Although there is some overlap between Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sales, B2B has some unique considerations to take into account. Knowing these and taking advantage of them can help to improve the close rate of your B2B sale. This piece will discuss 5 B2B sales tips, overcoming B2B sales objections and how to bring it all together to get the deal.
5 B2B Sales Tips
There are certain tricks to getting a sale:
- Knowing the best time to email prospects is between 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
- If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes you are 9 times more likely to get the sale
- Thursday is the best day to prospect
- Tuesday is the worst day
However, to really boost sales and be the most effective with your marketing, follow these tips:
TIP #1: Let Prospects Market to You.
Relevance should be top of mind. To stay relevant and know what your prospects want, allow them to market you. Sign up for their blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, etc.
Once you know how they currently market, you can understand which marketing messages work best for them and how they like to be contacted.
TIP #2: Leverage Content.
To become someone your leads and prospects will trust, you need to be thought of as a leader in your industry. Leveraging content will build trust and frame you as an authority in your vertical.
Go deeper than a simple blog or email campaign. On top of doing those, take the time to write something more substantial such as an eBook, newsletter or pamphlet. Use social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google + to get your content noticed.
TIP #3: Prospect, Find and Follow.
You need to closely follow the online activities of your prospects, almost to the point of stalking. Find them on social networks such a LinkedIn or Twitter and follow them.
The more you know about them – who they are following, which articles they are commenting on, etc. – the more you will understand what engages them and what turns them off.
TIP #4: Keep up-to-date with Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a great tool for keeping up with fresh news about your prospects. Set alerts up to notify you when your prospects are in the news or publishing something new. You will be able to tell if they have a good quarter, purchases they make, etc.
All of these facts will help you leverage your sales proposition when the time is right.
TIP #5: Research All Online Information Available.
A company’s online blog, their website, and third-party sites like Hoovers house possible organization cues. This information can be beneficial in starting up conversations early on when you find a piece of information you can leverage in your pitch.
The 3 most common B2B sales objections are:
The number one objection typically deals with budget. However, that often isn’t the only reason: it’s just the easiest one to make known. Dig deeper and find the root of all objectives to truly know how you should respond.
Responding to budget woes is simple; begin by finding out if it is a simple case of sticker shock or if they are just looking for a deal. Most companies who are really looking to upgrade or purchase something will find the money for something they actually need. Your job is to convince them that they need it, not that they can afford it.
Develop language to combat their objection. Make the pot sweeter by offering a discount and also lower the sticker shock by showing the value in your product or service.
I have heard this one a million times…”I am not the decision maker and don’t have the authority to pull the trigger on this, I will need to pass your information on to my boss and get back with you.” Sometimes it is true but others it is just a stalling technique. Combating this issue is crucial and can be simple if handled correctly.
Get to know the third party person (person with authority) by asking questions of what their needs are and how you can address each of those needs. Develop an answer to each of those objections and then attempt to get in contact with the decision maker.
You best bet will be to speak with who is in charge and who can make the decisions. Give the person you are talking to a reason to get you in front of the decision maker, build their confidence in you and your product or service.
Both need and timeframe are also common objections I hear. They don’t know if they need the product, or they’re wondering how soon it will be before the product becomes effective.
The best way to show your prospect that they need to invest in your product or service is to conduct marketing research around their company and how your product can help. Put the stats down on paper and present to them in a professional manner.
Bring It All Together To Close
Once you are ready, the CLOSE is the final part to getting the sale. Many sales professionals do everything right, but then fall short during the close. There are several types of closes to be aware of, some of which relate directly with some of the above objections:
The Financial Close
A financial close is a great choice if you have successfully shown your prospect the value of your product. Once you can quantify their investment versus the return they’ll get, you will be able to successfully close. Show them that it’s worth the investment.
The timeline close is effective when your product or service will impact their project plan. Start with your prospects desired project (solution) completion date and work backwards. Most likely you and your prospect will see that they should have had your product weeks ago.
Although not my favorite technique, the sympathy close can work depending on your product or service. This is when you give away your product for a “trial period” and guarantee that you’ll love it or they can return it. A lot of not-for-profit companies, fitness companies and animal shelters use it as a way to make you feel something (usually guilt).
This is where you or your sales people take the time to ask prospects how interested they are. They could say something like, “On a scale of 1-10, how interested are you in our product?” The great thing about the thermometer close is that you can always do better. If they say 6, you can ask them what it will take to get you to a 10 and so on.
Take the time to get to know your prospect or lead, learn what they truly need and what problem they are trying to solve. Care about what you are selling and who you are selling it to. Once you get to know them, you will know what solution to offer them and how to approach the subject.
So many sales professionals think they can write a script that will work for every sale when indeed no two sales are exactly alike. Be nimble and adapt your sales process to the needs of your prospects.
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Marin