B2B Sales: Outlook for 2020 Success

by Chris Kontes | December 18th, 2020

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B2B Sales is not just Selling

Many people think the B2B sales process consists of strictly selling; selling yourself, selling your product, or selling your company. The general theme is, if you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything. For B2B sales in 2020, this thought process could not be farther from the truth.  Today, many markets are completely oversaturated. With a plethora of options, consumers are doing more research, especially as purchase size increases. With so much competition, how should you tackle B2B sales in 2020?

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Don’t get me wrong, selling is a huge part of the B2B process.  But, there are three other areas that need to be injected into B2B sales for success in 2020.  The three other areas are:  education, consistency and customer experience.

  1. Education

Does the best product or service always win?  Of course not. That’s why there’s not just one car company or one computer company.  At the core of any product is the end-user. You wouldn’t buy a minivan to compete in a Nascar race.  Similarly, you wouldn’t buy a supercomputer if you just needed to send emails. The people buying the supercomputer or the race car are looking for specs.  They want to know the horsepower or the RAM. A completely different consumer would buy the minivan or the laptop because it gets the job done.  

Some people are looking for a product that just gets the job done.  Other people are looking for super-specific specs. Others are somewhere in the middle. Understand what level of specificity your ideal customer wants and teach them about it.  This could be a detailed research report or a simple email. Go back to the customer. If they’re all about the innovative part of your technology, use their language- go into details.  If they just need to get from one place to another, educate them on how your product does it the best.

  1. Consistency 

When a prospect is interested, your B2B sales team must reinforce everything the prospect has learned about your company.   This means using the same selling points until your prospect completely understands exactly what you and your company can provide. Once the prospect has understanding, build on that with more consistency.  Consistency seems simple, but if you tell a prospect you can provide an option fully, and the prospect gets to try it, you can’t turn around and say, “well actually you can only use that 75% of the time”. Set the proper product/ service expectations from day one. Throughout the sales process, consistently reinforce those expectations.

3. Customer Experience

In sales, knowing your audience is key. Yet, one of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C sales is knowing who you are talking to and what they need at all times.  In B2B sales, different decision-makers will have different goals in mind. Your goal is to cater to each one, but ultimately also unite the goals under a common purpose. The trick is understanding how each person will interact with the product/ service you offer. Some people call this, customer experience.

As a rule of thumb, there are leaders and managers. Leaders want results.  They mostly care about completing their goal and will periodically check in to see if the results are coming. Managers coordinate and carry out the plan to achieve the goal.  In B2B sales, it’s crucial to understand the managers and leaders will have different ideas. Sometimes, the manager will disagree with your thoughts (which came from the leaders initial direction).  Your job is to get them on the same page. Find a time for all three of you to talk. Be a mediator, figure out the problems, and get alignment towards a common goal. Let them both see the value in what you offer. 

B2B sales can be more challenging than B2C sales.  With higher ticket items, longer buying processes, and various decision-makers B2B sales includes a lot more than just selling.  For real success, you will want to coordinate with your customer success team too. Having another team that helps with education, consistency, and customer experience is crucial to closing more deals.  Without a team that’s solely dedicated to the customer, your sales team will be bogged down. With both teams working together, the sales process will have the constant momentum it needs to close more deals.

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