Are you one of the seemingly countless CEOs or sales managers who feels like they're doing everything they possibly can to dominate B2B sales in their company yet not going anywhere?
If so, first know that you're not alone in that feeling.
Second, know that that feeling ends here and now!
We're sharing a simple, complete guide to help you dominate sales in your business! Whether your goal is to increase sales or feel more in control of each sale, this guide is your key to success.
Not only that, but if you follow this guide from start to finish, you'll have a perfect framework outlining each of the most important elements of sales.
If you're thinking to yourself, 'A simple outline like this isn't enough to take my sales from 0 to 100!'... just know that that's mental conditioning talking.
More specifically, the mental conditioning telling you that something needs to be complicated to be effective.
However, as we've broken down here on the Business Growth Insider many times before... thinking that something needs to be complex to be effective is absolute nonsense!
Furthermore, consider this your one-stop shop for all things B2B sales. Follow this complete guide from beginning to end and you are sure to dominate.
B2B Sales In Simple Words
Now, you might be saying to yourself... ‘I don't need a run down on B2B sales because I've been in the game for a while now’.
While that might be your initial reaction, the truth is that there is seemingly endless information about business-to-business sales on the internet today.
And unfortunately, not all of it is accurate or likely to help you . In fact, much of the information out there is wildly inaccurate!
Therefore, we're setting the record straight on the basics of B2B sales in order to give you a necessary foundation to dominate.
That being said... What is B2B sales in simple words?
To put it simply, B2B sales is when a supplier company sells a product or service to another company.
B2B sales is one of two main types of selling dynamics, with the other being B2C sales. In B2C sales, a supplier company sells products or services directly to consumers rather than other companies.
A few of the most important success factors in business-to-business sales include:
- Honing in on one or two key products or service to take to market
- Delivering tailored solutions to fit your B2B customer's needs
- Building dynamic, long-term relationships with B2B buyer companies
In business-to-consumer sales, these three factors aren't necessarily as important to success.
With that being said, some of the key differences between B2C and B2B companies are:
- B2C companies don't tend to hold long-term relationships with customers like B2B companies
- B2C companies usually offer a wider range of products or services than B2Bs
- B2C companies tend to have much shorter sales cycles than B2B companies
Now that you’ve gotten a refresh of the basics, here is your complete guide to dominating business-to-business sales!
Get Your CEO Mindset Right
Believe it or not, your mindset is the single most important factor in sales success.
Therefore, the first step to dominating in sales is to get your mindset right.
Here is exactly how you can do that, and more on why it's exceedingly crucial.
1. Prepare Your Mind For Sales Domination
For starters... What exactly is mindset?
Mindset is the accumulation of the thoughts you think.
Why is mindset so important?
Here's why: The thoughts you think determine the feelings you feel. The feelings you feel determine the actions you take. The actions you take determine your business outcomes.
Therefore, if your mindset is full of negative thoughts, you'll ultimately have poor sales outcomes!
On the flip side, if your mindset is positive, meaning you think positive thoughts, it'll manifest in positive sales results!
That being said, you need to develop an overall positive mindset by thinking positive thoughts about sales.
For example, thinking that you will achieve success and thinking that your business is worthy of every prospect in your target market are both great thoughts to think.
If you're currently coming from a negative mindset, ask yourself whether or not those thoughts are accurate or coming from a common culprit like fear of failure.
Bottom line: Whatever is going on in your mind will ultimately reflect in your sales results.
2. Motivate Your Entire Sales Team
It's important to remember that sales success isn't dependent on your efforts alone. Rather, it's the sum of your efforts + the efforts of each of your B2B salespeople.
So, if your sales team members have a negative mindset, then it will inevitably show in sales results.
That being said, boost the mindset of your entire team by fostering a growth mindset company culture.
A growth mindset culture is one in which everyone in the company is committed to personal growth and business growth.
Moreover, it's about creating an environment of self-improvement.
When everyone is thriving, it will certainly result in sales domination.
Set Clear Sales Goals
Once you've got your mind right, you've laid the foundation for the next step in sales... which is to set sales goals!
And, not just any goals, but crystal clear goals that paint a perfect picture of exactly what sales and business outcomes you want.
Setting goals is almost as important in sales as having the right mindset. Here's how to set high yet achievable goals.
