7 Killer Strategies to build a B2B sales cycle with 63% Close Rate
Your company probably has a killer product or service that helps your customers solve a problem, but it's not your fault if you're not making many sales. A market is a big place, and you're competing with hundreds of other companies to grab the attention of the same target audience. Today, it's very hard for most companies to gain new prospects and build a pipeline of potential customers.
The B2B world has a completely different process that needs to be applied. The same old ways that work with a B2C approach will not work here. In fact, it can be downright risky to take a B2C mindset to your B2B opportunities. The good news is there are proven ways to increase your conversions and close rates with a B2B approach.
Your business needs a better way to create leads and nurture them into a sale in a highly competitive market. The most advanced businesses have a systematic approach to generating leads, converting leads to sales, and closing deals.
If you are constantly creating lead generation content but are struggling to build your pipeline, then this guide is for you. This article will discuss the 7 Killer Strategies to build a B2B sales cycle with a 63% Close Rate.
Introduction to B2B Sales
B2B is Business to Business. B2B sales are the process of selling business to business or company to company. It involves a longer sales cycle and a higher degree of decision-making. That is because the buyer is not just one person who will make the decision. And, the buying process involves what the company needs and requires.
What is the B2B Sales Cycle?
Just like in marketing, a sales process is a sequence of activities and tasks to convert a lead to a sale and actual customer. B2B sales process, or sales cycle, is a series of steps or activities that occur during the sales process. Your sales prospect goes through a decision-making process before making a purchase. This process typically takes weeks, even months, to complete.
In a B2B sales cycle, you need to understand the customer, the lead generation, the qualification, the roles within a company, and which players participate in a particular step. The sales process varies depending on the business or industry.
The buyer's journey involves a variety of steps, from identifying a problem to choosing a solution. Also, it presents new opportunities to develop a relationship with a prospect and increase conversions.
B2B Sales vs B2C Sales
B2B sales is a very different ballgame from B2C sales. In the B2B world, the buyer goes through what is called a "sales cycle." A sales cycle can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. A B2B sales cycle is a powerful process that brings companies from "awareness" to "adoption."
B2C is Business to Consumer. In a B2C sales scenario, the prospect is a customer the minute they walk into a physical store. In a B2B sale, the prospect is a buyer and needs to become a customer. This process takes a lot of sales effort, research, and work.
In a B2C scenario, a prospect might make a purchase without ever talking to or seeing a salesperson. In a B2B scenario, a prospect needs to see a sales team, talk to them, and work closely with them.
Selling to a business is different from selling to an individual. Businesses have a longer buying cycle, fewer emotional decision-makers, more complex purchase decisions, and a bigger budget.
What are the stages of a B2B sales cycle?
A brief answer to the above question is both simple and complex. For most companies, the B2B sales cycle is a lifetime of building rapport, knowing the client personally, and injecting their company culture into their organization.
The problem with a lot of B2B sales processes is that they're not optimized. Instead of focusing on one sale cycle, most B2B companies have a random series of steps in their sales funnel, from lead generation to prospect meetings to closing deals with clients. The fact is, successful B2B companies have a systematic, well-designed sales process that allows them to find the right prospects, set the right appointments, and close deals with a 63% close rate.
There are five common stages that most businesses go through in a sales process before closing a sale. These steps may even be different from one industry to another, but they all have a general idea of what they should do.
The five steps of a sales process include,
- Qualifying leads,
- Creating a sales pipeline,
- Conducting a sales call or sending a personalized email,
- Nurturing leads,
- Closing the deal.
While the five steps of a sales process might seem simple, they can be very complex – especially if a company doesn't know its steps.
The 7 Killer Strategies to build a B2B sales cycle with 63% Close Rate
Let's look at the best B2B sales techniques that help you boost your sales and revenue.
1. Sales and Marketing Winning Together
If your sales and marketing department is on the same page, it will result in more leads and revenue. While the sales team must get new potential customers to ensure steady revenue growth, the marketing team must support them with qualified B2B lead generation.
Though social media channels may appear to be a marketing-specific activity, they can be a powerful tool for a B2B sales team to identify your potential client and engage with them. The sales team should help the social media marketing team find ideal customers and the challenges they face, which can be useful in drafting the ads and social posts. Also, the marketing team may help identify the key conversations and targets that appear on social media and send those to salespeople to reach out to.
Generating leads from your website using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to fill the B2B sales pipeline is also an exceptional way to boost sales.
Both teams can collaborate to build a content marketing strategy to make more qualified leads. Further, sales reps should talk to the prospects every day and understand their challenges. These inputs might help the marketing team to produce relevant content around those challenges to create more customer engagement.
2. Create a Follow-Up Plan
Creating a follow-up plan may sound like another simple B2B selling tactic, but half of the B2B sales reps don't follow up with the lead after the first touch. Therefore, you might miss a great opportunity to close a deal.
Now, look at the amount of revenue that is lost in this way. Almost 80% of B2B companies need a salesperson to make at least five follow-ups. Not just that, most sales reps believe it takes about eight follow-ups to connect with a prospective buyer.
Following up with a prospect after the first approach is typically a good move. This way, the lead will know that they are seen as a valued customer. Further, as key decision-makers are busy, a quick and brief email follow-up is a great way to get their attention.
