Do you know what the worst day of your life will be? The one where you're sitting in a nursing home, and they wheel in your grandkids to say goodbye before their flight back to college. You can't help them with school work anymore, or teach them how to drive. You can't even cook for them because you're on a strict diet now. All that's left is watching TV commercials about all the cool stuff they could've bought if only they had known better when they were younger. Of course, this will never happen! But it's something I think about often as an entrepreneur who deals with salespeople every single day...
I see firsthand how bad habits cripple sales teams and hold back their potential - not just in the short term, but forever. In fact, I think it's the single biggest reason some salespeople never get to where they want to be.
On one hand, there are sales managers and leaders who refuse to change their strategies or even their beliefs about what makes a successful sale . They're stuck in the past trying to close deals with cold calling and sending generic emails because that's how they made their first million. They haven't stacked the odds in favor of sales success by automating everything and integrating sales and marketing to fully leverage every lead, including warm leads.
On the other hand, there are new sales leaders who try to change too much too fast with complicated processes . They overcomplicate what I believe is the most important lesson of all: sales success comes down to one thing - and that's creating a system where you have more qualified leads than you can handle.
I'm talking about every aspect of your business. From coaching, to developing prospecting templates, to making sure your marketing automation is in place so you're not wasting time chasing down prospects who aren't ready to buy. That's why I'm so obsessed with creating systems that make doing the right things easy - for example, hiring and developing rockstar salespeople who know how to qualify a lead properly and consistently follow up in ways that get results.
Unfortunately, many sales leaders are stuck in the past and doing things the hard way every day. Or they're stuck in the future, building overly complex sales systems that don't really sell anyone . More salespeople than ever before now have access to powerful tools that let them grow their business effectively - but are either too stubborn or too scared to move forward.
If you're reading this, you probably care more about your sales than most people do. If that's the case, here's what I want you to keep in mind:
- Every sales manager and business leader must build their own sales lead generation engine. A big part of that is recognizing the past, present and future so you have a solid idea where to focus your energies .
- If you're not willing to cut through the clutter and understand what really works in sales today, then it's going to be difficult for anyone on your team to grow.
- You must immediately stop allowing your salespeople to waste time on things that don't work . That could mean giving them more chances than they deserve, because you're maybe afraid of being perceived as a bad leader. But the real reason you'll regret this is because it hurts your salespeople and their chances for success, and it keeps them in a limiting frame of mind that could affect their approach to everything else they do at work.
So here I am with a question. Why would any smart leader choose to do things the hard way?
Are you ready to explode your profits and dominate your B2B space in 2022 and beyond?
Great! I'm going to give you the comprehensive guide that will get you kickstarted and growing today. There are 8 keys we will cover:
1. Use a unique value proposition that differentiates your product or service from the competition.
2. Create a strong, credible brand message.
3. Develop robust sales lead generation campaigns.
4. Focus on developing relationships with key prospects through phone calls, face-to-face, or Zoom meetings.
5. Discover the needs of your customers so you can provide them with solutions they're looking for.
6. Make sure that you have an effective pricing strategy in place to maximize profits on every deal closed.
7. Know when it's time to walk away from a sale that would be detrimental to your business.
8. And finally, make sure you have a predictable process in place to ensure that your sales team is closing deals and growing your business.
Ready to dig in deep? Let's go!
Use a unique value proposition that differentiates your product or service from the competition.
What is a Unique Value Proposition?
A Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is the main reason why your product or service can be different from the competition. It’s what makes you stand out and it drives sales. A UVP might be that you sell products at lower prices, offer free shipping, have a better warranty, an easier return process or provide more personalized customer service. Whatever it may be, your UVP needs to differentiate you from other companies in order for your customers to see how they are getting a higher value than if they went with someone else.
1) Identify Your Competitors:
The first step to creating a unique value proposition is identifying who your competitors are so that you know what type of UVP you can create. You need to look beyond your direct competitors and think about what type of company your customers would go to if they couldn’t get yours, or how they could solve the problem that your products/services help them with without buying from you.
