How do I improve my sales in B2B

When it comes to B2B sales it can be a very frustrating situation when you are not getting the expected results. After spending so much effort, energy, and doing the right things if prospects are not buying from you then you need to start analyzing your data and re-look on your sales & marketing activities to acquire new customers.

B2B sales are different from B2C where you have a lot of walk-in and inquiries and they are easily converted into sales within a short period. So the sales & marketing strategy should be different when it comes to B2B. Below are some of the points to consider or to make the correction on your activities to acquire new customers in B2B Sales.

What are your prospects buying?

Firstly, you must figure out who is your target audience. This can be done by visualizing who could need your product/services and what is the typical solution you can solve to make your prospects’ life easier. So the first step is to find what pain or problem your prospects are experiencing, what causes them to wake up at night cold sweat, what they are not satisfied with.

What your prospect buy is a solution to their problem! You can find out by simply asking “What is the challenge you are facing right now?”“What would you change or do differently in the current product?” “If I could give you the ideal product, what features it will have?”, “What you don`t want to see in your ideal product/service?”

Start Creating Relationship:

In Sales, there is a saying ” you don’t close a sale you open a relationship” you have to build a relationship with people. People buy from people they usually like, trust, and believe they can help them.

Below are some things to make a note while building a relationship with your prospects.

  • Speak about what they want and not what you want.
  • Make them feel important-all people deserve to feel this way.
  • Don’t argue with your prospects. No winners in an argument.
  • Be honest and no one likes liars.
  • Listen to your prospects. It is a rare commodity today.

Build your value:

What your prospects expect out of your product/services is value. Selling is a process of exchanging value for money, and the bigger your value the more you will get paid. The bigger problem a prospect has and the more it is urgent the value of solving it goes up. If we have a desire or a need goes up the value of the solution or getting that desire also will go up. So CREATE VALUE!

Building Marketing Infrastructure for your Small Business

If you have already set up your website and company’s domain email address, now it’s the time to build a Marketing Infrastructure for your small business. The first mistake most of the startup or small businesses make once they are in the market is, they focus more on branding their business instead of sales. They put so much effort into marketing, putting the name out in the market, spends a lot in advertising, and expect that result will flow in soon. It’s like you spray a beautiful essence of perfume and you expect people to walk into your business by that aroma.

Let us understand first What is Marketing Infrastructure? and Why it is necessary to start building Marketing Infrastructure for your small business?

As I mentioned earlier most of the startup & small businesses do random acts of marketing to attract customers. The reason is they are not building a Marketing Infrastructure – a system where a cold lead enters one end and turns into a raving fan customer on the other end.

You need to have that marketing infrastructure built so that which will constantly bring in new leads, follow them up, nurture, and convert them into a raving fan customer. For a small business or startup if you lay the foundation of Marketing Infrastructure, I am sure you reap a lot of benefits in the long run.

To build the system, you need to think through from start to end. You will need to understand how it works and what resources will need to run it. Below are some of the assets you can start building for your Marketing Infrastructure.

  • Inquires or Lead Capture Websites.
  • Blog
  • Newsletter
  • Case Studies
  • Social Media
  • Email Sequence
  • Auto-Responders Email
  • Auto-Responders SMS
  • Whitepaper of your product/services that you offer

All of these have a place and a purpose, the ads that you run can be design to plug cold leads into the system and convert them into a raving fan customer. Just like it takes time to build networks or roads, it does take time to build a Marketing Infrastructure, and after that its just the maintenance.

Let me know in the comment section below if you are also building one of these, I would love to hear that and happy to help to cover any of the topics above.

How to adapt change in your Sales career and achieve better results!

Over the years we see a lot of changes in our customer buying journey right from purchasing a Soap to an Aircraft. The customers are in control as they know how any information can be found as they seek before they show interest in listening to your sales pitches and going through your product/services brochure. The AI and Automation taking over most of the jobs, as a Salesperson we should adapt the changes and achieve better results in pursuit of our career.

According to recent studies by the end of 2020, the interaction of a customer and business will not be by an actual human. 40-50% of the time spent on sales activities could be automated by technologies currently available—which, of course, get smarter every day. For salespeople who follow traditional methods of prospecting, qualifying and moving closer to sale will not be good news.

Companies enabling digitization with AI, machine learning & automation are meant to simplify and streamline the processes, saving companies time & money while bringing extra value to the customers. These are clear signs that technologies can do a lot in the world of sales. Only the Smart Sales Pros will embrace change at every turn, accordingly, they will adapt and change their sales strategies.

How to adapt change in your Sales Career and achieve better results!

The first thing we should always remember that “people buy from people” the importance of human touch isn’t decreased with the advancement of technologies. In the world powered by technologies, for a salesperson having a solid reputation as a credible subject matter expert, strong network-especially with those high-level decision-makers are the most valuable currencies of all.