1. Brainstorm Your Visions
The first step in setting sales goals is to simply sit down and brainstorm. It doesn't need to be formal.
For example, later today or tomorrow, sit down with your journal and write about the dreams you have for your company. What visions do you have for it?
It doesn't matter how big the visions are, just be sure to write them down!
Don't be afraid to really go there like a kindergartener who you ask what they want to be when they grow up. No vision is too big.
2. Turn Your Visions Into Clear & Concise Goals
One or two days after you've finished brainstorming, it's time to turn those visions into clear and concise sales goals.
What makes a goal crystal clear? Well, a couple of things, including:
- It has to be measurable
- It must be able to be broken down into smaller goals
- It has to have an exact deadline for when you want it completed
- It has to be extremely detailed
- It must describe the conditions in which you want it achieved
For example, a non-clear goal looks something like this: "My goal is to increase sales by the end of the year".
That one is a thumbs down for sure!
On the flip side, a clarified goal looks something like this: "My goal is to make a total of one million dollars in sales by January 1st next year, by making at least $83,000 in sales each month until then. When I achieve the goal, I will wear my silver designer dress and celebrate our most successful sales year yet."
Your goals should be so clear that you could tell them to a stranger and they would be able to grasp your vision right away!
Also, you can have more than one goal. But, sometimes it's best to focus on just one or two at a time.
When it comes to setting goals you can never be too clear.
Clarify Your Message & Ideal B2B Customer
With clear goals set, you're ready to get into the nitty gritty of sales.
That is, crafting a unique value proposition and deciding what kind of customer is most likely to go for that proposition.
This step is often the most exciting for CEOs and salespeople, because clarifying the unique value proposition and ideal customers ultimately helps develop the brand's unique message.
1. Create an Ideal Prospect Profile
Knowing who your ideal B2B lead is is one of the most important, if not the most important part of sales.
Because, unless you know who your perfect customers are, including their demographics, psychographics, and what their problems are, then how do you expect to know who to sell to and how to effectively sell to them?
Therefore, you need to create an ideal prospect profile (IPP).
An IPP is like a caricature of your perfect customer.
When drawing them out, ask yourself what their personality is like and why they would want anything to do with your product or service.
Literally, get a pen or a pencil and draw a picture of your ideal customer!
Of the most important traits consider, think about:
- What the prospects top needs are
- What their pain points are
- What their personality and lifestyle is like
This is another opportunity for you to be creative yet very intentional.
Think of it like this... If you showed someone the drawing of your ideal prospect to a stranger, you should be able to explain exactly why the drawing looks the way it does.
2. Clarify Your Unique Value Proposition
Ask yourself this question... Why would your ideal prospect choose you over one of your competitors for their solution?
Your answer should be whatever your unique value proposition (UVP) is.
The UVP is essentially the thing that makes you stand out from the competition. Whether it's your amazing customer service or special product features, it should be something that would make the IPP say, 'That's what makes them different from everyone else AND why I like them'.
The UVP should be something that is most desirable to your ideal customer.
For example, let's say your UVP is that you have awesome customer service. If that is so, then your ideal prospect should be the kind that prioritizes service almost more than the deliverable itself.
The UVP is what makes you stand out from others. Whatever you do... Don't dim that uniqueness!
3. Develop a Brand Message
Once you've honed in on your IPP and UVP, create a brand message to connect with prospects on an emotional level.
Think of the brand message as the story your company is trying to tell. It incorporates the UVP and aims and resonates with the IPP.
Think about it like this... Now that you've articulated what you believe your ideal prospect's needs are, create a story that highlights the UVP to reel the potential customer in.
Once you've developed the message, interject it at every chance you can into sales, including every sales pitch, call, and email.
Also, collaborate with your marketing team to make sure that they incorporate the brand message on your company's social media pages and website.
Develop a Full-Proof Sales Strategy
The sales strategy is your company's outline for positioning your product or service in the market against the competition. To do so, it puts the brand message front and center.
Unlike the sales process, the strategy is more of a broad outline or guideline rather than an extremely detailed plan. The nitty gritty planning comes when developing the sales process.
Furthermore, developing the strategy will be the foundation of your sales process down the road.
1. Create a Killer B2B Sales Strategy Framework
Think of the strategy framework as the overall outline or guideline for how you are going to get your message out there.