A) Competitors - Direct business rivals:
Who do you compete directly with for sales and market share? For example, if you sell widgets then your direct competitors are other companies that sell widgets or the raw materials to make them.
B) Don’t Forget About - Indirect Business Rivals:
Competitors in other industries or related businesses. If you run a steakhouse then your indirect competitors are other restaurants, grocery stores and health clubs.
NOTE: If you can’t think about any direct or indirect rivals, then you don’t have a market for your product.
2) Differentiating Against The Competition:
At this step, think about how your products/services are different from your competitors. Customers buy based off of emotion and they most likely will not be able to tell you why they bought from your company over the competition. They can tell you about how they like the design of their truck better than another brand, or why they chose a bigger screen television instead of a smaller one. The more unique benefits and features that make your products/services stand out from your competitors’, the higher your sales will be. If you can find something that makes your products/services different, then focus on it in your UVP.
3) Brand It:
You need to name your product or service’s UVP and write down the benefits of choosing you over your competitors. This is never an easy task because sometimes there are multiple benefits but you need to be clear on what you want your customers to see.
4) Use Your UVP:
Your Unique Value Proposition needs to appear in every aspect of your company and branding including your logo, sales collateral, website, advertisements and business cards.
5) Let it Make a Difference:
You can spend weeks or months coming up with the perfect UVP but if you don’t take action then you are wasting time and money. You must use your UVP to improve the sales of your product or service by giving a better reason for customers to buy it than their next best option.
6) Use an effective voice:
- Use Words and Not Numbers:
One thing to keep in mind about your UVP is that people don’t like to read a bunch of numbers and statistics. They want to know how you are different so use words when talking about what you sell.
- Make It Clear:
Keep it simple and clear. You need to convey your message quickly and understand it at first glance.
- Make it Personal:
Your UVP should be about your customer and how you can help them. They are not buying from you, they are buying into the benefits of your product/service or service level that you offer. Think to yourself “what problem do I solve for my customers?” And then make sure your UVP is about solving that problem. This will help you connect with people and make sales quickly.
- Don’t sell yourself short:
Your UVP should convey the benefits but it shouldn’t include any negatives. For example, if you are a car rental company then don’t say “we don’t overcharge for mileage” because they can just as easily go to a competitor and get charged less. Instead, talk about the benefits of why their next best option isn’t as good as your company.
- Be honest:
Don’t exaggerate with the words you use in your value proposition, it will only come back to haunt you. For example, don’t tell people that if they purchase from you that they will make a lot of
Create a strong, credible brand message.
The b2b sales game has changed. It’s not what it used to be. Prospects want more than a sales pitch from you and your company now, they need a story that resonates with them on an emotional level. They need something that makes them feel like they are part of the movement, not just another sale for the day.
The question is how do you create this kind of message? What does it look like? How do you make sure people don’t tune out or worse yet, turn off their computer screens because all they see is “another salesperson looking to sell me something I don’t want or need right now?”
In order to create a strong, credible brand message you need to start with understanding the emotional needs of your prospect. You need to understand what they are struggling with, what makes them up at night and their biggest fears in business.
In addition you also have to understand their logical side as well. What do they want? What is a necessity in their business that they can’t live without? How do they view their mission statement on a weekly, daily and even hourly basis?
Your brand message needs to speak to both sides of your prospect. It needs to give them hope that their current situation can be turned around not just in the short term, but also in the long term as well. The problem is that most salespeople don’t actually know what makes their prospect tick. They think they do, but in reality they just have a lot of assumptions about them.
The best way to create this kind of message is through the use of customer personas and target accounts. Your brand message should be crafted as if you were talking directly to one person. I create a persona for each of my target accounts that has all of the information listed above in it. From there, I write a message and through rewriting and editing, hone in on exactly what makes this person tick. This is also important because it allows me to stay focused on who I am talking to throughout the sales process.
