7 things businesses should avoid in B2B sales

Are you a sales representative that can sell products to consumers effortlessly? Then, transitioning from Business to Consumer (B2C) sales to Business to Business (B2B) deals might confuse you. For instance, your first months (or even your first year in the industry) might be more challenging for you—struggling to close even one deal.

If you find yourself and your organization in this situation, remember that you can’t use the same sales strategies you did in B2C sales. And with that, here are the things you should know about B2B sales to generate more results for your organization.

What are B2B sales, and why are they more challenging than B2C deals?

B2B sales are transactions between two organizations rather than between a business and an individual consumer. So, it must always be a win-win situation for all parties. Salespeople also consider it more complex. Why? It is characterized by more significant transaction amounts, more educated clients, and long approval process.

Not only that, but research also found that 60% of B2B tech buyers are millennials (age 25-39), followed by Gen X customers (age 42-57) at 32%. With this, sales representatives are interacting with clients that are tech savvy and dependent on online reviews. In addition, B2B clients also prefer to research products they need, ensuring they have looked for valuable insights through the internet before contacting a provider.

The data proved that B2B clients are much more informed customers than B2C audiences, who are usually emotionally driven when purchasing. Hence, sales representatives should not opt for sales and marketing tactics designed for B2C organizations.

For instance, 42% of tech vendors think that chatbot is an effective marketing strategy, but only 10% of B2B clients are likely to respond to it. Meanwhile, B2C customers are more likely to purchase using a bot. In fact, recent research revealed that 60% of brands using chatbots are B2C businesses, and 47% of B2C clients are open to buying products through a bot.

On the other hand, software vendors saw significant improvements when using these B2B marketing strategies:

With the data shown above, we can assume that businesses with better customer feedback have a higher chance of getting new clients. This is because B2B clients look for testimonials, ensuring that their prospective products will genuinely add value to their business.

Meaning, B2B messaging is intellectually stimulating and harder to create, as clients have solid research methods when buying products. For instance, selling to B2C buyers often involves targeting emotions and temporary needs to influence purchasing decisions, while B2B buyers often make decisions based on logic.

7 things B2B businesses should avoid

Now that you have a better understanding of B2B sales and their differences from B2C deals, then, you must now realize that using the same strategies for both won’t work. Apart from that, here are also the seven things a sales representative should avoid when trying to close deals with clients:

Targeting big businesses only

There’s no better way to set sales goals than being realistic than ideal. Of course, it’s cool to close deals with some of the biggest giants in different industries, but you must also consider how big your team is.

Ask these questions: can your team handle huge organizations with thousands of staff? Does your team have the capacity to solve giants’ problems? Can your solution address more advanced and million-worth issues from these companies?

If not, then consider starting with small-medium businesses (SMBs). And, although their needs are simpler and the cost of customer acquisition is lower, they are the ones who will help your organization become prepared to handle some of the biggest clients in the industry. They also have specific problems, which you can use to improve your product. This way, you can confidently present more case studies that industry giants will be interested in.

Not asking the right questions during the demo

The right set of questions leads to the sweet ‘yes’ of clients, and the best place to do that is during a demo.

Salespeople must tailor their presentation according to what their prospective client currently needs. Then, they must ask valuable questions that will help them reveal more about their product’s benefits. After all, when clients do not hear what they want to know, they’ll feel like your solution won’t add value to their business. And the challenge is most organizations do not understand what they really want and need until you ask them a set of questions.

Here are some sample questions:

  • How badly do you need our product?
  • What are you trying to solve in your team?
  • What do you expect from a product like ours?
  • What is your budget and timeline for the goals you are trying to achieve?
  •  Who makes the final decision in your business?
Overselling and overpromising

When talking to a client, salespeople usually feel the urge to oversell and overpromise, as they think it can impress prospects. However, this might be a turn-off for most clients.

A client knows when a sales representative is confident with their product. And contrary to overselling and overpromising, knowing the limits of your product is the best indicator of how secure you are with it. Why? It’s simple. Not overselling and overpromising impress clients because they see that you are honest and genuine in addressing their problems. Moreover, if you oversell and overpromise, clients feel you’re mentioning too many things they don’t actually need.

Hence, when talking to a client, make sure that you highlight the tangible benefits they could get if they use your product or services.

You’re in a hurry to close deals.

As mentioned a while ago, B2B sales cycles are longer. In addition, since clients are also running their business, they require more meetings and calls, ensuring that they don’t make deals that aren’t best for their organization.

With long sales cycles, salespeople often give up on prospect clients easily, not knowing they are only one meeting, email, or call away from closing a deal.

Not looping in key decision-makers

Besides having a longer sales cycle, B2B has more people involved in one transaction. Unlike B2B sales, where businesses only interact with one person per deal, B2B sales involve more than five people in a purchase decision. These include managers, sales directors, marketing managers, product managers, and software developers.

So, a sales representative must continuously loop in these key managers, allowing them to access people who can understand them better during a demo.

Highly dependent on call and email marketing

Recent data showed that 93% of B2Bs use email for their marketing and sales strategy. Meanwhile, 57% of B2B salespeople plan to make more calls as part of their tactics to close deals.

Now, what does it mean for your business?

With hundreds of competitors calling and sending emails to your target audience, your chances of getting seen become lower. So, why not try another platform where you can reach more audiences and with less competition?

Here’s enter creating a sales funnel for your clients.

When you make a sales funnel, you pave the way for a better customer journey and experience. This includes interactions with your website, live chat agents, product marketers at a business event, online ads, social media pages, etc. These give you more exposure, increasing your chances of prospective clients’ noticing your products and services.

Not asking for the sale

Data showed that 36% of salespeople find closing deals the most challenging part of their job. So, to make this easier, sales representatives must ask for feedback and ask for the sale. While it does not necessarily translate into a signed contract, asking for the sale gives you a glimpse of where you currently sit in their customer journey. Hence, it provides what to improve in your next meeting and your next discovery session with a different client.

KEY TAKEAWAY

B2B sales are complex, primarily because of its customers. With this, sales representatives must use the perfect strategies for their target audience and ensure they do it right.

Enjoy a hassle-free B2B sales cycle with clients when you use The Sales Machine. It is a complete, integrated business success platform that guides sales representatives, marketers, and managers when closing deals or running campaigns. In fact, one of their early adopters enjoyed 131% ROI in just a month of using it. Want to learn more about The Sales Machine? Visit www.thesalesmachine.com to schedule a FREE demo.