I got a message from a new social media friend asking a simple question. “I am not sure I understand the 7 laws of B2B selling?”. To be honest I was not really sure what he ment by 7 laws. But it really made me start thinking. I love processes and concepts but if I was new to B2B sales where should I start? What do I need to learn? What comes first?
Personally I believe a lot of people have the totally wrong idea about sales. And it really annoys me when I hear someone saying that you are a born sales guy. Ahhhhhhh (I get frustrated). Of course being an excellent sales guy is hard work just like anything else and it is not luck or charm. It is all about processes and real skills.
My take on the 7 success factors for B2B sales
This is my suggestion for the 7 success factors for B2B sales and if you have any comment or suggestions for improvement I would love to hear them. Leave a comment in the end of the article or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nr 1 – Know how to create a really good value proposition
In B2B sales you are most likely interacting with your prospect many times over a long time period. It is very easy to fall into the dangerous trap of features and functions. Often I hear sales people start a pitch that is not focused around what is important, the customer. Instead their focus it to do their story talking about their product and company.
The first thing you need to learn is to stop talking and start listening. What you need to do is to build your value proposition for this specific customer. What is value proposition? It is a clear statement about the outcomes that an individual or an organization can realize from using your product, service or solution.
Key here is OUTCOME
And to know what outcome the customer really would like to have you need to ask questions. A lot of questions.
Tool for creating B2B Value Propositions
I have created a process for how you can learn how to create a really good value proposition for B2B. To read the article and get the tools – > Click Here
Nr 2 – Create a sales process and then improve it
B2B Sales is not a magic skill or something you are born with. Sales is hard work, learned skills and process. A lot of companies have sales processes the are produced by a management team or leader that don’t know what they are doing. Creating a sales process is hard work and if you do it really well you have an amazing tool to better understand your sales process and how you can improve it.
Tool – How to create a sales process for B2B
I have created a tool for how you can create a sales process for B2B. It presents a series of steps you need to take and examples of some really good sales processes. To read the article and get the tools – > Click Here
Nr 3 – Build an amazing presence on the web
When you have a problem or have a question what do you do?
Yes you will search the web. Your customers will do exactly the same thing and you need to make sure that they end up on your web page and that your web presence is amazing. And by amazing I don’t mean a web page where stuff fly around and looks cool. I mean a page that clearly explains the Value Proposition, the outcome the customer can expect and that have clear call to actions for how the customer can get value from you even though they are not ready to buy.
Nr 4 – Create a lead generating program
I believe a web page should be designed to collect a lot of leads and that is done by giving away something that is valuable to your prospects without being intrusive. It could be a guide, whitepaper or some type of tool. With a lot of leads you can do follow ups and close more deals. The best is to implement a Inbound Marketing strategy and you can learn more about Inbound at www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing
Once your site is generating leads you need to start working on improving it. I love this site http://growthhackers.com and I recommend you to sign up for their newsletter. After all B2B sales is all about Growth.
Nr 5 – Build a sales team that are constantly coached and trained
A lot of B2B sales managers seem to believe that their job is about following up numbers. My opinion is that sales managers should follow up people and focus on coaching and training. I believe that the sales result can only boost if there is a focus on sales peoples growth as individuals. I wrote this article about How you can start coaching today. Check it out at www.daniel-one.com/2013/05/19/coaching-employees-my-first-appreciation-letter-as-a-boss/ and boost your sales team productivity.
Nr 6 – Build a program to make customers to promoters and fans
How many times have you heard it is more cost efficient to keep a customer than get a new one? 10 times or more? Well the reason you heard it so many times is because it is true and surprisingly many companies seem to be really bad at this. You should always ask yourself “What can I do to keep my customer?” and action the answer you get. A very simple thing you can do is to send out a survey twice a year just to check how they are. People responding confirming they are not happy I would call at once and solve the issue they have. Customers that are happy I would call and thank them for being a customer.
Another idea is that you create videos, papers, tools etc to make it easier to use your product and service. By doing this you create stickiness and your customers will stay longer. It is a wise investment since it will also help you to sell more to prospects.
I have created a guide for 3 Steps for how you can Convert Customer to Fans. Click on the link to learn more.
Nr 7 – Analyse everything you have done and constantly continue to improve
As soon as you have built something you should wait for a month, analyse the result and see how you can improve. There is always something that can be better.
But don’t forget to stop sometimes and celebrate all your wins. Actually I think you should celebrate as often as you can.
BONUS – How to create a Sales Strategy for B2B
I have developed an inspirational sales strategy outline that I hope will help you develop a better and more efficient sales strategy. Please note that the outline most likely needs to be adjusted to your specific organization and set up. Click here to read the article.
Bonus – 4 Amazing Sales Tools I Use Every Day – Be Effective – Tools to Close Deals Faster
These are my four favourite sales tools that have helped me close the biggest deals of my life. The tools have helped me speed up my sales cycle and close more deals faster. Check them out!
BONUS – 11 steps to grow international sales
Check out my SlideShare presentation 11 steps to boost your international growth at http://www.slideshare.net/DanielNilsson4/official-11-steps-for-world-wide-sales or check it our below
Also published on Medium.