8 useful tips for BtoB sales and improving your results

8 useful tips for BtoB sales and improving your results

BtoB sales is a demanding field and this requirement has not diminished over time, quite the contrary. It therefore seems useful to us to share with our readers our few useful tips for solving the complex equation of business to business commerce. The BtoB sale has not been simplified over the last 3 years: on the one hand because of its natural evolution and on the other hand because of the deterioration of the conditions of execution of the sale ( generalization of the distanciel , difficulty in reaching prospects, more difficult fortuitous encounters, etc.). In these difficult times, it is urgent to go back to basics and rediscover the tricks that can improve your BtoB sales results.

8 useful tips for BtoB sales and improving your results

The more difficult times are, the more it is necessary to refocus on the fundamentals. Here are our 8 fundamental tips to improve your BtoB sales practice.

1 – Speak directly to the real decision-maker

The purchasing department is often the pet peeve of the salesperson. In many American documents dedicated to sales, we speak of “Buyer” and “Buyer persona” which is hastily translated by “buyer” (see the explanations in our article on price negotiation ). But the main buyer is only rarely the one who has the title.

Finding the real decision-maker is one of the essential steps in BtoB sales. Without forgetting that in many cases specific to complex sales, it is a question of finding several

It sometimes happens that we are put in competition and sent back to the purchasing department. But it would be wrong to believe that strategic purchases are carried out with the purchasing departments, quite the contrary.

The most seasoned sales people won’t worry about it at all, they will concentrate on the real decision-makers, who will not hesitate – if they are convinced by your product or service – to go and convince the buyer to make the right decision.

It is not a question of despising the buyers, but of putting them in their rightful place, which is that of negotiating a good price, or a better price. In complex sales, most of the time they are not professionals in the field that concerns you and they will not bother you on your perimeter.

The right tactic is therefore to focus on the decision maker you need to convince.

High level decision maker or not, it doesn’t matter, it is the person (s) able to make a decision on this project with the right budget and who is able to either spend it themselves , or to pick it up in the pocket of one of his colleagues.

By doing so, you will save time and energy in your  prospecting  and you will increase your chances of closing a good deal.

2 – Do not sell a product, but results

Too many salespeople are convinced that their solution is the solution. But this is rarely the case. By focusing on your features, you answer a question that does not necessarily arise. Without always realizing it, the salesperson who behaves in this way undermines the confidence he could inspire in his client.

Explanations by François Rolin , author of the podcast, La Voix de la Vente  :

The work of a salesperson is above all a matter of maieutics. The objective is to :

Make the prospect or client aware that there is a problem, and that he must take care of it;

Make him aware of what it will cost him if he does not take care of this problem, in the short, medium or long term;

Make him put words to this latent “pain”.

When this work is well done, the sale of the solution happens naturally
François Rolin – The voice of sales

The more the salesperson dwells on his product characteristics, the less he is interested in solving the customer’s problems, the more he shoots himself in the foot and reduces the value of his offer.

Starting from the “problem”, or even better by making it appear before the eyes of the customer who had not seen it, the salesperson will present himself as a solution provider, a tangible result for the customer. The notion of price, in this case, becomes secondary.

3 – Make sure you know the issues well

However, to bring a result to a client, it is necessary to understand his stakes.

And to fully understand what is at stake, you have to ask the right questions, all the right questions to be sure you know your prospect’s situation well. I particularly like Regis McKenna’s method:

Start with a clean sheet

Regis McKenna

By taking active notes and multiplying the questions, by cross-checking figures and facts and by questioning the client as much as possible, you will be able to show him that you are listening to his expectations and problems, and above all that you are capable of discovering those he had not yet perceived and of providing answers.

What are his problems, his frustrations? How much are the difficulties he is trying to solve cost him? Having this information can allow you to extend the scope of your deal and make it even more profitable.

Do not hesitate starting from the problems, it is easier for a customer to describe the difficulties he is encountering than to define his need. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be as many consultants who are paid to write specifications!

