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In today’s competitive B2B market, sales managers have more to worry about than ever before. You have to manage your reps, develop territories, create effective strategies, research and implement sales technologies, and much more. In order to succeed, you need to understand exactly how the modern B2B sales environment works. Below are ten important sales tips to help your sales team succeed in 2017 and beyond:
Businesses don’t have the time to take a look at different products and features. They need to get down to the brass tacks - what can you do to help them? Train your sales team to focus on results and outcomes instead of features.
Too often, B2B salespeople are rigid when presenting solutions to prospects. Salespeople should focus on the prospect’s needs and tweak their presentation. Customizing your language based on what the prospect needs makes it easier to close the sale.
The key to success in B2B is truly understanding a customer and their needs. Your team should do no more than 30% of the talking in an initial sales call. This ensures the prospect feels valuable and that the salesperson has a solid grasp on their company and its needs.
In B2B, a truly valuable prospect won’t balk at a reasonable price if it’s going to help them achieve their goals. Stand behind your price and be proud that you offer a premium product. Let your competition destroy their margins and compete on price.
A typical B2B prospect has already done some basic research on their own and could be as far as halfway through the sales cycle. Don’t pull back and go over things they already know. Instead, focus on filling gaps for them and closing quickly.
Your B2B sales team need to be more than salespeople — they need to be educators. Often times, the customer might not even understand the root cause of their problems. A good sales rep will make sure develop a perfect solution for their prospect, but to teach them more about the issue and how it's being solved.
The B2B sales cycle tends to be longer than other sales cycles, so you need to take the time to cultivate and nurture your leads. Develop strategies to keep in touch with prospects. Set up tasks in your CRM and develop marketing collateral tailored to prospects in each specific step of the sales cycle. This will also help you maximize your conversion rates.
Do your research ahead of time so as not to waste your prospect's time. Don't ask about their line of work, become an expert before you even pick up the phone. This immediately gives you the upper hand on a sales call and gives you more time to learn about their specific problem rather than the type of work your prospect is doing.
Most B2B sales involve decision-makers at multiple levels of an organization. A popular strategy is to find a single brand champion who is willing to sell you to their peers and arm them with as much information as possible.
In the long-term, B2B sales success comes from differentiating yourself from the competition. Understand exactly how to position yourself and work hard to stay two steps ahead.
This article originally appeared on ConnectLeader's B2B Sales Blog.