Instead of focusing to push the product/services that you sell and meet your sales quotas (which is also important) make time every day to build a personal brand and expand a personal network.

Think like a customer and understand the challenges that they face, start building your expertise and knowledge on how you can solve those challenges.

Write about your expertise and knowledge in a blog, talk about in a video or any social channel, present those topics which you are expert in Industry Events & Forums – make a name for yourself in the industry you’re immersed in. It’s not all that difficult, you’ve just got to want to do it. 

Lastly, it’s important to distinguish between technology replacing the role of a salesperson versus technology enhancing the ability of salesperson to skyrocket their performance. If Salespeople can learn how to leverage AI, automation & machine learning to help them delivering on all fronts without loosing the sight of the importance of human touch, they will not only succeed but also thrive in this Digital Age.

Starting out your Career in Sales

When I come across a lot of MBA’s graduate, they do not want to start their career with Sales. They are always on the lookout to get into Business Management or Marketing, Business Operations, etc. They always have a fear of dealing with the pressure, rejections in Sales.

The point is if you want to understand how any business functions, get into Sales. If you want to know how the revenue of a company is flowing, get into Sales. No company or organization can function without Sales and every company requires a Sales Men to get the money flowing.

Below are some of the points to keep in mind when starting with your Sales Career.

  • The first and only rule is to be very self-disciplined with your job.
  • You will face a lot of rejections while reaching out to prospects and it should not be taken personally.
  • Always know your audience whom you are targeting.
  • Follow your instinct and be a solution provider, not a salesman with your prospects.
  • Be very passionate about your job and always keep learning to improve yourself.

The more time you will spend on this career the more skills you will acquire and the more time you will face with your customers/prospects the better you will familiarize yourself with the products/services that you sell.

You will also have very good control over spoken & written communications as you will be interacting with your prospects/customers every time.

There is also a lot of commission that Salespeople earn with their job apart from their Salary. Once you start receiving this commission you will certainly have financial freedom.

The more you will sell, the more commission you will earn.

Targeting the Right Prospects for your B2B Sales

Targeting the right prospect for your B2B sales can be very challenging. You should know everything about your target prospects from their demographics and interest to their buying behaviors.

The better you understand your prospects and their pain points and motivations, the easier it will be for you to target and convert your leads into sales.

Below are some of the elements to target the right prospects:

  • The Account Development Framework: Account Development is a phone-based team focused exclusively on identifying, connecting with, and qualifying leads to generate an early-stage pipeline for the sales organization.
  • Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): A Sales executive should primarily focus that fits the ideal customer profile. The Ideal Customer Profile defines the type of accounts that the organization believes are most likely to close.
  • Buyer Persona: The target Buyer Persona describes the attributes of the individual prospects within an account that are ideal contacts in a sales process. Personas help you articulate the prospect’s pain point in their language.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): The MQL definition combines the ICP and Buyer Personas to determine which leads are a higher priority for the Sales Executive to follow up. The MQL definition combines the ICP and Buyer Personas to determine which leads are a higher priority for the Sales Executive follow up. The MQL definition tells you who to reach out to next.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a lead that meets the organization’s definition of qualification and is ready for a conversation with sales. The SQL definition is the minimum threshold a prospect must meet to be accepted as sales qualified. You must have an answer to each of these requirements for SQL to be ready to convert to sales.

Popular Online Game PUBG teaching to be a Team Player

Online game Player Unknown Battle Ground (PUBG) designed by Brendan Greene, has gained a lot of popularity. It can seem that people in several age group has been playing and also working professional during their free time. The player can choose to enter the match either solo, duo or, squad. The learning part comes when you have a squad to play i.e four people and commit to playing as a team to win the game.

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

PUBG is a very simple game where the last team survivor wins however some of your players may not survive till the end. Similarly, as we all deal in our professional life either we are working with a team or leading one. Working towards our goal & targets has been our daily routine however achieving great heights has always been possible when you have a dream team.

PUBG can be the most frustrating game and for one simple reason: it takes time to form a perfect squad and your squad to play as a team. You must understand your team weakness & strength, guide them on how to utilize their ability when it is needed. It may happen a lot of times in the game that because of one player all the squad loses at the beginning of the game.

Likewise in our professional life, a perfect PUBG team requires an Armour, Navigation, Sniper expert, and most importantly a leader who can make his team work together to win the game.

When you have a team whom you can rely on, no matter what the situation comes they make the dream work come true. It does take time in every field to find the perfect fit in your team and its only possible when you understand everyone’s strengths, weaknesses and guide them accordingly.

Finding the Right Prospects for your Business

Finding the right prospects for your business and then nurturing them into leads are the building blocks of a sales cycle. First of all, we need to understand.

