B2B sales represent a huge amount of money. By the year 2020, the eCommerce B2B sales market is expected to be worth $6.7 trillion. Like any good salesperson, you want to increase your strike rate so you can reap the benefits of a growing industry.
Nevertheless, if your current sales approach is falling flat you may be wondering what you can possibly do to turn everything around. This guide will introduce you to seven steps to a more successful B2B sales approach.
Be Willing to Change
It all starts with a willingness to change. Stubbornness is probably the main reason why salespeople seem constantly stuck in a rut. You have to be willing to change your approach in order to succeed, and it starts by looking back and taking an honest look at yourself in the mirror.
You would be surprised at how many salespeople don’t do this out of stubbornness. Instead, they will blame everything from the industry to customers.
For example, if you’re not using Instagram yet you may think it’s too late to build an audience on that platform from scratch. However, the truth is with the assistance of an Instagram growth service you could be making bix bucks from Instagram in less than a year.
Don’t be that guy!
Start with Research
Whenever a lead comes in, this represents something that needs to be researched. You should look at every conceivable thing, even if it doesn’t seem relevant now. Here are some of the main points you should be looking at:
- Company size.
- How many of your web pages they have already visited?
- What business they are in.
If you are talking to them on the phone for the first time, you should be researching their needs. It’s difficult to build up a comprehensive profile, but with persistence and perseverance, you can do it. Research is always the start of the sales process.
It’s unbelievable how many salespeople are afraid of asking their prospects for information. It comes out of a fear of seeming like you are prying into private business or trying to set them up with a sales pitch. However, questions are your most important tools. If you are unwilling to ask questions, you are already operating with one hand tied behind your back.
Try to avoid questions that warrant a yes or no answer. Encourage the prospect to elaborate when they provide you with answers.
Apart from gathering information, the biggest benefit of a question is that it stops you from assuming, which can make or break a sale.
Once you ask a question, listen to the answer. Stop thinking about what your next question is going to be. Repeat back what the buyer has said to make it clear you have understood what they have said. This will also reassure the buyer that you are really taking into consideration what they have to say.
As a general rule, try to do just 30% of the talking. Let your buyer dominate the conversation. This may be hard to do at first, but it really does work and it doesn’t take long for you to realize this.
Teach Your Buyers
Teaching is the new sales pitch. While you are listening to the buyer, you should search for opportunities where you can educate them. Do they have some misconceptions that need to be put right?
Do be careful with where you insert your teachings and your tone. The last thing you want is to speak down to the person. A customer who believes they have been taught something new is more likely to trust you. This is the psychological power of reciprocity. It builds loyalty.
Change the old idea of ‘always closing’ to ‘always qualifying’. Qualifying will tell you where you need to go next. It involves determining where the buyer’s pain points are and what they are looking for in a solution. However, a buyer will rarely be explicit about this.
It’s your job to tease it out of them. Most of the time failed sales pitches occur because the person didn’t do this. They missed out on an important piece of information.
Closing should feel more like an agreement, rather than your last big swing for the fences. By following these steps, it won’t feel like it once did. Closing will almost be a certainty. It’s not a time for a big decision because you already know the outcome. The buyer will have fewer questions to ask and they will be less likely to pull out of the deal later.
Improving your B2B sales approach by following these steps will pay dividends. Monitor your results and make sure that you are continually looking at ways you can improve. This is an ongoing process that can’t be solved overnight.
How will you start to improve your sales approach today?