Are your sales holding you back from reaching your next revenue goal? If yes, it's time to consider sales consulting to revolutionize your B2B sales strategy. Learning about B2B sales is no easy feat, which is why we've simplified our B2B sales training to help you.
In this post, Bold CEO explores 9 essential tips for B2B sales. We discuss these points in-depth in our sales training program, which you can explore to learn more from other CEOs. Read on to find out the critical hacks to boosting your B2B sales.
9 Critical Hacks to Boost Your B2B Sales
1. Solve a Problem
Every day in our lives, we use items to solve daily problems. Clothes provide warmth, shoes protect the feet, and food nourishes our bodies. In summary, we are all consumers because we seek to solve problems. When you have discomfort in your life, you find a solution that eliminates it.
As the consumer, you understand that it's in your best interests to purchase products to solve problems. Therefore, as you revise your sales strategy, remember that consumers buy goods and services to solve problems.
What do all solutions have in common? A problem. Therefore, the first key in B2B sales is to find a problem. A problem can be defined as a need. As the salesperson, your job is to assess your customer's needs and recommend a solution.
Understanding the Solution Selling Strategy
Sometimes, your prospect may not know that they have a problem worth solving. In this case, you need to make your prospect aware of the urgent problem and provide a solution. This strategy is known as solution selling.
In solution selling, it's not enough to recommend an off-the-shelf product. Your solution should accommodate the individual client's needs. As such, you need to practice empathy to get to the root of the problem and customize the solution.
A key feature in solution selling is the emphasis on the 'why' and not the 'what.' For example, if you offer web development services, it's expected that you have the knowledge and capacity to solve web problems. However, can you advise clients about their website needs based on their industry, web traffic, and use? Can you help a business create a website that solves a business's unique needs?
Solution selling works because it promotes value. When you address a customer's pain points and show them how your product solves day-to-day problems, they can see the value. The value is the customer's ROI. If a prospect understands the return on investment from using your products, they're more likely to make a purchase.
Use the tips below to sell solutions:
- Establish what problems the customer has. What factors are responsible for the issues? How do you rank these factors in terms of urgency and impact?
- Show how your product solves the problem by eliminating a task, reducing redundancy, promoting efficiency, improving company brands, etc.
- If the product saves the customer time, show how much. If it saves them money, show how much.
- Does your product change the customer's brand image? Does it make them more respectful, authoritative, empathetic, or knowledgeable?
- How does your product influence the customer's bottom line?
2. Believe in Your Product
Your beliefs affect the final sales outcome more than you imagine. True belief helps you approach customers confidently and close deals. There are several reasons you should work on to train your employees and sales team to believe in your product:
- Confidence: It's impossible to be confident at selling something you don't trust, believe in, or value. Are you satisfied with your product or service? What makes you confident about it? Perhaps it's the problems that you solve, your pricing points, availability, or distribution network. Whatever your reasons may be, be sure to pass them on to your sales team to boost their confidence.
Consumers can tell if a person is confident in their presentation, even during phone calls or virtual meetings. Regular B2B sales training is essential to invigorate your sales team and boost their confidence through knowledge before making sales.
- Ethics: If you feel that you're manipulating people instead of selling value, you cannot believe in a product or convince prospects to make a purchase. When your salespeople have an ethical dilemma, they may choose to abandon their persuasion and fail to close sales. Providing value helps you fulfill your moral obligation to a consumer.
However, remember that consumers are fully aware of deceptive and manipulative tactics. As such, your belief should be based on factual and honest knowledge.
- Study your product inside and out. Be ready to answer any question from a prospect about your product.
- Take time to study your customer and understand their problems and needs.
- Train your sales team to focus on the benefits and customer ROI provided by your product.
- Work with a sales mentor or coach to build your confidence. Remember that confidence starts within. You need to believe in yourself before you can believe in a product as sell it.
