The B2B companies face, without a doubt, several quite different from those of the companies that come to the final consumer challenges. It is a complex process that involves many people in decision-making and requires great efforts from the sales force.
An average of 5 to 10 people is involved in B2B purchasing processes, although perhaps only two have contact with the sales team.
How to increase sales effectively? To do this, it is necessary to implement specific actions. Actions that aim to increase your sales volume enough to reach your goals.
Among them, developing a scalable and repeatable sales process, attracting new prospects, and generating interest in our services, selling in long and complex sales cycles, managing the commercial organization to improve sales efficiency. As well as planning the commercial strategy and achieving results.
What do we mean? Not all customers are ready to buy, for multiple reasons, they may not be the decision makers, not having the budget and / or extraordinary situations that are happening in your company.
The key is to generate constant demand and carry out other types of efforts that help to leverage the sale in the future.
Obviously, there are many factors that come into play to establish an effective strategy to increase sales in B2B companies. However, here we leave the essentials that you cannot miss. We bring these insights using the example of eWorldTrade, a B2B e-commerce platform that has made a surreal impression in recent decade.
1. Establish a sales process
Without an established sales process, it is impossible to train and propose measurement parameters to know the health of our sales. However, sometimes we have outdated or failed sales processes that we use on autopilot.
Today, (although it is not eliminated) the sales work is not focused on cold calls to prospects, but many of our prospects can reach through digital channels and have a little more knowledge on the subject.
In this regard, we need to establish when the right time is to contact prospects, how qualified they are, and how familiar they are with our solutions.
Reaching the decision-maker may take multiple steps, efforts, and time invested.
Therefore, establishing an average of the time that sales work requires, is essential in an effective sales process.
The inbound sales process, for example, focuses on guiding our prospects on a path in which they gradually manage to identify solutions to their problems and our value proposition.
It is divided into four points: identify, connect, explore, and advise. In which the salespeople always act as consultants to solve the problems of our prospects.
This way, you don’t focus on promoting your product and its benefits. But on the client’s needs and how you can help him solve them.
According to a survey of decision makers conducted by CEB and Gartner, more than 65% of them admitted taking more than twice the time planned internally to choose a B2B provider.
This happens because most vendors focus on their product and its benefits, rather than the needs of the customer. With an inbound sales process, you can streamline your sales work by educating your prospects from the beginning.
2. Build a high-performing sales team
A high-performing sales team is one in which all team members have both the skills and product knowledge necessary to reach their sales quota.
Reaching such a sales team is a matter of time and a lot of training effort, no matter how good a salesperson someone is, it takes time to get to know the product and potential customers in depth.
Once we have a sufficiently trained team, the logical thing is to focus our efforts on keeping that sales force with us. This not only saves us a lot of effort, but a lot of money.
It is much cheaper to keep an employee for an extended period, than to constantly hire new elements.
How do I retain the sales team? Keeping the high-performance team with you requires different efforts, from providing adequate remuneration, having a suitable work environment, offering considerable benefits, and providing the right tools to do their job.
Facilitating the process through technology, automations, and an efficient CRM, can eliminate much of the administrative work that takes away valuable time from your salespeople and prevents them from increasing sales.
3. B2B marketing to attract new customers
A common challenge in B2B companies is constantly acquiring new customers, as their efforts depend on salespeople knocking on doors of potential companies or sending emails and cold calls that are less and less effective.
The fastest growing companies integrate different B2B marketing efforts that, aligned with sales efforts, help accelerate growth. As the sales team strives to bring value to the most interested prospects, marketing must focus on attracting new prospects to fuel the sales process.
In our experience the key is to integrate the different tactics within a process. The B2B inbound marketing methodology focuses on attracting visitors to our digital assets, converting them into prospects, qualifying them and maturing the relationship with them until generating interest in our solutions.
4. Build a relationship of value before they hit sales
What to do with customers who are not yet ready to buy? Continue generating interest by emphasizing the problem and how we help solve it.
A B2B inbound marketing strategy allows to automate stages of the sales process and through the segmentation of the contact base according to interests, challenges, and types of buyers, influence the purchase decision through emails, announcements, and pre-sales tasks. to the commercial team, to warm up and prepare the prospects, before being channeled to the commercial team.
Educating the prospect with useful and relevant information allows you to build trust between the company and the prospect, in such a way that when the person arrives with the sales team, you already know how our solution can help you.
In addition, creating content that addresses common prospect concerns or objections allows you to influence the people who are involved in the decision and have no contact with sales.
5. Create an actionable plan that is executed daily
An actionable plan to increase sales in B2B companies means identifying what activities we can control and how we can quantify them and establish goals or indicators (KPI) for them.
For example, we can evaluate the number of calls, meetings, emails, and other interactions from our team, along with the strategy they are using and build it with closings, proposal submissions, opportunities created, and business lost during the period.
Above all, in times like today, it would be advisable to evaluate what our value proposition is when the circumstances of the contingency come into play and how they affect prospects.