Do you know what makes a customer happy? A simple and reliable sales process that makes them feel at ease throughout the buying process. Aim at providing a seamless buying experience for your customers to make them stay with you for a longer time. For example in B2B sales cycles, if your product is subscription based, create a simple renewal and invoicing process to make it easy and time-saving for the business people. Reports say that a large number of B2B customers, nearly 90% of them start their buying journey with an online search.
An online search should get positive results about your business which include good customer reviews and testimonials, software listings, etc. The B2B selling process basically involves selling your products/services to other businesses. An accounting firm that takes care of the accounts and helps in filing taxes of a business is an example of a B2B business. As it involves businesses rather than common people as in the case of B2B, approaching business people at their available time and quick processing are the key factors to be taken care of.
B2B Sales Cycle Stages
The different stages of a B2B selling process are as follows:
- Lead Generation
Lead generation is the process of searching for potential customers for your business, attracting them towards your product through various campaigns, and converting them into paying customers. There are several free tools available in the market to help you streamline your lead generation process. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one such tool that has all features to connect and send messages to business people. Use these tools effectively to build a strong sales pipeline.
It’s not enough to get leads. You must understand them better before you approach them. What are the ways to understand them? Look deep into their company website to know their vision and goals. Study the LinkedIn profiles of key players. Read the latest news and press releases about their company. Collect as much information as possible. Remember, the discovery phase will help throughout the B2B sales process.
After discovery, you might have got a clear picture of how far the prospect can match your ideal customer profile. Based on your research, start approaching highly qualified prospects. During the initial discussion, you will get to know them further. Frame an appropriate set of questions to ask them. Know their expectations clearly during this phase.
- Demo Presentations
The next phase of a B2B selling process is giving your customers a quick look at your product through video conferencing, demo presentations, product brochures, etc. Prepare an interactive, catchy presentation that attracts your leads. Highlight the benefits they will get from your product rather than the product features only.
- Objection Handling
Don’t settle for the very first NO. This should be your motto as a salesperson. Even if they turn into cold leads, follow up with them at regular intervals to maintain contact with your business. Anytime, they may turn out to be your paying customers. Salespeople should have the perseverance and growth mindset to handle objections and overcome them to foresee opportunities.
- Negotiation & Closing
A transparent, competitive pricing strategy with reasonable offers on long-time subscriptions is the best approach to closing more deals. However, negotiation is unavoidable when it comes to sales. Train your sales team with essential negotiation techniques and close the deals with a properly signed contract to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.
Do regular follow-ups with your customers to know if everything is going well and whether they find it easy to use your product. Have your customer success team ready to answer their queries/doubts 24×7 to give them an excellent customer experience. Ask them for feedback through surveys and testimonials.
Tips To Create A Reliable Sales Process
Following the above 7 steps, you created a sales process for your B2B business. Now, how to make it more reliable? Here are some expert tips to help you.
- Add value through social media
Social selling is a trending strategy in today’s highly digitized business world. Anything can spread in the fastest way possible through social media. Create your business page, start creating content relevant to your industry and add some value to the viewers. You may not know who is viewing your content. But, it will reach the right audience if your content is good and reliable.
- Take advantage of automation
Most B2B businesses will have a set of repetitive daily tasks as a part of their work. These are time-consuming tasks that reduce your productivity. To overcome this situation, rely on automated tools that reduce your workload and improve your productivity. Scheduling tools, employee tracking tools, CRM, email marketing tools, etc are some of the popular tools that are being used by businesses.
- Maintain good customer relationships
Treat your customers as long-term assets of your business. Build and nurture healthy relationships with them. Don’t stop with regular follow-ups. Sending them festive goodies with offer announcements, communicating your business milestones through newsletters, etc are some of the ways to take your business synergy to the next level.
- Analyze sales performance
Data analysis will fetch you valuable insights. Select the KPIs that suit your business goals and track them. The KPIs should determine both the sales cycle and your sales reps’ performance.
- Provide multi-channel customer support
Customer support is the main point of contact for all inquiries and queries. Hence, a business must provide more than one channel of communication. For example, 2 or 3 contact numbers, email addresses, live chat windows in the landing pages, etc will make it easy for customers to contact your business.
As we discussed, setting up a reliable sales process is a gateway for getting more customers. A B2B sales process should be simple and transparent. As you climb up the ladder, remember to update your sales process as well to compete in the ever-changing business environment.