2B customers have become more skeptical about sales and marketing messages they get in the mailbox. Then, besides providing reliable content, you can embrace your brand by letting your sales to be an expert in your business field.
If the salespeople who directly interact with the customer can understand their insight and provide them with the relevant information to their pain point as an expert, the customer will undoubtedly feel worth paying consideration to.
To get it works, salespeople can create and share useful and informative content on the company’s blog or their social account.
Align sales and marketing team to cooperate toward the same goal
Undoubtedly, the misalignment between the sales team and marketing makes salse people can not close the deal or find assets to forward to prospects, which all cost companies 10% or more revenue per year.
Therefore, it can be said the alignment between the sales team and marketing plays an irreplaceable role in successful B2B business strategies.
So, what is the secret to achieve this?
Simply, let’s get the two teams to share and coordinate.
- Let marketers educate sales teams on when and how to use the content to convince prospects
- Let salespeople contribute their new ideas and content
- Allow marketer to create content around a particular pain point, share with salespeople
B2B business has changed to a new future. The challenge does not mean the challenge itself, but it also creates a room for fruitful growth that awards all your determination and effort. It is no longer as simples as waiting for your customers to come to you. Instead, you need to be proactive in approaching your prospects as close as possible. You can choose to follow the formula but still adapt it to your business. Remember to watch out and stay sharp with the challenges.
I hope you find our sharing useful and relieve your pain point on how to build a B2B strategy to convert more prospects in the new context of business. If you have done and get a positive result, please do not hesitate to share your success story.
At Mageplaza Store, we also provide a wide range of solution which are architected to increase the effectiveness of B2B by encouraging business customers to purchase more, increase their satisfaction with appropriate customer care, and protect your store and customers better with restrictions. Let’s explore!