Because this is a very complicated and complex question, it cannot be answered in one simple sentence.
B2B Sales is probably the most difficult and one of the most sophisticated processes in business. It is difficult, (sophisticated/complex) because you have to convince another company to part with its money. And, in B2B sales, this usually requires more than one person (group or committee) to say yes.
There are many things a B2B sales person must know and understand before he/she can become good at his/her craft. This is true with most professions, but in no other job, other than marketing, must you get another company to part with its money.
There are three areas that B2B sales people must be competent in, before they will be able to sell. B2B marketers should also be competent in these areas too.
We revealed the first area last timeNo Selling Skills. Let’s look at the second area today – Internal Company Issues.
As you can see from the graphic, you must demonstrate results to your prospects, based on the value your products and services bring to these prospects. That builds the TRUST, which develops the relationship, needed for your prospects to buy from your company.
And most companies do not give their sales and marketing people the knowledge they need to sell properly.
Let’s look at what basic knowledge is needed for B2B sales and marketing people to sell your products and services. There are seven areas that your company needs to know in order to sell knowledgably to your prospects and clients, to build that trust.
1. Know Ideal Client Company
2. Know Ideal Client Personas
3. Know Client Goals
4. Know Client Issues
5. Know Your Value Proposition
6. Know Your Differentiators
7. Know Your Competition
Ideal Client: The first two knowledge areas are obviously closely related. You must know what your ideal client looks like, and who, within your ideal client, is the decision maker, and what he/she looks like.
You need to understand the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your ideal client company. What does their marketplace look like? And where within that marketplace do they sit? Are they SMB’s, or very large corporations? Are they in the private or public sectors?
Your ideal client personas must show a detailed description of this person. Build an avatar so that when you send out information and content, you feel like you are actually talking to a real person, and they feel that you really understand them. This will draw them in, and give them a warmer feeling about you and your company.
Goals & Issues: One area, that I feel most companies omit, is understanding their ideal client’s goals. Yes, you have to know their issues. But if you understand their goals, then you can always relate how your products and/or services are not only helping them resolve issues, but more importantly, helping them reach their goals.
And let’s face it; people really only want to solve issues so they can reach their goals.
Value Proposition: Most company’s value propositions, if they exist at all, are usually very weak. They don’t really show the prospect what is in it for them. They don’t show numbers, either exact numbers or percentages, that their company brings their prospects by buying their products.
This will give the buyers of your products/services a better reason, and understanding, of why they should buy from you. It makes your sales’ and marketers’ jobs a lot easier. It also allows you to sell based on value vs cost plus.
These numbers can sometimes be difficult to get, but when done correctly, these numbers will give your company a big leg-up over your competition.
These numbers also serve as a differentiator for your company. And if you relate these numbers to solving issues and to your prospects goals, you have an even better chance of winning the sale!
And these numbers also show how your prospect can reach his/her goals much easier.
Differentiation: You also need to build other differentiators. You need social proof in the form of case studies and testimonials. People believe what other people say about your company nine times more than what you say about your own company. These are great differentiators.
Competition: And lastly, you must know who your competition is. However, in today’s connected world, it is becoming more difficult to know all of your competitors. There will be competitors that come at a solution for your prospect in a much different way than your company does. You must be prepared for this, and that is why you need all of the knowledge elements listed and explained above.
So, as you can see, B2B selling and marketing is not a simple issue. It is sophisticated, or complex, and there is a lot of work involved in ensuring your company is ready to well; especially in today’s connected world. Once your sales and marketers know have this knowledge, your sales will grow at a much faster rate.
So give your sales and marketers the knowledge they need, as described above, and you will increase your chances of success multifold.