3 Essential Tips for Mastering B2B Sales in 2021 | It’s no secret that B2B sales are more challenging than B2C because every purchase choice made by a business affects the bottom line, which means it has to go through an approval process.
The approval process typically requires multiple stakeholders to sign off on the purchasing decision, and the larger the sale, the more decision-makers will be involved, and the more complicated the process will be.
On the other hand, B2B sales are far more lucrative, with deals usually reaching six, seven figures, or more. So, even though getting to a yes can be a struggle, the feeling you get when you finally close a sale is amazing.
In 2021 we’re still on the bumpy road to recovery from the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the global economy, making B2B considerably more difficult.
The sales cycles have gotten longer with more stakeholders involved who are demanding a better digital experience because communication has switched to virtual, and their needs have changed. The best B2B salespeople will keep pace with these changes, adapt and turn them to their advantage.
Mastering B2B sales will not happen overnight. It’s a process that requires dedication, willingness to learn from your mistakes, and familiarizing yourself with these essential three tips.
Embrace Inside Selling
The pandemic has accelerated the trend toward digitalization. Schools offer online classes, restaurants mostly do deliveries through various apps, and sales teams have also gone remote.
This trend is well documented in the B2B research sector. Fortunately, the vast majority of B2B sellers report that remote selling has proven to be just as effective as in-person selling and that they plan to continue using digital interactions with their clients even after the pandemic is over.
In the B2B sector, there are two categories of sales representatives – inside reps who mostly work remotely and outside reps who network in person by attending events and conferences.
Even before the pandemic, the line between the two categories had become blurred, and outside reps were spending almost half their time selling remotely. COVID has only reinforced an already established trend.
Part of the reason is that more of the stakeholders involved in purchasing decisions are young professionals who are skeptical of sales reps and prefer to do their own research online.
Providing a comfortable and easy-to-use environment for engaging online with your target audience establishes the necessary foundation – especially when you have several touchpoints. Your goal should be to make the transition between these touchpoints practically seamless.
Once you’ve formed a virtual connection with your prospects, convey your offer in a straightforward and concise manner, with no fluff. People have shorter attention spans in the online world. Your clients will find this ease of engagement with your company highly appealing, allowing you to turn the current trend toward remote sales into a competitive advantage.
Research Your Prospects
Qualifying your prospects becomes increasingly important as you move toward a remote sales strategy and boost your lead generation efforts. Gaining a better understanding of your target audience upfront will help you personalize your offers, leading to a higher ROI. This frees up resources to conduct proper follow-ups, concentrate on closing the business, and create another highly focused campaign.
Qualifying your prospects entails considering not only your prospect’s interests and needs but also their actual capacity to purchase, the appropriate channel, and the best time to sell.
If you don’t have one already, you should start by creating a detailed buyer persona. Information like age, gender, location, and job role is, of course, important, but what you’re really after are the pain points and emotional motivators that will influence their purchasing decisions.
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What are their main concerns?
- How would your products or services benefit them?
- Can your products or services help the prospects advance professionally?
The next step is to find the prospects that best fit your buyer persona and researching their company by looking for the answers to questions such as:
- Is their company about to release a new product?
- Have there been any recent changes in leadership?
- Has the company recently obtained a new round of funding?
This will give you insight into the company’s priorities and whether or not this is a good time to make an offer. Luckily, most of this information is not hard to find. You can look on their official website and social media channels or look for news related to the company.
To learn more about the decision makers you need to convince, you can look up their profiles on LinkedIn.
Help Your Team Adapt to the New Normal
Transitioning to a sales strategy that relies more heavily on virtual engagement will have a significant impact on your sales team.
To begin with, they’ll need to acquire new skills because the process is different. Keep in mind that your competitors will also be looking for ways to increase virtual engagement, and you’ll want to stay ahead of the game.
When it comes down to it, you want to make sure that your sales team learns the right skills from the right sources and is confident in their ability to navigate new business models.
Furthermore, effective salespeople recognize that their personal and digital brands are the most powerful tools they can use to set themselves apart.
Finally, we must also acknowledge that face-to-face conversations and office relationships have also shifted to virtual. As we make headway with this approach, we begin to see that, while efficiency appears to be increasing on many fronts, the relationships between companies and their employees, as well as the relationships between team members, are being tested.
Many report that the constant virtual interactions and remote work leaves them feeling tired, lonely, and demotivated. To help them with this, you’ll need to find novel ways to maintain morale and focus while also strengthening the bonds between team members.
Some businesses are using the same technical tools that helped them boost productivity to foster much-needed connection and collaboration. The idea is to use these tools to mirror the interactions that would take place in a physical office and reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation that your employees may be experiencing.