3. Empathize with the Customer
Empathy is the skill that helps you understand other people's emotions. It's about recognizing emotions and stepping into another person's shoes. With empathy, you can see problems and solutions from a customer's perspective. The key here is to sell through emotions rather than logic.
Emotional selling relies on proved human behavior to close sales. The truth is that we rarely make decisions based on facts alone. We use emotions affixed to past events to make decisions. For example, if we make a mistake that makes us appear foolish, yet we believe ourselves to be smart, we feel troubled. If presented with an option that makes us look smarter, we're more likely to chose it and rationalize that we've made a logical decision.
How Emotion Selling Works
Emotions vary per customer, and your customer research should help you understand your customer's emotional motivations. For example, if a customer is motivated by pride, they're likely to respond to your product if it helps them look smart. In this case, your B2B sales language should inform the client that the product will boost their perceived image, exposure or give them awards. Words such as "reputation," "prestige," and "influence" resonate with such a prospect.
However, if your prospect is altruistic, you need to package your B2B product as beneficial for others. For example, the product could help the employees in the organization, team members, or clients. If your lead is fear-motivated, you need to talk about the cost of inaction. Explain the negative consequences on the business due to failure to buy and push the customer towards decision-making.
Emotional selling is beneficial to your team as well. It adds an element of customer service in B2B sales, which helps keep the monotony of product descriptions away. If your sales representatives are busy regurgitating product characteristics in their interactions, you're wasting a crucial opportunity to create an emotional link with customers.
4. Make Your Sales Customer-Focused
It's easy to get trapped in the habit of talking about yourself rather than engaging a customer. In all your interactions, the customer should be the center of attention. There are several ways to boost your customer focus.
Listening: Train your sales representatives to listen to prospects as they speak to gather as much knowledge as possible about the prospect's problems. Encourage the customer to share more about their ideal solution by asking questions. Train your sales team to always have a customer-focused mindset before approaching a prospect. If the customer is their focus, they can concentrate on reading their cues, knowing when to probe further, and when to reassure a client.
Solutions: Instead of marketing your product for purchase, describe it as a solution for your customer's problems. Once the customer explains the challenge they're facing, explain how your product features solve those problems. Your sales representatives should aim for value provision in each of their interactions.
5. Understand the Customer's Current State
Your customer is in a state of discomfort, and they want a solution that eases their discomfort. However, before proposing a solution, you need to understand the customer's pain points truly. Pain points vary per client, although we can group them into the following major categories:
- Financial: The customer is spending too much on a problem, they want a solution that saves them money. In this case, you should emphasize a lower price point during your sales talk. If the price point isn't lower, you should highlight savings from investing in a quality product and the ROI after purchasing your product. You should also be honest about your pricing models and mention if you offer pricing flexibility based on the customer's needs.
- Productivity: The customer is wasting too much performing a task, they need a solution that helps them use their time efficiently. Show the customer how your product saves time by improving ease of use, reducing redundancy, and automating tasks.
- Processes: The customer wants to improve internal processes to make operations easier. In this case, show how your product integrates with other processes to reduce communication errors and save time. Show how your product makes specific tasks easier.
- Support: The prospect doesn't have the support they need. Show the customer that you are available for 24/7 support, and highlight your communication channels. Help the customer understand various ways to reach your business for support if they're experiencing problems with your product.
Choosing to address your customer's pain points is easy- but how do you find them?
Ask: Ask your current customers to participate in surveys, leave reviews on your website, comment on social media and call you in case of problems.
Analyze your feedback: Look into the feedback you've received from clients after years of doing business. What are the customers' opinions, suggestions, and complaints about your products and services? Have a centralized system where you can collect and analyze customer feedback. Suppose you find that 90 percent of your customers like your product but wish you has better support. In this case, you can go ahead and boost your support services to improve your B2B sales.