- Which processes you're going to use and which member of the sales team will be in charge of it
- How each step in the process is going to highlight the brand message to convert qualified leads
- The objectives of each point of the process
- The overall sales approach
The strategy should include more than just these four items, but these are a few of the most important.
Again, think of the strategy as a guideline for your technical processes. It explains why each step of the process is necessary, and how you're going to interject your message at each point of the process.
2. Align With Your Marketing Strategy
Get together with your B2B marketing team to align the sales and marketing strategies!
In terms of alignment, both teams need to be working as hard as possible to put the same brand message out there.
That way, when a prospect sees a piece of marketing content, it will enhance the sale as it portrays the same brand message that they pick up during the sales process.
Develop a Simple B2B Sales Process
Like we mentioned above, the strategy lays the foundation for the process.
So now that you've got the strategy done... developing the process should be simple!
Your sales process outlines your overall plan of attack.
Once you have the process laid out, you and your sales team will know what you need to do to go out and start making sales.
1. Put Together a Simple Sales Process Flowchart
Now that you've got your strategy framework outlined, you're ready to create a process flowchart (also known as the sales funnel or sales cycle).
The flowchart outlines each step of the process that you and your sales team will do to convert leads into paying customers.
A standard process looks something like this:
- Lead generation (should be simple if you created a solid IPP)
- Prospecting and initial outreach
- First sales call (qualify the prospect)
- Sales pitch, address objections, then repeat a time or two if necessary!
- Final sales pitch (put deal on the table)
- Close deal
While your flowchart might include a step or two more, the key is to not make it overly complex. The more complex you try to make it, the more problems you are likely to encounter.
Therefore, keep it simple and straightforward!
Once you've got the flowchart put together, delegate pieces of the process to different members of your team.
2. Keep Your B2B Sales Cycle Short & Sweet
Don't make the fatal mistake of making your sales cycle unnecessarily long!
Longer sales cycles usually include many unnecessary steps, and ultimately water down your message.
Therefore, take a hard look at your process and ask yourself whether or not you've included too many steps. If so, then you'll end up putting your leads through a cycle that is too long for them to handle.
A short & sweet but high-quality cycle is far better than one that is long and drawn-out yet doesn't need to be that way.
Use Only the Best Sales Tactics
Now... Here is where so many of the headaches occur.
Far too many CEOs and sales reps use outdated, crummy sales tactics that get them absolutely nowhere! Yet at the same time, they are working harder than ever trying to make them work.
Tactics are the actions you take to initiate the sale or move the sales process along, including outreach tactics like cold calling and emailing.
Avoid the headaches... follow this advice!
1. Use Outreach Tactics That Actually Generate Responses
We're not going to hate on cold calling and emailing. But, the truth is that most salespeople use both tactics only to never (ever) hear back from leads.
As a result, they're often left thinking that the tactics themselves are useless. BUT, what actually is going wrong is that they're not doing cold calling and emailing correctly.
What do we mean by correctly?
We mean that correctly done calls and emails are direct, assertive, and create a sense of urgency in the prospect. If you can accomplish those things, then we guarantee that your outreach success will go through the roof.
2. Talk Less, Listen More
We will give you a hint... It isn't your CRM or content marketing.
The best sales tool of them all is asking questions! Yep, asking questions is the absolute best tool in sales.
How does that work?
Once you have your prospect on the phone, your goal is to draw as much information out of them as possible to uncover their needs. Embedded within their needs are their pain points.
The more high-quality questions you ask, the more you get to the root of the prospect's biggest problems and what their tactical and emotional needs are.
Moreover, the more time you spend talking during sales calls, the less chances there are for the prospect to spit out valuable information you need to be successful.
Straight-up: Start asking more questions and stop talking so much!
3. Be Consistent With Each Tactic
While the tactics we mentioned above are some of the best at generating responses, that doesn't mean that if you don't get a response the first time around that you should give up on that particular tactic or lead.
Rather, you need to be consistent!
If you don't get a response the first time around, odds are that the prospect is simply too busy at the moment or already has a full inbox. They're not ignoring you, they're simply a little backed up.
Therefore, make at the (very) least five attempts to reach out to a lead before giving them a break. And even once you decide to give them a break, you should try again a couple weeks later.
4. Create Sales Pitches That Aren’t Miserable to Sit Through
Once you've nailed down a prospect and you're moving them down the sales pipeline, don't make their life miserable by making them sit through boring and pointless pitches.