4 – Present a clear value proposition

As a result of the above, the informed BtoB salesperson will be able to highlight the value of his offer.

I hear you add “compared to the competition”. But if the value of your offer is such that it brings a result (point no. 2) and not just a list of technical characteristics, then your competition no longer even exists.

The customer will have their eyes fixed on their problem and on the solution to this problem: you!

We invite you to read, or re-read, the Modern Selling white paper , where this valuable topic has been covered time and time again.

It goes without saying that to be able to properly articulate your value proposition, good preparation upstream, in particular through the discovery of business signals , will have a decisive impact on your prospect when the time comes.

5 – To sell well in BtoB, favor direct contact

The technological tools are amazing, I will never cease to marvel at what they allow us to do, especially in these times of hybrid selling where you can contact anyone anytime and in any way.

This on the condition of not becoming complacent or lazy. But it’s easy to hide behind your screen, I’ve seen too many sales people do it, hoping to get contacts with the minimum of effort. The proof of this phenomenon is brought to us by Pipedrive, the famous CRM editor:

Only 53% [of sales reps] say they spend most of their working day selling, which means 47% of them don’t list selling as their main activity.

That’s why you have to focus on your core business and give priority to direct contact.

Who says direct meeting does not mean meeting face to face however , technology can and must help us to overcome the difficulties linked to the various crises and changes in behavior in the world of work.

Note, however, that the more you sell a product with high added value, and the higher its price ,  the more it is necessary to meet your interlocutor directly .

And if the circumstances allow it, and even if you are repeatedly told that face-to-face meetings are a thing of the past, move on!

Great deals are done more easily this way and a quick visit often makes the difference between a won deal and a lost deal.

6 – Stay firm on your prices

We have already covered the importance of price negotiation . It is essential to keep your prices, they are the guarantor of the value that you have sold to the customer.

Can you imagine a great value product or service sold at a discount?

Your price must be consistent with the value provided by your product. It must be justified, explained, argued. Your price allows you to  choose your customers . A business that is growing, that is generating profit, will not care about your price.

The only thing that interests the customer is the value that your product will bring him and the results that it will enable him to obtain. If you lower your price, you risk attracting prospects who ultimately cannot afford to invest in valid solutions.

If you feel your price is the right price, don’t go back to it , and if the customer has truly perceived its value, they will eventually accept it.

So you can close the sale: “You made the right choice, you won’t regret it!” »

7 – Control your emotions 

Signing great deals requires real self-control, especially with high-level decision makers, which brings an additional level of complexity. That’s why one of the best tips for winning such a deal is to stay in control of your emotions.

Don’t take things too personally

Stay calm and don’t let yourself be intimidated, even if your interlocutor tries to destabilize you. If he senses that you’re scared or nervous, you’re done.

And above all, as François Rolin explains in his podcast, never consider that it’s “in your pocket” . An expression which Jeffrey Gitomer indicates should be banned from the vocabulary of good salespeople.

8 – Offer options in your BtoB sale

Don’t make the mistake of offering only one option when presenting your business offer to a B2B prospect. There’s nothing worse than having a unique offer that the customer can say yes or no to.

This advice is not just a sales tip, it is necessary to offer several options in the interest of the buyer as well

By proposing a “Lego” offer, you offer the customer the possibility of shopping around and choosing the combination of options that will be most advantageous to him.

It’s also a great way to put the competition in the wind, because not only will you have demonstrated your ability to solve the customer’s problem, but you will have proven that it is possible to do so in different ways.

In conclusion to this review of BtoB sales tips

We have lived on a small cloud in recent months with a catch-up of the Covid crisis which has made us forget the vicissitudes of recent years.

But make no mistake, darker clouds are gathering over the economy and there will be many difficulties.

These few tips will help you weather the storm in the best possible way. They are eternal and can accompany you for many years in your practice of BtoB sales.

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