If you sell to other businesses, you know how challenging it can be to close a sale. It’s not getting easier anytime soon.
Because closing a B2B sale requires you to connect and convince not just one buyer, but several of them. And according to one report from Harvard Business Review, the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today.
When so many people are involved convincing becomes even more onerous. Now the question is how can you convince people and boost your B2B Sales? Given below are 7 ways to do that:
1. Capitalize on referrals
Loyal customers are always happy to give referrals, but they need a little nudging to do that.
91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals.
And guess what? Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t.
Referrals’ are a gold mine and all you have to do to extract gold from it is just ask.
Here’s how to make the ask without looking desperate and pushy:
Create marketing material for the referral. Why? This way you don’t have to ask someone directly for the reference but only have to hand out your marketing material, and it will make it easier for them to remember it.
Make your ask personal. Why? Because if you ask someone with a personal message whether by email or phone call chances are high, they won’t ignore it.
Be specific. Why? Because of the clearer your ask, the better the chance that your customers will act.
Make it easy for them to refer you. Why? Because the easier you will make them to refer you the better the chances that they will do it.
Stay connected with them. Why? Building relationships take time, but once you build a relationship with them, it will become easier for you to ask for a favour as well as get one.
2. Focus on the complete buying cycle
Buying cycle is not the same as it uses to be years back; it’s changing. It has become more decentralized. More and more buyers are waiting longer to initiate contact with the sales team and researching on their own. Besides, the number of people involved in the buying group has also increased significantly. If you aren’t helping people at every stage of their journey, you won’t be able to reach them and convert them at later stages. According to DemandGen Report, 95% of buyers choose a solution provider that provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.
3. Build a connection
Often, salespeople think that selling is all about pitching their product or services to prospects. The reality, however, is that selling is all about building trust and relationship with the buyers. Especially when it comes to B2B, a salesperson job is not to sell. It’s to facilitate and educate the prospects. You’ve to put the needs of the customers ahead of your needs.
Remember B2B sales cycles are often very long if you won’t be able to build relationships you won’t be able to seal the deal. So, focus on building rapport first and then try to sell. Remember, people do business with people they like.
Given below are few tips to help you build a sales relationship:
- Be an active listener.
- Be honest.
- Be human.
- Be willing to help, always.
- Be patient.
4. Figure out what makes your customers tick
Regardless of whether you are selling a product or services, some of your customers may be price sensitive, while some may be more concerned about the quality, you need to be able to group people based on these attributes and pitch them accordingly. Also, you need to understand their business.
Because when you know what your customers do and what they want you’ll be able to present relevant solutions to them, and that’s the key to landing the B2B sale. According to one survey conducted by Demand Gen, 93% of B2B buyers say they value vendors who demonstrate experience of and knowledge in the industry—but industry insight alone isn’t enough unless you can apply that expertise to the prospect’s business challenges.
5. Develop and practice patience
If you really want to close more sales and keep doing that, prepare to wait and fail a lot and be ready to rebound. You will talk to a lot of prospects and think they’ll respond — but none of them will. You’ll spend weeks or even months building a relationship and closing a deal, and the potential deal will fall through at the last moment.
That will happen not just once but many times; that is the nature of the beast. If selling had been that easy, everyone would do it. But it isn’t — it’s a long-term game that you will have to compete and complete in with patience.
6. Set realistic expectations
Setting unrealistic expectations is very common when closing sales. How often do you hear claims like “It will take only minutes to integrate our product!” or “We will generate thousands of qualified leads for your business within a month!” Even if your claim is slightly ramped-up, it will ruin your relationship with the customer later on.
Setting unrealistic expectations is a recipe for losing the trust of your customers. Talk about the benefits of your product and services – how it will solve your customers’ problem but at all costs, avoid committing to something you won’t be able to deliver.
Remember if you want to keep your customers happy always under promise and over deliver.
7. Master the art of persuasion
Every successful salesperson I know is extremely good at persuading prospects. Not manipulating or pressuring, but genuinely convincing: Describing the benefits of using their product or services to close more sales.
Having the ability to persuade is a skill that can help you in every field of life; as everyone needs to harness the power of persuasion: to convince other people that their idea makes sense. But learning this skill is extremely critical when it comes to sales. Given below are a few ways to become more persuading:
- Tell both the positives and negatives of your product or services.
- Always end the conversation on a positive note.
- Talk confidently.
- Give them time to process what you’re saying.