It is always best to use a CRM to automate your follow-up emails so you can quickly set them up to deliver at set intervals. It also lets you set reminders for follow-up emails so that you can personalize your messages instead of relying on generic automated messages. You can use an AI email writer to help you with your business writing that boosts sales and response.
3. Develop a Lead-Nurturing Plan
Just because your prospects are not ready to buy today doesn't mean they will never buy. But, if you approach them today, there are chances that they will start considering your product or service.
You might risk losing a lot of your future business unless you have the right plan to nurture those clients and help them make up their minds about buying.
So, here's where a plan to nurture leads helps. Developing a nurturing strategy will help you sell these leads by warming them up.
Still, how do you run a lead-nurturing program? The key is to build a steady stream of value-added content to keep them interested and engaged.
4. Account-Based Marketing
Your lead quality or prospect determines how good you will be at the sale. A common mistake most marketers make is to think of every industry as a target market. So, rather than having segments of leads from the various industries you serve, you might end up with a homogeneous database of leads from every industry you cater to.
The issue with this approach is that you can't do honest and personalized selling at scale.
You need to identify the select industries you serve particularly well and take an account-based marketing approach. This approach might help you to fine-tune your B2B sales strategies specific to that industry.
For example, if you're an accounting SaaS service provider, who will be your target audience?
All the companies that need SaaS services? Definitely, no. That is because there are different SaaS service providers with unique and particular offerings, such as hiring solutions, SaaS service providers who offer CRM services, and more. Thus, you will just waste your time and sales efforts if you don't find your target market. So, considering all SaaS businesses as a target will not work. Therefore, you will need an account-based marketing approach.
5. Go Social
According to a study, 94% of B2B buyers admit to conducting online research before making a buying decision. So, improve your online presence to build brand awareness and trust.
Now let's look at the statistics that encourage you to add social media to your sales strategy.
- 82% of B2B buyers are okay with being reached out to via social media networks.
- About 73% of buyers engage with a vendor on social media channels.
Not only that, salespeople who regularly use social media outperform those who don't use it.
When it comes to social sales, the main thing is that your posts need to be accurate and personalized. If not, you will risk looking spammy or even creepy. So, use sales socially but with caution.
6. Identify the Opportunity for Repeat Business
When existing customers of an organization are responsible for its revenue, sometimes they are taken for granted by many businesses. Rather than expanding and maintaining the business-client relationship with existing clients, sales professionals are chasing new prospects that are much easier to sell to.
It is crucial to maintain and win their loyalty to increase the revenue from current customers. An excellent way to do that is to keep checking in with sales reps and find out if they need help with something. The duty in many B2B businesses rests mainly with the customer service team.
Also, since salespeople are always one of a client's first interactions with a product or service, they often feel good about knowing "non-sales" stuff from them.
And salespeople can keep them warm for knowing about new deals or offers by keeping in touch in helpful ways like just sharing a positive article or sending out a short, personalized email. Use an email personalization tool that helps you write an AI sales email that would get you a high response rate.
7. Focus on the Sales Experience throughout the Buyer Journey
Do you know about the sales experience throughout the buyer's journey? Do you know why sometimes you lose a qualified lead after doing so much follow-up?
And as most people think, it's not about pricing. But lead qualification is also key. Always study the potential of the lead to pay before nurturing them.
Many potential leads look at the value and experience you provide during the B2B buying process. Many deals are lost due to a bad selling experience throughout the B2B sales process.
It is vital to create a winning sales experience. To begin with, you should try to understand the following first:
- What are their biggest challenges, motivations, pain points, and fears?
- What impacts their buying decisions?
- Do they prefer cold calls or emails? Respect their preference.
- Their available time to contact them.
- What type of valuable content or information do they require to make the decision?
You can further offer a better customer experience by encouraging your sales team via healthy competition. To do so, give them the best sales email marketing software, SmartWriter, and generous incentives.
You can start with our free trial to help you get your prospects' email and company details while visiting their Linkedin profile or company page. Also, you can install the chrome extension for quick use.
To get a high response rate, a Sales Manager must take a systematic approach to build sales opportunities, identify all possible sales objections, and create a lead nurturing program that will continue to educate and build trust between the sales team and prospective customers.
In this post, we have discussed the B2B prospecting tips with proven strategies to build a B2B sales cycle. For a B2B sale, a comprehensive sales process is an essential element that will improve your conversion rate and close more deals if implemented effectively. B2B sales is a long process and require a lot of patience and sales effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the B2B sales funnel?
In contrast to the B2B sales process, which focuses on the seller's perspective, the B2B sales funnel is about the buyer's journey.
What Is a B2B Sales Representative?
A B2B sales representative is a professional who uses strategic sequences and specialized selling methods to engage corporate buyers.
What are the key benefits of being a sales rep?
In cases where teams do not have account executives, B2B sales reps own the entire sales cycle virtually, engaging customers throughout the buyer journey from prospecting and lead nurturing to closing deals.
What is B2B selling?
B2B selling is a complex process that requires a well-designed and executed B2B sales strategy in order to succeed.
What is the B2B sales cycle?
The exact number and names of stages in your sales process will depend on your industry, company, and sales organization, but the B2B sales process is typically a 5 to 8 stage sales cycle.
What Is Business-to-Business (B2B)?
Business-to-business (B2B) describes a relationship, situation, or marketplace between one business entity and another.
What Are Social Media Content Marketing Channels?
It should come as no surprise that modern buyers use social media, forums, and other channels to learn more about potential solutions they evaluate.