The most straightforward guide to B2B sales fundamentals

The most straightforward guide to B2B sales fundamentals

Sales play a pivotal role in any business. Your sales team is constantly hard at work generating revenue for your company while they develop close relationships between your customers and business. If your company is selling to other businesses, you need to learn how to deploy B2B sales. 


While B2B sales have become much easier to handle with the advent of tools, data, and the number of ways to connect with customers, too many sales teams have come to over-rely on these tools. It can cause a sales team to forget about the fundamentals of B2B sales. 


As excellent as these tools can be, forgetting about the fundamentals of B2B sales can cause issues to arise, especially if your team new to adapt to different trends and such. For this guide, we are going to go through everything you need to know about B2B sales fundamentals. 


What are B2B sales?

Business-to-business sales or B2B sales is a transaction that happens between two businesses. Simply put, one business sells a product or service to another company. For instance, a software company that sells data analysis tools to another business. 


The B2B Sales process

With that basic explanation out of the way, let’s go over the steps you need to take to place together an excellent sales strategy. 


Define your customers

One of the first things you need to do when it comes to developing your B2B sales strategy is to define the type of customers you want. A defined picture of your dream customer will assist you with better understanding their expectations and pain points. This allows you to focus your efforts on viable prospects. 


There are several strategies you want to implement to define your dream customer profile. Here are some of them you should consider:


Describe your perfect customer

To start, take the time to list down the information you already have about your perfect customer. You need to cover several things, such as location, budget, size, and industry. These are all essential data points that should assist you as you continue moving forward. 



Speak to current customers

To get a clearer understanding of your perfect customer and their motivation, you should reach out to your most loyal and profitable customers. Doing so will offer you the opportunity to uncover any patterns and priorities. To accomplish this, schedule a small one-on-one session with a variety of customers. 


Search through your data

For this part, you need to complement the qualitative data with quantitative analysis. To find out what rends among your best customers, search through your CRM. Doing so will allow you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your customers. You merely need to gather every bit of information to successfully pull this off.


Do your research

At this point, you should have a defined image of your perfect customer. You want to research what that really means. That means you are going to be digging through your specific market and uncover the number of potential customers that are available out there. 


There are some questions you want answers to when doing this part of your B2B sales:



You need to research by using several tools and techniques. For example, you could choose to use a lead generation platform to evaluate the saturation of specific markets or read professional reports about certain industries and how they are currently performing. 


Build your value proposition

Now you should have a better understanding of who you are going to be selling to, what their priorities are, and where their geolocation is. The information you have gathered should be enough for you to create a unique, compelling B2B value proposition. 


Your B2B value proposition must handle any concerns and expectations your target audience may have. Since the process of creating a compelling value proposition is not easy, you need to invest a momentous amount of resources and time into this part. 


Having an excellent B2B value proposition will help your company stand out from competitors in the market and concisely explain what you are offering. 


Engagement strategy

With having developed a solid value proposition, you will need to come up with a robust strategy to start engaging with your potential customers. To successfully achieve this objective, you need to develop a plan and list the actions you are taking along the way. These actions should correspond to your sales funnel. 


For example, outline the way you are going to acquire customers, along with the strategy you are planning to use to approach them and the way you will work on developing relationships over time. 


Generate quality leads

Now you need to act on the strategy you have managed to create. Your sales team is going to need some quality leads to ensure your strategy gets out the gate. There are varying techniques you want to implement to generate quality B2B leads.


Here are some strategies you can use to generate some quality leads.


Ask for referrals from current customers: Consider asking any of your existing customers if they know anyone looking for a solution like yours. You could also ask for a list of companies you are interested in and see if they can introduce you to any of their contacts inside that business. 


Buyer intent data: leverage visitor tracking tools to see what companies are visiting your website and the pages they visit. Use this data to discover the correct contact and personalize your pitch based on their interest and needs. 


Events: Events offer you a chance to meet your prospects in person. You could also consider hosting a webinar or offer to speak at a digital conference. Doing so will offer you the chance to provide professional advice and develop trust with others in your industry. 


Leverage content marketing: Content marketing offers you the opportunity to connect with your B2B audience. The content you offer them will be invaluable and also show off how your product or service can assist their business. Not only will you be able to generate traffic, but you will also inform them about your company without them needing to go to your About page. 


