B2B Sales | 6 min read
When it comes to sales tips, the most fundamental one is this: B2B selling isn’t like any other kind of selling out there.
People who approach B2B selling like other forms of selling will find a lot of frustration. Those who recognize the differences – and embrace inbound selling throughout the whole process – will not only succeed; they will set the pace for the future success too.
So, what’s the biggest difference? It all comes down to the heart of inbound selling:
Add value before the sale is even made.
Adding value is the key to everything. It starts you off in a state of trust with your leads. It fosters rapport and collaboration instead of the feeling that you’re fighting to be heard. And it gives decision makers confidence that you’re out to help them, not just make the sale.
So, how can you do it? It means preparing, following through, and following up every time.
Let’s look at some of our top sales tips.
1. Collaborate With Marketing From the Start
Many of your leads will first be in contact with marketing, not sales. Your role is to work with your marketing team to understand their process – and add to their wisdom. If marketing isn’t consent-based, selling is much more challenging. Champion a customer-focused mindset from the start, and be sure your brand is trading value for email addresses or other contact info.
Marketing should also help you develop a robust deck of sales collateral you can use to rise to the challenges of the sales process. Case studies, spec sheets, and product demonstrations are all examples of late-stage Decision-focused content that marketing teams can supply.
Content is most successful when sales is a part of it. Build up channels of communication for both sides to use – both at need and at specific points in the process. A shared Slack channel and a biweekly meeting to cover specific sales collateral goals will get you off to the right start.
In particular, don’t forget to:
- Report customer testimonials back to marketing so they can be incorporated in content.
- Let marketing teams know about new customer objections your brand should respond to.
- Double-check marketing assumptions by providing feedback on buyer persona sheets.
All of these practices will make your job easier by laying groundwork for good sales enablement. That will make all of your other sales techniques that much more effective and make it easier for your whole organization to adapt to changing market conditions.
2. Get Ready for the Long Haul
B2B selling takes time, effort, and research. Sales pros will go in hot looking for a fast sale and will soon find themselves tuned out in a sea of offers. With that in mind, you need to be sure you’re ready to do your part in cultivating a long-term relationship with each prospect.
- Researching leads to understand their pain points, needs, and how you can help them.
- Monitoring leads’ business situation to spot changes in how you should approach them.
- Keeping an eye out for behaviors that suggest the purchase process is advancing apace.
- Providing value with content and updates through email, social media, and by phone.
3. Develop a Meaningful Onboarding Process
Without onboarding, the knowledge and perspectives your team brings to the sales process will be inconsistent. Diversity is strength, but sales teams are most effective when everyone starts with two wells of deep knowledge to draw from: Product knowledge and buyer knowledge.
Product knowledge ensures you have insight into all the different ways your solutions can make your lead’s life better. Buyer knowledge equips you to move quickly and shift toward the most important of those options in a discussion – aligning your lead’s vision of the future with yours.
Many customer relationship management (CRM) programs now provide useful options for ongoing contextual training throughout a sales rep’s development. While this won’t replace one on one mentoring, it helps reps zero in on their own needs in a self-paced way.
As sales topics go, designing an onboarding process could easily be an entire book to itself.
That said, it doesn’t have to be a mystery. By mining your team for their best sales tips, you’ll quickly find out what works for them. Then, it’s just a matter of synthesizing that knowledge into a cohesive curriculum that new hires can get familiar with in a short time.
Of course, you can’t do it all in onboarding – sales takes a day to start, but a lifetime to master!
So, that leaves you with the next step: The support that helps teams go from good to great.
4. Get Equipped With the Right Technology
If you’re not using a CRM suite yet, you’re falling behind in some big ways.
Here’s what you’re missing out on:
- The ability to automate entire workflows that can save hundreds of hours a quarter.
- Total visibility into your leads’ history of behavior so you can follow up proactively.
- Instant lead scoring so you can focus your team’s attention on your top prospects.
- Intuitive and precise segmentation of communication to customize lead experience.
As sales tips go, this is the king: You don’t need a gigantic budget to get terrific value from a CRM, nor do you need months of preparation. Your team can be up and running with a powerful, extensible, and scalable CRM in just a day or two when you pick HubSpot CRM.
The HubSpot CRM, made by the inbound experts at HubSpot, provides all the features you would expect from a solution worth millions in licensing fees and does it all for free.
Luckily, all of the training materials you could need to dig the ins and outs of HubSpot are available right from its own dashboard, including helpful video tutorials that will get you up and running fast. Adoption tends to be high, since everyone easily sees just how much it can do for them.
If you only follow one of our sales tips today, make sure a CRM is at the top of your list!
B2B Sales Isn’t That Tough When You Remember (and Live!) This One Sales Tip
In the world of B2B sales, the more things change, the more they stay the same. While getting to the sale can seem complex, the fundamentals never change. New tools and tactics all focus on the same things: Providing value, service, and understanding to leads who’ll benefit from your help.
To sign off on our list of top B2B sales tips, we leave you with words of wisdom that come to us all the way from 1936, a distinctly “outbound sales” era in history. In one of the best books for salespeople, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie included one gem that’s really stood the test of time:
“Take a genuine interest in other people.”
Make this one of the guiding principles of your inbound sales strategy, and all the sales tips and tools you can muster will fall in line toward the best possible outcomes for you, your customers, and your business partners.
If you’re interested in people, you can understand them. And if you understand people, a truly meaningful career in B2B sales is ready to unfold for you.
Published on November 27, 2018