B2B sales are the sales that take place between two companies, hence B2B. These figures are characterized by a longer sales cycle, more conditions, larger contracts and more stakeholders to consider than B2C sales.
It is therefore essential to consider a strategic approach, customer segmentation and a well-developed sales strategy when making B2B sales.
What is B2B sales?
B2B sales, also known as business-to-business sales, can seem complicated at first glance. However, with the right strategy and tools, the process can be simplified and optimized.
The strategic approach to B2B sales involves multiple analytics, integration of marketing, CRM systems, and competitor analysis and some also use the sales wheel to better understand their sales. Below we have listed the key criteria for B2B sales.
- Deep understanding of the specific market
- accurate identification and segmentation of potential customers
- effective communication of your unique VPs and solutions in relation to the needs of your ICP.
- building long-term relationships with customers
Understand your target audience
Knowing your target audience down to their every need is the key to success in B2B sales. This involves thorough research and data collection so you have an overview of their demographics, industry, and role and can deduce their needs. In some cases, it may be relevant to create a persona that will help you best understand your target audience’s needs and ultimately identify your exact customer types.
It is therefore essential that you as a company can step into your target audience’s shoes. Explore their buying behaviour, identify their daily challenges, understand their expectations and design a solution that creates real value for them.
Demographic analysis is the first essential step in the B2B sales journey. This type of data is the starting point for an effective and targeted sales strategy.
- Understanding company size, industry and location
Size can indicate how many prospects you need to consider, the industry can tell you which VPs you need, and location is essential in terms of your business. communication.
The next step is to dive into your target audience’s process, and how they buy products or services. Is it a complex process that requires an in-depth understanding of the target audience’s needs and preferences?
This is important because it helps to understand how, why and when potential customers make buying decisions. This should be used for how aggressive you should be in your communication, should you target indirect decision makers or should you wait until spring for example.
The above can help you fine-tune your sales offer, communication strategy and customer service to meet the specific needs and challenges your target audience faces.
It’s important to remember that B2B buying behaviour can vary greatly depending on the industry, the size of the company, and the specific role that makes the buying decision. Therefore, customized communication and product offerings based on these differences are necessary to increase the chances of successful sales.
It’s important to note that B2B buying behaviour can change over time. It is therefore important to update your sales strategy so that it is always aligned with your target audience, and market trends and delivers value to your customers
Small and medium-sized businesses vs. large enterprises
The customization of your sales strategy depends largely on the size of your business. While small and medium-sized businesses can often make a quick decision, larger companies require a more structured and long-term approach.
- Customize your communication: Small businesses often need a more direct and personal approach, while larger companies need tailored communication with more people involved.
- Understand the structure of the organization: Large companies often have complex structures with multiple decision-makers. Your sales strategy should take these hierarchies into account.
- Consider the sales cycle: The sales cycle for large businesses is often longer than for small and medium-sized businesses, so plan your time and resources accordingly.
Identifying qualified leads
In B2B sales, it’s very important to qualify leads. The definition of this is ensuring the lead is relevant to you. This can be done by asking the lead very specifically if they are interested in your products or services.
This can also be done through data analysis where you have specific criteria for revenue growth, employee retention or other criteria and qualify leads accordingly.
Effective use of algorithms can optimize your sales process by identifying the most valuable leads.
Algorithms can also be a powerful tool in lead qualification. By incorporating algorithms into your sales process, they can help you sort your leads and prioritize those that are most likely to result in a sales transaction – this is called predictive lead scoring.
Using data analytics
There’s no getting around it in 2023, data analytics is a powerful way to streamline B2B sales. But it requires up-to-date and relevant data on your customers, which can be obtained through integrations (Radiant partners with Vainu, for example, which enriches data for you). With the help of data analytics, you can streamline
- Identifying patterns and trends in your ICP
- Understanding buying behaviour based on data analytics
- Leverage data analytics to create targeted sales campaigns
- Use data analytics to better understand your leads and optimize your communication with them
- A/B test your sales process
The above are all examples of what is possible with data analytics and are considered an important, but major step in a more efficient sales process.
Segmentation of leads
Segmentation is an important method in B2B sales. By dividing your leads into specific groups, you can tailor your communication and offers to match their specific needs, creating a more targeted and effective sales strategy.
To segment, it may be relevant to look into getting a CRM system (if you don’t already have one). This can significantly improve your segmentation options. Now your segmentation can be based on lead scoring, last interaction date, which pages on your website they have interacted with, industry and much more.
By using lead scoring, you can effectively prioritize your sales efforts on the most promising leads. It’s a strategic approach to B2B sales that helps you focus resources where you have the best opportunities.
This approach involves a systematic look at the lead’s interests, behaviour and potential. By weighing and scoring these parameters, the sales team is better equipped to navigate the sales process.
Building a sales funnel
An effective sales ladder is essential in B2B sales, where complex buying decisions and longer sales cycles are the norm. A well-structured funnel manages the potential from being just a lead to a paying customer.
Building an effective sales funnel involves strategic lead generation, qualifying leads, crafting sales proposals and successfully closing deals. Each step is tailored to best serve the customer’s unique needs and buying journey.
The goal here is to generate leads for your sales and marketing department. This can be done through various methods such as SEO, content marketing and paid ads.
As mentioned earlier in the article, this is where you qualify a lead, typically by asking the lead if they have a specific need or by looking at financial figures etc. to see if they are relevant.
This is where an offer is made to the lead. This must be personalized to their needs, many vital parts of the offer must be discussed such as price, services/products, etc.
Here it’s important to review expectations of each other, expected outputs and the length of the contract.
Use a CRM system and your existing tech stack
By using a CRM system, you can streamline your B2B sales as it eases the task of managing customer interactions and improves tailored offers to different customer segments. CRM systems make the battle strategy more data-driven and help achieve sales targets.
In the article, it has been discussed that data, segmentation and tailored offers/pitch are among the most important criteria for effective B2B sales. All of these elements an optimized CRM system helps with. A CRM system is considered a salesperson’s best friend and will 99% of the time assist your B2B sales.
Likewise, it’s essential to use other integrations as well as your existing tech stack. By using integration, you’ll be able to streamline and open up more opportunities in your sales process.
Measuring and optimizing sales strategy
Using a CRM system, you can effectively measure and optimize your sales strategy by analyzing data and identifying trends. This allows you to customize your approach to better match your customers’ needs and perhaps align with their internal agenda.
The goal of measuring and optimizing your sales strategy is to understand what has worked, what should be optimized, and which campaigns or offers have created the most value for your customers.
KPIs and measurement parameters
Identifying and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential for an effective B2B sales strategy. KPIs such as conversion rate, average sales cycle length and order value are important benchmarks for success.
However, it’s also important to remember that KPIs only show one side of the story, but you also need to supplement it with a general business understanding. For example, there is a greater tendency to close more customers at the end of a year/quarter, which doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong at the beginning of the year/quarter, but you just need to look at other KPIs such as pipeline building.
Get help with B2B sales
At Radiant, we have helped more than 100 companies implement a tailored CRM system for their sales process. This includes pipeline building, streamlining the sales process, intelligent segmentation and data enrichment.
Over the past 6 years, we have collected more than 15,000 sales touch points, identified best practices and a safe approach that has secured our Sales as a Service customers more than 55 million in ARR.
Get a tailored review of your HubSpot, sales process or hear how Sales as a Service can deliver you a bigger pipeline and revenue. Contact us for a no-obligation chat.