Why This 7 Step B2B Sales Process Can Consistently Close Deals
Why This 7 B2B Sales Process Can Consistently Close Deals
Today due to many innovations and creativity, the business model is changing more rapidly. As a result, every business has its unique challenges and opportunities.
The sales process is no longer in linear development. Instead, many businesses are shifting to inbound marketing methodologies. Technology enables businesses to reach and engage their targeted customers in various ways, thanks to technology developments. And today, both the sales and the marketing team work together to close more sales deals with potential customers.
Hence, it is more important for a business to find the right and sustainable B2B sales process approach. Craft a B2B sales process design that is scalable. B2B sales process design has to increase the conversion rate and helps you close bigger deals in a shorter duration. This blog article will look into the seven B2B sales process steps that help close more deals constantly.
What are B2B Sales?
B2B represents the business to business, and B2B sales describe the relationship between one business entity with the other businesses. In other words, b2b sales refer to a business that markets its product or services to other companies rather than marketing to the individuals. In contrast, B2C refers to the business to customers, in that case the business will market directly to their customers instead of marketing to another business.
For example, B2B business offers services to other businesses such as legal consultation, marketing agencies, and more. Therefore, the B2B model is classified into two mainstream product-based B2B models and service-based B2B models.
The common examples of B2B sales include the following
- Businesses that offer professional services (Example: market research) to other firms
- Companies that give software or digital services like CRM to businesses
- Firms that produce or distribute raw materials to other manufacturing firms
B2B sales are the sales model that sells their product or services to another organization. It requires highly trained sales professionals to drive more revenue for the business. It also involves a more complex process, high pricing, and multi-channel touchpoint marketing models.
The sales process helps the business to streamline any task, both the simple and complex ones. Creating a B2B sales process can make sales reps more productive, consistent, and accurate in their tasks and client interactions.
B2B sales vs. B2C sales: What’s the difference?
B2B sales are completely different from B2C sales (Business to customer sales). In B2C, the product and services are directly marketed or sold to the customers. For instance, let's take a clothing store as an example. It sells its products directly to its clients, and they are known as B2C sales.
Here are some significant differences between B2B sales and B2C sales:
More decision-makers are involved: B2B sales approach involves various shareholders and multiple departments to close a sales deal, whereas B2C sales only involve individuals interested in the product or service. In addition, the number of individuals involved in B2B sales is growing. As per the Harvard business research, the average number of individuals involved in B2B sales was 5.4 in 2015, and it grew to 6.8 people in 2017.
Pricing is bigger / high-value deal: When it comes to the price point, B2B products and services usually have higher prices than several consumer goods. This is because, in B2B sales, the business used to make product or service investments on a bulk and regular basis. Therefore, though the price is higher, the business used to invest in multiple unit purchases.
Longer Sales cycle: According to the CSO Insights, nearly half of B2B sales (46.4%) to new clients take more than 7 months to complete a sales closer. This is because the B2B sales don't have an impulse buy. It involves many stakeholders, pricing and sales are not so easy. As a result, it takes a longer time. Did you know the average length B2B sales cycle has increased by 22% in the last five years?
Pricing is more fluid: Usually, in B2C sales, the customer accepts the fixed pricing and makes the purchase just by whips. However, in B2B sales, the pricing strategy is different, and the customer expects to negotiate before placing a large order.
More complex payment process: In B2C sales, customers easily decide to buy on the spot, and they pay upfront before taking the product or service, but in B2B buyers, it takes time to make a positive sales decision, and the customer expects to pay later. The product or service is delivered and invoiced in B2B
Market Size: In B2B, companies usually have hundreds of potential buyers, but B2C sales target thousands to millions of buyers.
Popular B2B Sales Techniques
Businesses implement different sales techniques to boost their sales performance and also help to reframe their sales process. The business sales methodologies depend on the business, market, and other various factors.
