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Business Marketing

B2B sales process, know the bases to develop it

Is your sales process suitable for the new B2B buyer? Today, customers want to buy but they don’t want you to sell them. The time has come to put speech aside and take a consultative role, since the B2B client wants to be informed and have alternatives to choose the option that meets their needs. 

While we know that B2B sales generally involve higher trade exchanges, they also entail long buying cycles and a high prospecting cost, as markets tend to be smaller and sales more rational. 

However, a defined and customer-centric B2B sales process can be the difference between a missed opportunity and a buyer who repeats the purchase or even becomes an ambassador for your brand. 

3 Tips to add value to prospects 

It is becoming more and more common to hear sales gurus use the phrase add value , but what does it mean and why is it important to do it from prospecting? 

Think about the last time you made a purchase, what elements had the greatest weight in deciding you? The characteristics of the product, the benefits or the attention that the seller gave you? 

The customer is the one who defines whether the value we provide is high or low, so we must focus our sales process on it. From how we have an approach to how we understand their problems and propose a way of solution. It’s about understanding him beyond knowing his name and birthday. 

Normally, in B2B companies there are multiple filters to decide the purchase, in addition to the fact that the decision makers usually have a vast technical knowledge, which requires the seller to have sufficient expertise and active listening.

Adding value from prospecting means orienting our value proposition towards the client’s needs. 

In this sense, it is essential that the sales team have clarity in your value proposition for each of your products and / or services, as well as understand how you can solve the pain of your ideal client. To do this, it is necessary: 

1. Identify high-fit prospects 

How many times have you chased a sale that didn’t close? In sales, time is money and to establish a good B2B sales process , the entire sales team must know who is a good customer for the organization or at the product level. 

Using a CRM and segmenting the contact base is essential to optimize the efforts of the sales force. But how are we going to define a good lead? And when is the ideal time to move a lead to sales? 

Using a matrix to measure interest and fit is very useful to prioritize the best qualified leads and stop wasting time on those who are not yet ready to buy. By focusing on profitable customers, it is easier to improve sales efficiency .  

2. Understand the context of the prospect

To establish a communication that empathizes with the prospect, it is necessary for the interlocutor to master their characteristics, what they are looking for, what their needs, motivations and challenges are. 

Understanding its context will not only help us to determine the messages that we will use, but it will also be useful to question, in your own interests, what is the consequence of not implementing our solution or what value does our service bring you in that context? 

In addition, it will be key to carry out an investigation to know: 

  • What happens in the prospectus industry?
  • What happens in your company?
  • What happens in your personal life?
  • What are your concerns and which companies offer solutions to your challenges?

In the same way, find out in which channels the prospects operate, what language they use, what type of information they share. In this way, it is much easier to open the conversation based on your pain and interests .

3. Messages that connect with the needs of the prospect

Imagine that you go into a department store to buy a perfume and a saleswoman approaches you with different types of clothes. In addition to being invasive, since you did not request their intervention, the product offered is not what you are looking for.

If we really want to awaken the interest of prospects, we must understand that during their purchase journey they will go through different stages, during which it is necessary to adapt our messages and offers . Remember that we are the ones who seek to participate in the purchase decision process, not them in our sales process.

Therefore, throughout the business process, we must establish a bridge between the customer’s challenge and our solution. For this, we can use different offers, for example, an article, informative videos, webinars. Likewise, communication must be based on the stage of the journey in which our prospect is.  

The AIDA model is a sales technique used to write high-value messages . It is the mirror of the purchase process, which is made up of the following stages: 

  • Awareness. The person recognizes a problem, need, desire, etc.
  • Investigation. He begins to inform himself about his problem.
  • Decision. Compare the alternatives to solve it.
  • Action. Make the purchase.

Now, the 4 phases of the AIDA method to write valuable messages are: 

  • Attention. What motivates your prospect to seek a solution? How to earn their interest? To capture their attention, you can use the common challenges of the business or industry to which they belong and define a unique value proposition. 
  • Interest. It’s about empathizing with the prospect, letting them know that we know what they are going through, and finding out what matters to them to solve immediately.
  • Desire. At this point it is important to denote the benefits of acquiring our solution, what the prospect can expect if they work with us.
  • Action. Finally, define what we want the prospect to do. For example, requesting a free demo, consulting, downloading an offer, registering for an event, etc. 

Build a customer-centric sales process

An effective B2B sales process happens when your salespeople ask the right questions, in the right order, through active listening to bridge the gap between customer needs and the benefits of your solution . 

Salespeople need to build value from prospecting, identify the most relevant challenges, and ultimately serve as trusted advisors. What sales technique do your salespeople use? Without a defined business process, it is very difficult to know what works and what does not. 

Baseline selling is a sales methodology that establishes the bases that the seller must touch and that are necessary to establish a repeatable and scalable sales process . It is based on 4 stages: 

1. Understanding the client 

At this point, there should be a common language between your marketing and sales teams. Both must know, based on the matching matrix, who is a good prospect, what the value proposition is, and establish a consensus about the processes corresponding to each department. 

Based on this, do a thorough investigation to identify the prospect’s problems and potential areas of opportunity . What are your pain points? What goals are not being met? What processes could we improve?

This information not only serves to establish the relationship between our value proposition and the customer’s need, but is also useful to open the conversation when scheduling an appointment or call, as well as to compose prospecting messages and emails. 

2. Exploratory Phase 

The purpose of this stage is to gain the trust of the prospect. Empathy is essential to argue based on context. Make him question from his own interests and challenges, why you (prospect x) and why at this time? 

Identify the problem and the strong reason to buy, as well as why your company is the best option. The following question exercise can help you build your messages: 

  • Situation or context. To know where your prospects are, what processes they follow and what are the common problems they face. Eg. Why do they do x this way? What tools do they use for x? What are their main goals?
  • Pain points. Once we understand the symptoms, we can make a diagnosis of the situation. Eg. Are you satisfied with x process? Does the current provider comply with the established? What does it require to solve x problem? 
  • Implication of our solution. To adapt our message or solution to your pain. These questions focus on the value, importance, or usefulness of the solution. Eg. How does x problem affect the growth of the company? What is the cost of not solving x situation for the work team? 

For example, the coronavirus has put companies in compromising situations, while some are surviving (tourism, restaurants), others are adapting to digital media, and finally some are growing (streaming). 

Each industry will have particular problems. What is the urgent priority? Sustain cash flow? Reduce expenses? Digitize demand generation? Launch new products? You must build your value proposition from these needs. 

3. Present the value proposition 

Where there is value, there is budget

After the exploratory phase, it is not about jumping to the sale and convincing, but about understanding how we can help the prospect and define if our solution can really solve their problem.

At this point it will be crucial to meet with decision makers who need to evaluate our solution, establish kpi’s and the criteria to decide the purchase. 

4. Closing 

Finally, to close the sale, a presentation of the proposal is made to work with the prospect in order to reach a consensus, as well as set mutual expectations and obligations. 

In our experience, as we have more knowledge of the prospect, as well as a documented business process, it will be easier to run the bases smoothly. 

In this guide, you will learn how to establish a repeatable and scalable B2B sales process that helps you increase your sales . Download it, it’s free.

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