I’ve found that great sales people listen more than they talk. The best way to get to know someone is through active listening and by asking questions, not just selling your own story.
Be a student, not a salesperson.
Your brand message needs to be focused on your prospects and what they need both emotionally and logically in their business. If you can do this right and create the emotional connection that people are searching for then you are off to a great start on creating credibility with them. They will want to hear more from you. They will want to know more about what makes your company different and what makes you a better choice than the other companies in their space.
Be consistent with your message
Once you have your brand message, it’s important not to stray away from it. It has to be something that resonates with people on a constant and repetitive basis. You need to be saying the same things over and over again in a way that is authentic, yet still fresh to some degree.
Develop robust sales lead generation campaigns.
You know what’s the worst thing about being a business owner?
People think you don’t need sales. They think that because your company is making money, it can just grow on its own and find new customers without any help.
But as soon as they realize how wrong they are, you have plenty of competition to deal with. And that means it will be more difficult than ever to get those customers in the door.
So what can you do?
First, don’t think that sales are just for big businesses. They aren’t. Even a small business should have an effective sales process in place. And that means creating a strategy that works to generate leads and close deals as quickly as possible.
Before we talk about the steps it takes to develop a good campaign, let’s take a look at exactly what sales lead generation entails.
Sales lead generation: Identifying potential customers.
The point of sales lead generation is to find people who may want what your business has to offer.
You can do this by hosting events, speaking engagements and seminars to educate people about your products or services and get them interested in what you have to offer. If you’re a financial advisor, for example, you might take time to speak about the challenges people face when trying to save money and how you can help them.
If your business isn’t offering any products or services that your target audience needs, then it’s time to change what you have available before generating sales leads.
Canvassing and cold calling are methods of sales lead generation that can get you in front of the decision makers at a particular company. These strategies work best when combined with social media outreach, emails and other campaigns capable of reaching more people but not necessarily getting them in the door.
You’ll find yourself facing plenty of competition from those who do have products and services to offer. But if you get someone interested enough to want more information, that can be the beginning of a sales lead that ends in a sale.
Focus on developing relationships with key prospects through phone calls, face-to-face, or Zoom meetings.
There is one word that can make or break your b2b sales strategy: relationships. Whether you’re cold calling, emailing, or meeting someone in person for the first time, they need to know who you are before they want to buy from you. Relationships take time and effort on both sides of the equation but it is well worth it when done right. Once a relationship is established, you can strengthen that relationship by looking for ways to help them before they even ask.
- How many accounts do you have that are “live” but need your assistance with the end goal of sales?
Are there existing customers who could benefit from an additional product or service? Could there be another department that you can work with to gain access? How can you introduce yourself into a conversation without being pushy or making it seem like you’re trying to sell something?
- The number one reason why someone doesn’t buy is because they don’t know if they need your product.
Building relationships and attempting to be helpful before the hard selling starts will help you close more deals. Here's a few things to remember when building b2b sales relationships.
- If you think about b2b sales as a series of relationships with customers or prospects that you are building over time, then you will realize that there is no need to push the sale.
You have the relationship already and if you simply ask, “how can I help?” it seems like much less of an intrusion than immediately trying to sell them something.
- If you are calling someone and you need their assistance to help close any deals, then it is a good idea to find out if there will be an opportunity for face time.
This way when they see you in person, they recognize your face instead of having to deal with just another sales call trying to sell them something.
- If you are going to be in the same place as your prospect (trade show, industry event, etc.), then it is a good idea to send something before hand.
This could be an article that they would find interesting or another way for them to recognize you when face time occurs.
- Follow up with anything that was said face to face.
This is your opportunity to really build the relationship by asking them about their interests, recent projects, or updates on what they are working on currently. Just showing an interest in what matters most to your contact can go a long way toward establishing and strengthening the relationship. While building b2b sales relationships may not be easy initially, it will make your sales process easier in the long run and will help you to accelerate sales.