Designing and implementing the right sales techniques is the key to successful sales, and it will increase your b2b customer. Here’s the most popular B2B sales technique that strengthens your business.
- Know Your Potential Client Before Outreach:
Your business needs to perform research and understand your potential customer before your initial email outreach. In the sales outreach, your business needs to pay more attention to the potential customer pain points and their challenges and define how your product or service will be the best solution for their challenges.
- Subscribe To Your Targeted Customer Newsletters or Marketing Campaigns:
Subscribing to your prospect's newsletter and their marketing campaigns will help your sales teams understand their operation. In addition, it enables your business to create a trailer-made email context and enable the business to market as per their use case.
- Don’t Stop Cold Calling Instead Make Them Effectively:
When your sales person does intense research on the prospective customer before cold calling, it will help to begin the relevant and valuable conversation. In addition, knowing your potential customer challenges before they share will help you give solutions at the right moment.
- Use Effective Personalized Email
Avoid interacting with b2b prospects with generic email context instead. Writing a personalized email to your prospects will make them feel that your business has reached their firm before reaching them. A personal approach to your cold email campaigns will pay off in the long run.
- Sharing Client Success Stories:
Sharing your b2b customer success stories helps the email receiver to relate with them. So sharing the success stories are a great easy way to grab the prospect’s attention. In addition, it will improve your brand credibility and trust.
- Instead of Selling Products Share Solutions:
Avoid sales pitches on your products and services in your email marketing. Instead, explain how your business product and services will resolve the prospect's pain points and challenges. In addition, it will support the prospects to resonate with their problems and envision how your solution offering will benefit them in real-time.
- Leverage Marketing Automation To Generate More Leads
Automation enables the business to market smarter and quicker. With the sales automation tools, your business finds sales opportunity and can generate more new leads. With this automation software's you can easily autopilot your business tasks such as lead nurturing, sales analytics, email marketing campaigns, writing personalized emails, sending cold email follow-up sequences, and more. Start to implement the automation software to grow more sales closers.
A great marketing automation solution gives you instant insight into your business marketing efforts, including the email opens, clicks, website visitors, etc. With effective insights from the automation software, you can understand the customer behaviors and modify your sales outreach as per your potential prospect’s interests.
- Don't Skip Your Follow up With Old Leads:
As we discussed earlier, the business-to-business sale (B2B) sales cycle takes a longer timer when compared to B2C. So here are some best b2b sales process email templates that help to close more sales deals. The follow-up on the B2B emails to boost your conversion.
Using a Follow-up emails sequence, you can maintain a connection with your potential customer. Create follow-up emails with personalized content that speaks of the pain points of the clients.
A follow-up email is one of the best marketing techniques for B2B sales. However, having a follow-up message to your client or customer after business with them. Here is some follow-up email sample after no response that guarantees client replies.
5 Classic Stages Of B2B Sales Funnel
The B2B sales process focuses on the seller's perspective. However, in contrast, the B2B sales funnel concentrates on the buyer's journey. Therefore, the sales funnel provides the cognitive or emotional phase of the customer on the buyer's journey.
The sales funnel is very usefully for all B2B marketers. It lets you map out a prospect’s decision-making process and plan a logical behavior your way into the final sale.
A standard outline of the sales funnel, from top to bottom, will start with awareness, interest, decision, and purchase. This is followed by evaluation, delight, and repurchase. Most of the B2B sales funnels comprise five to seven stages. Learn more about the B2B Sales Funnel and implement the best practices in your B2B sales.
Importance Of B2B Sales Process
Optimizing the robust sales process will improve your business sales and increase revenue. It helps you present your product/service in front of interested potential customers that helps close more deals and increase purchases.
B2B sales process has to be repeatable for maximum success. Therefore, businesses having an effective sales strategy will increase the business growth rate. As per HBR study business having an excellent and well-designed sales process has a 15% increase in their growth rate.