6. Help Your Customers
Your customers should always feel that you're ready to help them. Providing reliable help for your customers generally falls back to the overall customer experience. You can create a helpful customer experience by:
- Managing Your commitments: Being a reliable CEO or business doesn't mean that you should say yes to everyone. Saying yes to everything could stretch your limits, making it impossible for you to fulfill promises. If you fail to meet a customer's expectations, be ready to lose clients, get negative reviews and lose referrals. To avoid the entire web of problems, start with managing your commitments. Know when you can say yes, and when you can push activities for later.
Apply the same tactic to your customer service. If you don't have enough customer service representatives to respond to overnight calls, don't offer it. Instead, provide alternatives such as chatbots and self-help pages. Also, remember to inform your clients that your employees are unavailable after work hours.
- Communicate proactively: Avoid surprises by providing your customers and prospects with all the information they need beforehand. For example, if you have a service interruption, inform the client immediately and assure them that you're taking measures to resolve the issues. If a client makes a complaint, apologize and look into the problem.
- Fulfill your promises: With every sale, start strong and finish strong. Let your current clients act as proof of your satisfactory products and service delivery.
7. Quantify the Impact
Sometimes, your customers may be unaware of a problem they're currently facing and the available solutions. In other cases, the customer may understand a problem but choose to ignore it. Improve your customers' awareness of their issues to nudge them towards a purchase decision.
A great way to improve awareness about a problem is to quantify it. Quantification eliminates ambiguity and helps you craft customized solutions. For example, if a customer tells you that they're not getting enough sales, your immediate response shouldn't be a solution. Instead, find out their target number and how many leads they currently have. You can also ask them about their ideal sales.
Once you know the numbers, you can advise the client on the number of leads they should target in their next B2B sales and marketing campaign and how they can reach their leads. You can also advise them on lead nurturing and converting prospects into customers.
If the customer complains about inefficiencies in their internal operations, find out how long it takes them to navigate internal systems, find and share information. Once you find out which processes waste the most time, you can present the numbers to your clients and show how your product reduces time wastage.
The bottom line, always clarify the problem, quantify the impact, and provide a solution with visible results.
8. Always Go Deeper
Surface questions lead to surface answers, which are rarely satisfactory for B2B clients. Most customers will approach you with a problem in mind but may not articulate themselves properly. It's your job to provide an inviting space where you dive deeper into their pain, to understand their situation truly.
Schedule a call, and find out how they're doing as individuals and as a business. Perhaps they're struggling to stay afloat. In such a case, you'll need to exercise empathy to earn a customer's trust. Allow the customer to speak uninterrupted and respond when they've retreated or asked a question. You'll also be surprised at how well B2B customers respond when listened to.
Invest in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools to help you divide your customers into segments, save their persona data, track their buyer journey and manage your business-customer relationship. CRM software offers an easy tool to track your leads and use their information to provide a personalized customer experience. Ensure that your sales team has access to a prospects' information before any sales interaction.
9. Make the "No-Brainer" Offer
After you've nurtured a lead, listened to their problem, empathized with them, and provided solutions, it's time to make an offer. Many prospects hesitate to choose a product because they feel that it's costly, unreliable, or that it requires energy and effort to implement. Navigate these hurdles by removing friction.
If the client has financial worries, offer a low-cost solution, flexible pricing models, or free trial periods and resources. If the prospect is concerned about the energy required to solve a problem, offer to reduce their workload. For example, you can provide a time estimate for integrating your product into their business, free training for employees, and continuous support until the client is on their feet.
Design your offer as the "no-brainer" option to convince a client to close immediately.
Accelerate Your Sales Today Through Sales Training
Are you looking for more leads? Are you ready to move your revenue to 7 or 8 figures? Do you want to improve business sales? With the tips above, you can revolutionize your B2B sales strategy. Learn how to implement these tips by signing up and watching free training at "How Discovering The "Wedge Strategy" Scaled My Business From 6 Figures to 8 Figures".