These are just a few ways to establish relationships and then build on them as you progress throughout your sales cycle. The key is to view b2b sales relationship building as an opportunity, not a burden.
- Remember, relationships first, sales second.
When you make your b2b sales call or plan face to face meetings, always look for ways that you can help them before they need something from you. Asking how you can be of assistance let them know that you are listening and trying to help them in any way possible and will strengthen the relationship faster. This is the beginning of the sales cycle and b2b sales strategies are imperative to your success.
The key to success in b2b sales is developing a strong network with prospects, customers, and anyone else that you come into contact with on a regular basis. By asking questions about them prior to sharing information about yourself, you will help them to remember who you are when the time is right. It only takes one person in an organization to say “yes” and your b2b sales cycle will begin.
Discover the needs of your customers so you can provide them with solutions they're looking for.
B2B sales is quite different from B2C (business-to-consumer). It's all about keeping your customer base happy and satisfied with the products or services you offer. One of the best ways to do this is by conducting market research on your customers' needs and studying how they buy products or services in general.
That's why you should have a b2b sales strategy in place. Here are some ways to learn more about your customers and use that knowledge to increase sales:
1. Survey the customer
This is one of the simplest forms of customer research – and it can be done over email or telephone. Surveys, especially through email, may not give you the most accurate results, but they are the easiest and least expensive to conduct.
2. Interview the customer
A phone interview or face-to-face meeting will help you gain a better understanding of what your customers like about your company's products or services and why they choose to buy from you. It will also reveal any problems they might have with your company or its products.
3. Observe how customers buy from you
When they're in the process of buying products or services, take the time to notice what they do and don't like about your business. You want to see how current customers are being treated – if they're getting the help and support that they need – and watch out for anything that might cause a customer to leave.
4. Do your research online
B2B customers are using social media more and more, so if you're not monitoring their activity on these sites, you could miss out on important information about how they feel about certain products or services, why they prefer one product over another, what they like and dislike about your business – the list goes on.
5. Meet in person with customers
While sales are important, success is also based on customer loyalty and retention. If you want to build lasting relationships with your B2B buyers over time, there's no better way than by meeting them face-to-face and getting to know them on a more personal level.
6. Gather opinions from others in your industry
This kind of research doesn't have to be about you alone; it can also help you learn about the trends and preferences of other businesses or organizations that might either complement or compete with what you offer. Keeping up with the competition is important for both your own business and that of your customers.
7. Check out trade shows, fairs and expos
This is a great way to meet with potential buyers and learn about the products or services they're looking for. If you can provide what they need, create a lasting impression by offering real-time demonstrations or samplings of your products and services.
8. Gain feedback from current customers
Brainstorm with people who have bought products or services from you in the past to see what they like about your business, how you can improve future sales, and what they think of your products or services. You might give away some free samples by taking this approach – but it should be worth it.
9. Monitor industry trends and events
Industry trends can have a major effect on sales, so keep in close contact with what's going on around you by listening to the news and reading business magazines. Also, locate trade associations that link your customers together, then find ways to connect with them because this will help open more doors for sales in the future.
Make sure that you have an effective pricing strategy in place to maximize profits on every deal closed.
What are you waiting for? Let's get to work! This is it. You know I'm the only one who can help you. If your sales are not increasing, it's because of the pricing strategy.
Sales strategy is effective when you have a clear plan on pricing products or services, sales process and other aspects of marketing that involve the sales force. Sales people rarely focus on this aspect because it's always been understood that sales can't be improved. As a leader, gaining an insight as to how pricing strategies work in your b2b business and how you can improve your sales, will help in the sale of products or services.
Now that you know the importance of pricing strategy, it's time to get down on paper what your sales strategy involves and how you can improve it. If you already have a plan in place maybe based on personal experience or tips from friends who are in sales, it would be good for starters to audit your tactics and strategies as it may not be in line with the real b2b sales you need to do.