Apart from the growth rate, the robust sales process provides the right direction to the sales department, helping them outline the steps involved in your sales process. From choosing the market research, finding the right potential customers, and closing deals, each stage of the sales process has several goals. Of course, the sales process goals can vary based on the overall business goals. But every sales process usually has the same steps.
What is the B2B sales process?
There is a sales process that every salesperson and sales team needs to follow: “The B2B sales process.” B2B sales process is the step-by-step playbook that salespeople and sales teams follow to build relationships, qualify, and get a deal closed.
Unlike consumer markets, B2B selling is a complex process that requires a well-designed and executed B2B sales strategy to succeed. However, the buying process varies for B2B buyers compared to consumers:
- Businesses are concerned with getting something done for themselves more than satisfying their needs.
- Many large organizations will have lengthy decision-making processes which require your company to understand its particular nuances of time and hierarchy of influence.
- As with the B2B sales process, knowing how to sell and whom to sell your product or service is key.
You need to understand each buyer persona in much greater detail than any other market. B2B sales is a complex process, and it needs a well-designed sales strategy to execute to succeed in the sales process. There are various sales techniques and unique processes for different buyer personas and selling situations. B2B sales process is typically comprised of 7 stage sales cycle, and we shall look in deep in this article.
7-Step Sales Process for B2B Businesses to Close Deals Consistently
B2B sales processes are more complex than B2C sales. However, a good sales manager wants to generate more leads, initiate connections, and get your business product or solution before your potential customer to achieve sales.
Before you start prospecting, the first and foremost thing is to research your target market and define your TAM (Total Addressable Market ). Once you have completed TAM, now you are ready to kickstart your sales process.
1.Preparation & Research
Preparation is the basis for the sales process from which the B2B sales process design is developed. In this stage, the B2B salesperson needs to be familiar with their ideal customer profile, products or services, market, competitors, and their brand's unique values.
Find your product or service's unique value by performing competitor studies. With the competitor analysis, you can understand how your product and service differ from the competitor. For better understanding, you need yourself in your customer’s shoes.
The next step is preparing the buyer persona and understanding the common and main challenges your potential buyers face. Then, brainstorm with your sales team and discover how your brand can resolve the challenge and pain points, close the sales, and repeat the business.
2. Prospecting Or Discovery
Finding and growing new leads is a crucial part of any B2B sales pipeline. Your business needs to maximize the effort through online research, inbound marketing, referral programs, social media marketing, and more. Make sure your sales process has a clear picture of your buyer persona.
Finding your ideal customer and engaging them matters in the sales cycle. The ultimate goal of the sales prospecting process is to identify qualified potential customers who are interested in your brands. Researching your prospect allows you to qualify the lead before making a conversion.
- Connect with your potential customer on LinkedIn.
- Check their recent activity on social media posts.
- Go through their website, blog post, latest news, news stories, or press releases on their business site.
All these research insights will be useful to establishing rapport on your cold calls. Based on this benchmark, the sales and the marketing team can identify the ideal prospects. This process will help the sales manager to allocate the relevant resource to the high-value leads appropriately.
Your business wants to streamline the sales prospecting process. There are numerous methods to perform prospects, such as email marketing, b2b data, live events, trade shows, sales intelligence software, social media platforms, cold calling, and referrals.
3. Needs Assessment
Once your business has acquired the potential customers, the next step is to craft well-defined criteria for qualified leads and move them into each sales cycle stage.
Business wants to perform a research to decide whether the new leads wants your business offering. Therefore, B2B sales reps need to prepare a standard set of questions to ask the potential customer. This process is often accomplished during a discovery call. This sales stage aims to discover that the potential client is a good fit for the business. In addition, this process helps the sales person to understand the prospect's actual needs and will uncover all the assumptions or doubts.
