B2B sales, on the whole, is slower, more labor-intensive and more consequential than B2C.
A six- or seven-figure deal can make or break the entire year’s revenue, providing little margin for error. No pressure. So it’s probably time to level up how your organization runs sales teams and integrates new B2B sales techniques into their repertoire.
Here are a few sales methods to consider:
1. Social selling
About 60% of sales professionals actively use social media as a sales device.
In the B2B space, LinkedIn is the obvious social channel of choice. But not just for general “networking” or posting the occasional industry thinkpiece.
LinkedIn is fertile grounds for initiating, nurturing and, hopefully, closing sales too. That’s because:
- Nearly half (46%) of all B2B web traffic comes from LinkedIn.
- 80% of B2B marketing qualified leads (MQLs) come from LinkedIn.
- 40 million B2B decision-makers use the platform.
If you as a sales rep have to start somewhere — and you’re in the first stages of prospecting without much support from other departments — LinkedIn is as promising a launchpad as any. The key here, though, is to build an actual network, post relevant content, engage with other users’ content and to use some of LinkedIn’s paid services (Sponsored Content, InMail, Ads).
Don’t just send a connection request in the hopes of diving straight into a sales conversation. Be authentic and useful to your social audience first — sales comes second.
2. High-value content distribution
Strategic sales and content marketing alignment enables your business to earmark every piece of content for a specific audience, goal and sales initiative — no dollar goes to waste. That’s useful because the No. 1 reason B2B buyers disengage from brands is due to “irrelevant content,” according to a report from CMO Council.
Content that’s generic or templated immediately cools once-warm buyers, as it becomes clear in the eyes of prospects that your company is pushing out untargeted content on automated schedules. Instead, sales managers should be working hand in hand with marketing managers to locate and deliver highly relevant content to buyers at all stages of the funnel — on a moment’s notice.
Not just any marketing asset will do, though.
Unique, branded content that perfectly maps to your audience’s specific pain points is what you’re looking for. In this case, think case studies, customer testimonials and thoughtful video content.
These bottom-of-the-funnel assets help nudge sales qualified leads (SQLs) closer to the finish line by providing prospects’ individual decision-makers content to chew on. Because there are sometimes dozens of client-side stakeholders who determine vendor contracts and purchases, you can’t settle for convincing just one buyer — you need majority support.
High-value content can help move the needle within boardrooms, as you’re proactively answering action-stage questions before your prospects have to ask them. In other words, you’re providing additional value at the most critical stage of the buying process.
3. Value wedging
A value wedge is more than a proposition or differentiator. It’s how you bridge the gap between what you’re selling and what it should mean to a customer.
For example, let’s say you sell robotic process automation (RPA) software to Fortune 500 companies.
Sure, the product is an automated bot, but the meaning (for a customer) is that they can stop doing tedious, redundant tasks. They can advance into newer markets at a faster speed. They can maximize their human capital.
Value wedge sellers focus on meaning. They sell the experience, the relief, the future — not just the cold, hard facts about the product. It’s a subtle shift, but it allows sellers to speak prospects’ language and not regurgitate product specs or sales sheets.
4. Virtual events
Due to various factors like public health, weather conditions, geographical distance and price tags, on-site events aren’t always at your disposal. Trade shows, conferences and in-person meetings may have allowed high-performing B2B sales reps to shine, but digital-only channels can be even more valuable.
Webinars, for instance, are easy ways to get digital facetime with qualified leads, secure contact info from registrants, discuss key industry topics and develop meaningful relationships with prospects and buyers. In 2020 specifically, COVID-19 has transformed the events industry, forcing sales and marketing teams to get creative, so much so that an entire economy of virtual events management platforms has sprung into existence. This had led to the rise of virtual events like:
- Real-time competitions or contests that integrate with smartphone apps
- Livestreamed keynote presentations
- Immersive augmented and virtual reality
- Live webcasts, fundraisers and activities-based campaigns
- Virtual business conferences and 1:1 meetings
- Sophisticated on-demand demos and exhibitions
Nurturing sales on the back of virtual events allows you to uncouple your revenue from fixed parameters, like a location in which only a percentage of your leads can attend. Virtual events open up new opportunities competitors might not yet be capitalizing on.
5. Intelligent calls and outreach
There’s nothing worse than a cold call. As a seller, too, there’s nothing worse than going into a sales discussion with minimal information because your organization wasn’t properly supporting your efforts.
A sales enablement platform like Showpad is loaded with a host of innovative features that turn ordinary outreach into intelligent conversations, such as:
- Automatic sales data capture. Sellers don’t have to transcribe notes or listen to recordings of their own calls. Meeting notes can be logged in your CRM for later reference. Then, you can make strategic improvements over time, either with an existing prospect or one that’s brand new.
- One-click personalized content sharing. In one central location, sellers can surface relevant content, personalize a message to a buyer and deliver a targeted email in seconds.
- Behavioral data as business intelligence. Every customer or prospect interaction is a data point that feeds into a larger profile of who you’re targeting. There’s no wishful thinking or guesswork about it; you can ensure you’re using the right language and communication channels every time, upping your chance of sales success.
With intelligence powering your conversations, automation fueling backend work and personalization tools crafting unique messaging, the sales game is faster, smarter and more authentic.
To see how Showpad can optimize your B2B sales, contact us today.