Closing the sale in a business-to-business transaction can be tricky. Businesses have limited budgets and even more limited time. You have to be able to convince the customer that your product would make their business run more smoothly or improve their revenue so that it would be worth the effort to purchase.
The key is to create a great sales experience; and with so many B2B companies out there, you want to be on top of your game. Here are our tips for creating the best B2B sales experience.
Don’t just dive into your sales pitch without knowing anything about the prospective customer. Not only does it lead to an impersonal pitch that feels like a script, but it also means you might be missing key opportunities based on the company’s needs and preferences. Take some time to follow the business on social media. If they have a newsletter, subscribe. Comb through their website. Research their values, their target audience, who they are as a brand. This will help you develop a pitch catered to them and likely much more effective.
Next, you need to know exactly what issue your product or service solves for the customer. Does it help to streamline their workflow so they can focus on the more revenue-earning aspects of the job? Does it help them to organize their clients more easily or offer some benefit to their website or digital marketing? Really hone in on the value that your product or service offers. By researching the prospective customer first, you can customize your pitch accordingly. Whatever your value is, make that the center of your pitch.
B2B sales conversations are typically longer than B2C conversations. Consumers will likely do thorough research beforehand and know exactly what they want before they approach you. In B2B sales, your sales team often starts the conversation. You may be going out to meet prospective customers for long sales conversations in person.
To keep these from feeling too dry or too uncaring, encourage your sales team to share personal stories. Do they have experience within the niche that your prospective customer works? They may be able to sympathize with the troubles your prospective runs into regularly. You can also share personal stories about how your product or service helped your customers who needed it. These stories will help to make a stronger impact and a more effective sales pitch.
You may have your sales pitch all planned out. You’ve even done the research on your prospective customer in order to tailor the pitch to them. But you could lose the sale if you end up doing all the talking. Instead, take time to listen. That listening may be the most important part of the sales conversation.
By listening, you can learn exactly what your prospective customer needs, what reservations they might have about your product or service, and how you might be able to help them. Your prospective customer will be able to tell, too, whether you’re really listening or not. If you take time to listen to them, they’re likely to feel more cared about.
More than just following your current and prospective customers on social media, you should share the posts that come up from your current customers. This will show both new and old customers that you care about the businesses you work with. It will also allow your prospective customers to see the success of your current customers, in a “this could be you” way.
Even better than sharing posts that they put on their social media, share success stories about your customers yourself. Post about them on social media, talk about them in your sales conversations, mention them on your website. When your customers succeed, it only adds to your own credibility.
You’re asking your buyers to make a big investment. Especially with business customers, it’s natural that they will worry about the risk. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to honestly tell them that there is no risk inherent in buying your product or service. Every choice involves risk.
But you can work to minimize the risk so that closing the deal seems like not only a beneficial but safe choice. Assuage their concerns as best you can. You can also compare the risk of working with you to the risk of their business leaving things as they are.