Buyer's reactions is based on how he views your product or service offering from the price tag that comes along. Here are some situations that show buyer's reaction to pricing strategies:
- A sales rep shows more value in their products or services than the buyer expects – a win-win situation
- A sales person is able to get more money than the buyer initially budgeted for – again, a win-win situation
- Buyer sees value but thinks you are charging too much – a lose-lose situation for both parties as the buyer may not buy and the seller may lose out on other potential sales because of this situation
- Buyer sees no value in your product or service and thinks it's too expensive – a lose-lose situation for the seller as he may not get paid what he is supposed to get.
- Buyer sees value but thinks you are charging too little – a win-lose situation as the seller may get paid less than he expected.
There are many other situations that may arise based on how buyers react to price tags. The concept is simple, if you play the game of pricing strategically, it will be a win-win situation for both buyer and seller.
This is a plan to help you in formulating your effective sales strategy:
1. Conduct some research on the market, suppliers and customers to see what price works best with products or services you offer.
Conducting online surveys might help get better insight into what buyers think about price tags of varying brands in the same market. This will help you know what buyers are willing to pay for the product or service that your company offers to have a competitive edge.
2. Set pricing goals
Having an effective sales strategy includes predicting how much profit margin you want to make from each sale based on the price tag. It is important however, that this goal should be realistic. Know your budget and the sales target you want to achieve from each sale so that you will be able to meet the profit margin goals set for yourself.
3. Identify competitors' pricing strategy
If you have multiple competitors in your market, it would be good to know how they price their products and services based on the value they offer to the buyer. This will help you anticipate how buyers might react if they find out that your price is appealing, too expensive or just right for what they require.
4. Increase sales by giving value – this is one of the most important factors in pricing strategy. If a customer purchases from you not because he thinks it's a good deal but more of a good offer, then he's not likely to buy from you again. Give value in your sales presentation to show that it is worth the price charged for the product or service. This will help build loyalty and trust with your customers which means more consistent b2b sales .
5. Plan your sales activities – You may want to use a sales script to make sure that you are covering the right points during the sales presentation. However, it is also important to know when a certain price will not be a good fit for your target market and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Know when it's time to walk away from a sale that would be detrimental to your business.
I can't over-stress the importance of knowing when it's time to walk away from a sale that would be detrimental to your business. Here are just a few reasons why you need to know:
- The customer is disrespectful and doesn't listen to reason
- The customer isn't willing to make a decision about what they want
- The customer has no intention of buying from you, regardless of how good your sales pitch is
- The cost to execute the solution exceeds the revenue and you will lose money
- You won't be able to properly deliver the solution and you will inevitably lose the client
The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Sometimes it's obvious when you need to walk away from a sale, but most of the time it is not so black-and-white.
There are several techniques for determining whether or not to pursue a solution with one particular customer or not. These are some of my favorites:
1. Put yourself in the customer's shoes:
Instead of focusing on how much money you can make by delivering a solution to this customer, look at it from a different perspective. Consider what is best for your business as well as their company and whether or not they can really benefit from working with you and whether you will be able to deliver a solution that will be beneficial to them and your business.
2. Re-focus on the main reason you are in business:
As salespeople, we often focus solely on the sale itself rather than looking at it from the perspective of our company as well. Remember your company's bottom line, its mission statement, and what you want to accomplish with your business. If getting this one particular sale won't help you reach those goals, then it's not worth pursuing.
3. Determine whether or not the customer is a good fit for your product/service:
Sometimes salespeople get so enamored with a potential sale that they forget about their product/service and its limitations. Walk away from the sale if your product/service is not a good fit for the customer and there is no way to make it work. This doesn't mean that you are giving up on any money; it just means you've saved yourself time, energy, and resources by realizing early in the process that this deal will never be a good fit.