Make the conversation more professional with open-ended questions that focus on client problems with the potential buyers, and the sales reps have to listen to the client's needs. The ultimate goal is to know your potential customer challenges, pain points, position how your product or service is the best solution. Avoid salesy conversation, and address how your solution will solve their current business problem.
4. Sales Pitch/Presentation
At this sales process step, you will have a good idea about your targeted customer struggles and difficulties they face. So your business can give a customized problem-solving sales pitch to your client. Make it creative, crisp to the point. A good sales pitch has to 30-sec where you need to grab your prospect's attention and interest them with your previous research, the unique key value of your brand.
Your conversation with the customer has to create curiosity. Avoid over-selling about your product/service. Your sales pitch need not list down your product or service's incredible features. Instead, focus on how your product/ service will help them. The sales team has to make a meaningful conversation by comparing their requirements with your product's /service advantages. Customizing the sales pitch or demo with higher quality will help your business ahead in the sales cycle.
5. Objection Handling
After the B2B sales rep presents the proposal or demo with the potential clients, they are rarely ready to purchase a sales pitch. Mostly after the sales pitch, there would be more queries to be answered with the clients.
When it comes to objection handling, listen to your customer and respond effectively, and provide them with the most suitable solutions to bypass any roadblocks for the sales closer.
There are many sales objections that your customers could raise with regard to your products or services. Some of these may be minor, and you can address them quickly, such as if they need a different payment plan or faster delivery time than originally agreed. However, other objections may require detailed research and development in order to meet the clients' requests.
Regardless, you need to take charge and respond confidently to handle any sales objection with success. You are involved from the planning stage, so you know what responses will work best for certain situations. No one knows your products like yourself, so respond confidently with the objection and close the sales successfully.
6. Closing Deal
The most exciting part of the complete B2B selling proces is this stage. You have demonstrated your product/ service, overcome all the objections, and clarified all the client's questions. You have successfully convinced your client how your product/service will be the best fit for their problems. The next stage is an investment.
In this part, the pricing and plans are discussed in detail, and there would be a chance for price negotiation from the client-side. Offer some free added values to your clients to make the sales closer more effectively. Before ending your sales call, speak about the shareholders required to sign off on the deal.
7. Follow-Ups, Repeat Business & Referrals
Once you've had a first positive meeting/call with your prospective client, it is more important to have a follow-up email. Here are the 42 best ways to follow up with customers to close the sales deals. In b2b sales, many individuals are involved in the B2B selling process, so having a follow-up email will create a good impression about your business among the decision-makers.
Leaving your sales discussion with a positive note opens the door for repeated sales and upsells with the customers. In b2b sales, having a follow-up email great way to ensure you stay top of mind throughout the sales process. Ensure that you can follow up with customers and continue building trust and relationships between yourself and your prospective clients.
Make yourself easy to find by your clients online, whether it is through LinkedIn or Twitter. Assure your business has easy access, including your contact information and email addresses across as many platforms as possible.
Any successful B2B sales strategy aims to get more customers in the long term. In this article, we have outlined our preferred 7-step sales process. However, many businesses have shorter 3 to 5 stage sales processes, and some may have a longer process. According to Accenture study, nearly 94% of B2B buyers perform online research before they make any buying decision.
If your company's sales process is shorter or longer than seven stages, don't panic. What's important is not the number of stages but having a clearly defined sales process in place. Build the one sales process that suits your business. Each stage will have its own goals and metrics for success, which you'll need to be aware of throughout the sales cycle.
Implement sales tools like Hubspot Sales, Zapier, Mailchimp, and Smartwriters to draft an effective personalized sales pitch, automate the sales process, and control your B2B sales email campaigns. Create personalized sales emails using the AI engine of Smartwriter for B2B business and get 8x more responses. Your sales team doesn't want to waste time in reaching and customing the sales email pitch. The tool will make your sales process 40X faster. Book your sales meetings with decision-makers instantly by writing an emotion-conversion email copy in no time. Sign up today and start your seven days free trial.