Build authentic relationships

Once you have managed to acquire those quality leads, you need to take the time to nurture those relationships and create a symbolic partnership. While the need to develop relationships has not changed, the way we develop relationships has changed in recent years. 

Previously, developing sales relationships involved sending pricey gifts or taking your prospect out for expensive lunches. In recent years, it is about developing online relationships which ensure customers come to you when they require a solution. 


The methods you use to nurture your relationships will vary depending on the research you have conducted but performed previously. For example, some of your customers may prefer a face-to-face meeting, while others would appreciate a more hand of approach that focuses on receiving informed content. 


There are ways for you to reach out to these prospective customers. Intro.so offers you the chance to introduce yourself to decision-makers.  


Gather and analyze data

It’s critical that your business continuously gathers and analyzes data. A step like this shall help you monitor the performance of your B2B sales strategy. It will also ensure you receive the appropriate results your business needs. 


Gathering data has proven to drive sales and improve profitability. However, you need to ask your customers the right question for this to remain effective. Asking your customers questions and listening to their responses will offer the precious insight that can help you make personalized pitches. 


Here are some questions you should consider asking:


How did you find out about our brand? 

Becoming aware of where your valuable prospects discovered you assist with understanding what matters to them. For instance, if they heard about your company from a trusted peer, they are likely to value revues and case studies. 


Have you tried any other solutions?

Ask your customers what solutions they have previously used. A question like this can highlight pain points, so you know what features to concentrate on. For instance, if they have tried a competitor's solution but had a troublesome time scaling it, you should stress how your integrations assist with streamlined workflows. 


What is your budget?

You must understand how much the prospect is willing to spend. Doing so can qualify leads and could indicate you need to concentrate on proving your value. For instance, if they have a low budget, you should concentrate on coming up with ways they can save costs. 


What is your primary concern about our solution?

Doubt can cause any deal to fall apart. Asking your prospect what may be holding them back offers you the chance to provide them with a solution before the seed of doubt expands. For instance, if you notice they are constantly checking out your pricing page, they could be comparing your prices with competitors. During your next meeting with them, address their concerns about overpricing. 


Asking your customers these questions offer you the data required to improve the efficiency of your sales process. Offer your leads some time to speak and listen to what matters to them.


B2B Sales Funnel 

To ensure your B2B sales strategy can deliver, you need to have a grasp on the B2B sales funnel. This funnel assists your business by plotting the customer's journey. It also shows which interventions you need to make to push your customers further into the funnel. 


Here are the five stages you will see in a sales funnel. 


Awareness

During this part of the funnel, your ideal client has no idea what your business is capable of doing. In some cases, these customers may not even understand why they even need your solution. At this point, you must work hard to gain the attention of your potential client, make yourself an authority figure, and communicate the value behind your proposition. 


Consideration

At this point, you should have successfully secured the awareness of your customer. Assist them by making them consider your product or service through a viable solution to their pain point.


To succeed at this part, you need to share some vital resources and try to initiate contact with these potential customers.  The meeting you have will offer your salespeople the opportunity to understand the needs of your customer. That shall present a chance for you to present them with a solution to their issue. 


Preference

With your solution having earned some consideration from your prospect, it is time to convince them that your solution is far better than the rest of your competitors. To become their supplier of choice for your potential customer, you need to once again rely on excellent content and sales techniques. 


If you managed to get your potential customer in the preference stage, there is a high chance of you closing the deal. 


Purchase

Now that you have managed to convince your customer that your offering is the best solution to their problem, it’s time to finalize the deal. 


The purchasing processes should be easy for your customer to go through. This strategy should reduce any potential friction and ensure that your customer does not abandon the purchase. 


Once they have committed, they will officially be your customer. 


Loyalty

Even if you have managed to secure your customer, the journey is far from over. Your sales and customer success teams must work together to drive value to your customer and secure their future business. Once the customer has made it to this stage of the sales funnel, they will become a loyal customer who you can rely on to repeat business in the coming years. 


Conclusion

B2B sales are necessary for any business out there to succeed as a business. The guide here should provide you with the information you need to get started with your sales strategy.  Make sure to evaluate your B2B sales to ensure your fundamentals are remaining strong or if they need to be improved upon.