The Web, with the incredible wealth of information it provides, has radically changed the way users approach purchasing. The customer is now more aware than ever and eager to seek out as much information as possible, which is also why sales cycles have lengthened.
This is even more evident in the B2B sector, where the average time to reach the closing stage has always been physiologically higher due to the larger number of players involved.
An extra effort is therefore needed in the direction of the potential customer: the aim of B2B sales, in addition to the more strictly commercial one, is to make it easier for them to find the best information in the easiest way.
Finding out what information is best for each prospect means knowing their needs in depth and understanding how our product can offer an ideal solution for your B2B sales.
So let’s look at 5 B2B sales techniques you can implement to change your perspective.
1 – Do your research
It may sound obvious, but the best way to get to know your prospect is to do some research. The B2B context is the one that gets the most benefit from this step.
The Web is a gold mine of information: especially in B2B, studying your prospect’s website, reading their blog and researching press releases will easily give you an idea of their needs and issues.
This will help you to understand how your product can be the right choice for the customer, thus helping you to present it in the most suitable way by emphasising its most relevant aspects.
The prospect will immediately perceive the effort made to meet his needs and will be better prepared. On the other hand, approaching with little or no preparation means to upset them with a series of banal and obvious questions that a simple web search would have answered.
Once the right predisposition has been created in the prospect, it will be easier to go on to ask more detailed questions, allowing further needs and problems to emerge naturally.
To make this happen, it is necessary to allow the prospect freedom of expression and avoid limiting him or her with questions that require ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.
2 – Study your prospect’s language
This point is closely related to the previous one and concerns the need to fully understand our interlocutor’s jargon in order to establish effective communication.
Approaching it the old-fashioned way, with stereotyped scripts and interactions, is definitely the wrong choice: ‘one size does not fit all’.
It is therefore of paramount importance to understand the language in which the prospect expresses himself when approaching his business. This aspect is by no means trivial: language is what shapes ideas and concepts.
Consequently, understanding your prospect’s communication methods means getting closer to a deeper understanding of his real needs as well.
From an expressive point of view, moreover, there is no doubt the advantage you will gain by using a tone of voice closer to that of your interlocutor. Communication will become more fluid and the chances of building a sales pitch will increase exponentially.
3 – Become a product and industry expert
You cannot get the most out of it without being a top expert: knowledge is again a decisive element.
We have talked about how important it is to study the prospect thoroughly. But this information is of little use if it is not backed up by in-depth product knowledge.
It is essential that the entire team is fully educated about the product or service being sold, so that they are able at all times and in all contexts to bring out the relevant aspects.
Similarly, an excellent knowledge of the positioning is essential. Being aware of the latest developments in the reference context means a better ability to approach the customer and a better understanding of his needs.
Relating to a prospect as an expert also helps to create a feeling of reliability and to establish a relationship based on trust.
For all these reasons, training the sales team is therefore a fundamental element of the process, as well as an investment with an assured return.
4 – Stop selling and start donating
To make sales, you have to focus only on sales. Right?
The best way to establish a profitable relationship is to base it right from the start on positive feelings, such as esteem, trust and gratitude. What better way than to donate something? And the most high-value asset your company possesses is (once again) knowledge.
The good news is that knowledge is a shareable, non-exclusive asset. If your company donates knowledge, it does not impoverish itself; on the contrary, it encourages the creation of a flow of communication and sharing that enriches everyone who contributes to it.
This can be done in a more or less direct way. Having carefully gathered information about the company and its needs, you will know how your knowledge can be useful and you will be able to recommend a certain action or direct the prospect to a specific resource, even better if it is your own.
The act of ‘giving information‘ can also be done in a mass manner, thanks to content marketing and lead nurturing. These types of sales techniques are intended precisely to ‘nurture’ the prospect by informing and educating him or her so that he or she will naturally approach your product.
These long-term approaches are particularly suitable in the case of B2B business which, as we have pointed out, has sales cycles with longer lead times.
5 – Don’t “sell at any cost”
The old ‘sell at any cost’ mentality is now to be forgotten. The large amount of resources spent chasing and cornering the customer must be shifted instead to the creation and transmission of value.
Times have changed and, as research shows, consumers are increasingly inclined to take time to make an informed choice, informing themselves about the product, reading reviews, comparing prices and eventually deciding on a purchase.
Consumers have become much better at distinguishing between messages that are merely intended to sell, and those that instead propose value and concrete solutions.
For this reason, it is essential to present your product or solution with clear and accurate descriptions, using as much information as possible such as pictures, videos, reviews and all kinds of useful resources to allow the product to be evaluated in the best way for different needs.
So let the customer consciously decide that your proposal is the best one for him, and take care to provide all possible resources to enable him to get the most out of your product.
B2B sales techniques: what is changing?
The changing dynamics in the world of marketing has meant that a different approach to B2B sales techniques is needed. The potential customer is no longer passive, but decidedly proactive in seeking information about the most suitable solutions for his or her context.
This means an increasing importance of presenting an image of one’s own company first, and then of the product, that is coherent and constructed for the purpose of communicating value.
Conclusion: how to communicate value effectively?
Understanding the great importance of knowledge in B2B sales techniques and the dynamics that drive them.
First of all, in-depth knowledge of the product or solution one is going to offer is absolutely essential, so as to be perfectly able to convey the value of the product in any context.
There must also be an effort aimed at obtaining the maximum available information on the prospect company: characteristics of the business, specific language used and solutions already adopted.
Last but not least, we must emphasise the importance of having a deep knowledge of the reference sector, which allows for a better understanding of the prospect’s needs and his predisposition to move into the sales funnel.