Contrary to what you may have been taught before... The sales process should be fun!
If you were in your prospect's shoes, would you enjoy sitting through the process that you put them through?
If not, then make an immediate change!
Pitches offer the best opportunity for you to put your brand message out there and make use of sales storytelling. Don’t waste those valuable opportunities!
Foster Strong Relationships With Potential Customers
Relationships. Relationships. Relationships! B2B selling is about relationships!
Get that through your mind right now, because success in sales is largely dependent on your ability to form relationships with prospects.
If this sounds scary, don't sweat it. The truth is that most business relationships are casual.
Prospects aren't expecting you to put on a show. Instead, they just want you to be yourself!
1. Be Personable, Likable, & Yourself
Take a moment to answer this question... What makes you want to have a friendship with someone?
More likely than not, you want to be friends with people who make you feel good, are genuine, and are trustworthy.
Not only are those traits valuable in friendships, but they're also valuable in B2B relationships!
Believe it or not, but your prospects don't want to work with a robot. Instead, they want to work with a likable human being (AKA you!).
So, show your personality off to make the selling process enjoyable for the prospects! If they like you as a person, then they're more likely to want to do business with you.
2. Connect With the Decision-Makers
The sales professional who is leading the sales process must connect with the top stakeholder at the prospect company. That stakeholder is the person who has the authority to make a final purchasing decision.
If you don't connect with and form a relationship with the person in charge of making buying decisions, then your odds of closing the sale decrease significantly.
Because, when it finally does come time to lay the deal on the line and you've already scored some brownie points with the decision-maker, then they're more likely to give you the green light!
3. Form Several Touchpoints of Communication
Not only should you connect with the person in charge of the decision-making, but you and your entire sales team should form a network of communication with employees at your prospect company.
The thing about B2B sales is... It's not a matter of one salesperson from the supplier company solely working with the buyer company.
Rather, there should be several representatives on both sides of the aisle shaking hands to create a full-scale relationship between the two companies (whenever possible).
The more connections across the aisle, the better!
Guarantee Yourself a Closed Deal
If there was a point in sales where most sales reps feel that terrible out of control feeling, it's right when they're about to lay the deal down on the table.
However, we're here to tell you that there is a set of sales techniques you can apply to almost every sales scenario to guarantee yourself a closed deal.
Want in? We got you.
1. Always Exercise Control
Don't let anyone tell you differently... If you aren't in control of the sale, then wave goodbye to the closed deal for good!
If you don't exercise control over the closing, then your prospect will take over. And, nothing good ever happens when the prospect is in control.
It's nice if they think they're in control, but actually giving it to them is never a good idea.
- Continuing to asking questions
- Using the mirror tactic
- Hyping up the prospect's positive emotions
2. Show Up Ready to Close Deals
Before you walk into a sales pitch (or dial in), come prepared to close the deal then and there.
Even if you think there may be more steps to go before reaching a deal, show up ready to lay the deal on the line!
The truth is, you never know when your prospects are going to say, 'So, when can we get started?'.
And, there's nothing worse than the prospect being ready to close the deal, but you're not ready to go with all the details.
Therefore, show up to every sales encounter with all the details of the deal ready to go, including your price and execution plans.
3. Be Flexible Without Negotiating
Straight-up: Once you've set a fair price based on the value of your product or service, don't negotiate it!
If you get to the final sales pitch and the prospect says they can't afford it, you might think you're being nice by negotiating price.
However, what you're actually doing by negotiating is saying, 'Yeah, my product/service really isn't as valuable as I said, so I'll drop it!'.
Essentially, it shows that you don't really believe in the value of your solution.
That being said, that doesn't mean you can't be flexible with prospects. Instead of negotiating, offer to set up a payment schedule. Or, if there's something non-monetary you would like, ask if they can give you that instead.
In the end, negotiating only shows the prospect you don't believe in the value of your deliverable. And, that's a recipe for disaster!
Final Thoughts on Everything You Need For B2B Sales Success
Bottom line... Anyone (literally anyone) is capable of dominating in sales.
Whether you're a brand new sales representative or long-time veteran, you have the potential to dominate.
All you need to do is make the decision to do what needs to be done to reach success. And everything you need to do is outlined in this sales guide.
Will you take control of your destiny to become the best sales version of yourself. It's 100% in your hands!
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