4. Don't believe everything you hear:
Getting into sales means you are always one conversation or one meeting away from closing a sale--one chance to make the sale and get paid for your hard work. Be careful about this, though, because sometimes we spend time and resources pursuing a deal that could ultimately be detrimental to our business. Trust your gut and listen to the small voice inside that tells you when something doesn't feel right.
5. Listen for how eager the customer is to work with you:
It's no secret that some customers are much more difficult than others, but at the end of the day we need all of our clients to be successful if we're going to be successful. Sometimes you can tell just by listening to the customer talk about his or her business and its challenges whether or not the deal is a go. If they seem like they are looking for ways to use your product/service as a quick fix rather than as a long-term solution, beware.
6. Does the customer even understand what you are offering?
Sometimes salespeople fall in love with a potential sale and forget to actually explain their product/service, or how it will benefit the customer. If they don't seem to understand what you're saying, then either your message is unclear or they aren't listening.
7. Does this deal pass the risk vs. reward calculation?
If you are finding yourself going back and forth about whether or not to pursue a certain deal, ask yourself this question: if I strike out on this deal will it significantly impact my bottom line? If so, then you need to seriously consider whether or not pursuing this deal is worth the risk. After all, no one wants to walk away from a sale, but continuing on may ultimately do more harm than good.
8. Can the customer afford your product/service?
This is an important question for salespeople to ask themselves when deciding whether or not to pursue a deal because if you're dealing with customers who can't afford what they are asking for then it's not worth your time, energy, or effort.
9. Trust your gut:
Sometimes salespeople will get so close to a deal that they start to question themselves and the deal they are pursuing. If this is happening to you, then trust your instincts and walk away from the deal if something doesn't feel right. It may be the most difficult thing you'll ever do, but it could also be the smartest decision you've ever made.
10. Know when to say no:
Sometimes we say yes to a deal because we are afraid of hearing the word no. When you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself what's more important: closing the sale or dealing with the customer that is making your life miserable? It may be time for you to say goodbye to that one bad apple, and focus on finding customers who are easier to work with.
Make sure you have a predictable process in place to ensure that your sales team is closing deals and growing your business.
There are a lot of business owners who want to grow their businesses but they don't have the sales process in place to ensure their success. A sales process is vital for your b2b sales team to close deals and grow your business.
Imagine having no process to ensure that your sales team has a step by step guide on how to close a client and grow your business. That is what a lot of business owners do, they don't have a sales process in place which leaves them working hard but not getting the results they truly desire out of their b2b sales team.
A sales process will ensure that your b2b sales team is closing deals and growing your business. Imagine how much more money you could be making if you had a predictable sales process in place....
A sales process is the key to your success in business, it ensures that your b2b sales team is doing what needs to be done on a daily basis. Without a sales process you are just working hard with no results....
The most successful businesses have predictable processes in place, they don't just wing it and hope for the best, they ensure that their sales team is closing deals and growing their business with a well-defined predictable process.
If you've been putting off having a sales process in place which would help your b2b sales team close more deals, then now is the time to stop procrastinating and put one in place....
The best part about having a sales process in place is that it doesn't have to be difficult, you just need a plan of action. If you want to make more money from your b2b sales team by having them close deals and grow your business, then get started right now!
Train yourself & your team if you want to truly dominate
If you are interested in learning more about building predictable processes into your business and you want to take company to the next level. If you're ready to get bigger deals, better clients, increase your margins and unlock your maximum potential - then you need to check out programs like Deal Flow Accelerator. DFA is a 6-week intensive, virtual bootcamp that has helped hundreds of businesses increase revenue in some cases by over 150% during the 6-week program.
If you're hungry for more then check out Deal Flow Accelerator, where you'll acquire proven tactical and actionable training that will accelerate your B2B sales and business growth.
Deal Flow Accelerator happens once per quarter and usually sells out, so we suggest you apply today and see if it's a good fit for you and your organization.
Are you ready to grow?
You May Also Like
These Related Articles