What is a prospect?

Prospect is someone who has an interest in your business and your products. Prospect is someone who has a need, interest in what you have to offer.

We need to first understand who are our target audience before even start prospecting. What is that our solutions provide that add values to the prospect. We should be very convinced of our solutions or products that will benefit the prospect.

There are various ways of finding the right prospects for your business.

  • Referrals from your existing customer: Salespeople use this tactic to get the maximum sale. Existing customers will most likely refer you to others who are also in need of your product or services.
  • Social Media Platforms: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter offer a great way to connect and network with your prospect. It is also a great platform to start creating and nurturing relationships through engaging in conversations, sharing relevant content, and generally getting to know the people who are keen followers of your brand.
  • Networking Events and trade Shows: When participating in trade shows & networking events, Mingle! Engage with people face-to-face, tell them about yourself, your business, and your product and ask about them. Exchange contact details, add them to your database, and keep in touch.
  • Cold Calling & Email: This is one of the old school and the most effective way to find new prospects for your business. Be consistent on these two approaches, you may get a lot of rejection with these methods however I can promise that it will give you the best result if you are consistent.

Prospecting is the art of opening new relationships.

Connecting with Prospects without harassing them

It’s not necessary that every prospect we met was ready to buy. Most of the sales cycle takes a longer time than we would like. This requires salespeople to have patience, be persistent, however most importantly to stay in the mind of potential buyers. If you are wondering how to stay in touch with your prospect without harassing them, here is what I recommend.

Ways to keep in touch without harassing your prospect:

Clients are like plants, you have to keep watering if you want them to grow. This means you need to have a good relationship based on strong communications. Getting a bit personal with your client is no harm, you can throw in a little ‘intelligence’ about each client, i.e. listing what they like and something about their personal life.

Send them regular newsletters, informing about your work, press releases, a blog post which they may find interesting, latest updates on the industry there are into. It’s also a great way to keep communication.

Make use of Social Media such as LinkedInTwitter to stay connected with your prospect. Once you have made the initial connection with your prospect, search them whether they are active on these Social Media channels. Invite or follow them to connect with you and you will a fair idea on what kind of articles, blogs & content they consume which is also useful to build strong communications.

Nothing beats having voice communication with your prospect, make it a practice to call your prospect on their special occasions like to wish them or on Christmas & New Years Holidays.

Believe your instincts or gut feeling, for example, If you haven’t spoken to a client for some time and you get that gut feeling they might be thinking about you, pick up the phone and call them.

Finding the Right Sales Guru

The one common topic that most of the successful salespeople talk about is how much they owe their achievement to their mentors. Whether it’s a closing technique, following up with a potential prospect, or that little push they attribute their accomplishment, to having a guru to guide them.

Not every successful salesperson is a perfect guru for you, though. You need to find someone whom you admire who is successful, a good listener, and positive. Below are some of the tips to help you find the right Sales Guru:

  • What is that you want in a guru: Find someone who will guide you, help you overcome a particularly difficult challenge you are facing. Think about what is that you are hoping to gain from the relationship with your guru. What personal or business challenges are you hoping to overcome? Maybe you see yourself following a similar career path as your Sales Guru and want to know how s/he got there.
  • Look for someone who is successful & a good listener: Look for a guru who listens to understand and not to give a reply. S/he should understand you and offer a sounding board for the sales & career issues you are facing. Look for a guru with proven sales success, experience overcoming challenges, and achieving goals that are similar to your own.

A Sales Guru can catapult your success and once you start looking, you’ll notice potential candidates all around you. Set an appointment to talk over coffee. You might be surprised at how open they are to help, and just how much you’ll gain from the experience!

Understanding Customer Buying Behaviors

To understand customer buying behaviors it is important to comprehend how an individual makes a purchase and the dynamics that surround & influences to take the decision. It is not only important for businesses to make a sale of their product/services, it will also enable how to align their sales & marketing strategies to target the right audience and create more-enticing products and service offers.

If we go back few years down the lane, in India a face cream was advertise or marketed to make the people’s skin fair and having a brown/dusky skin was a taboo. Today’s generation has realized that you must be comfortable in your skin and it doesn’t really matter whether you are fair, brown/dusky or black. Businesses should adapt these changes in the customer buying behavior patterns and strategies while promoting products & service offers.

If we look at clothing, we have always seen that a brand promoting their products by a well-known celebrity or an artist eating at an expensive restaurant, traveling to an exotic location, driving an expensive car or attending a lavish wedding venue. As a brand owner it also needs to be realized that people also like to know how do they look wearing a brand clothing while taking a public transport in a bus or train. Businesses should understand these types of customer buying behaviors as well and India has a majority population of middle class.