B2B Sales – The Ultimate 2018 Enterprise Selling Guide
by Alla MusnickaPublished on December 15, 2017
B2B Sales is no easy task. Wouldn’t you agree?
Well, that’s why we developed the Ultimate B2B Sales Guide.
We believe that selling skills are essential to everyone and should be taught in school. Everyone needs selling skills on a daily basis – it’s a core part of your people communication toolkit. Every time you try to convince someone of something, you are actually selling your idea to them.
B2B Sales takes the selling skills to the next level. It’s much more complicated and requires more skills than selling in a retail environment.
When you are selling to organisations, you need to convince several people of the benefits of your product or service. Each of these customers has their own perspective, own character, own style and as such you would need to adapt to each one of them.
In Enterprise or B2B sales, you should also develop good planning and time management habits since you need to prioritise your activities. You need to develop innovation and problem-solving skills to find solutions to the common client objections and so on..
Whether you are an Entrepreneur, Sales professional, looking for a sale job or a Sales manager this Ultimate Enterprise Selling Guide will give you the needed skills, process and tools to help you prepare to increase your enterprise sales.
Sales is a fundamental aspect of any business as it aims to match the needs of the clients with the benefits that your product or service can provide to these clients.
Without sales, there is no business!
In what follows are a set of Skills and Techniques to keep in mind as you go about doing your B2B Sales.
Think of the way you are approaching your enterprise clients
The most successful salespeople exhibit two essential enterprise selling skills:
They have Empathy by being able to put themselves in the shoes of the customer and understand the client’s needs and requirements
They have Ego which drives them to overcome rejections and obstacles so that they can close the deal in a way that is good for them and the company
These two skills are necessary and need to be in balance at all time. Every person in the organisation can apply these skills since everyone is involved in selling something to someone.
How are your ego and empathy skills? Do you believe you use one more than the other?
Think of an opportunity that you are working on right now and reflect on which skill you are using more than the other. Are you giving the customer too much or are you being too aggressive with your approach?
Remember, nothing really happens in a business until someone sells something!
Think of the Benefits that your offerings provide your B2B customers
The sale of your products or solutions are what keep your company alive, and to best position your offerings you need to focus on the benefits that they provide to your clients instead of focusing on the features of these offerings.
In enterprise sales, there are 2 key benefits that are always of interest to clients and which you should capitalise on when positioning your offerings.
What you are selling should either help your clients:
Make more money
Everything else is considered a nice to have, but if you can demonstrate the above business impact of your offerings, you would get the clients’ attention.
Think of your offerings. How do they help your enterprise clients?
Do you help them make money, or save money or can you even do both? That would be great, wouldn’t it?
In most cases, you can find ways in which your products help your client make more money and save money.
Here’s an example of an enterprise sale done right:
Let’s say you are selling a CRM solution to your clients.
You can position the solution as a way to make more money since the company would be able to market to the right people and upsell.
You can also position the CRM solution as a way to reduce costs of time spent by the sales teams on digging through emails to find what was the last conversation trial with a prospect. The client might also be able to save costs on staff calling each other to be updated about the prospect. Through the CRM every team member can have the same customer view available to them when they need it saving money to the company.
In the end:
You are not selling your products or services but rather you are selling Money.
This money is in the form of savings or increase of revenue for your clients!
3 Ways to Segment your B2B Clients
Segmenting your clients helps you focus the message that you will deliver to them and in the process clarify the benefits that they would get in language that they would understand. It’s the first step in your B2B Sales Process.
Companies often segment their target corporate clients by:
Industry (Finance, telecom, Government, Education etc..)
Geography (Country or regional focus)
Size of Clients (by number of users, or revenue, or spending)
You might have more than one segment that you address or more than one sub-segment but by focusing your energies on the most relevant one you can ensure that the message to that segment is tailored and effective.
The bottom line:
You need to have a high impact, simple message that could be quickly delivered to and understood by your target clients!
5 key stages of the sales funnel and the B2B Sales Process
The sales funnel is the process of taking client opportunities through a qualification process towards a successful deal closure. It is essential in enterprise business to have a sales funnel since it provides the ability to forecast future revenue.
The B2B sales funnel stages include:
Prospecting which is the initial identification of possible opportunities
Qualifying or validating where we ensure that there is truly an opportunity in the account at this point of time and identify the key decision makers
Proposing by which we propose a solution to address the client needs within a budget that they have
Closing the deal which includes the final stages of negotiations
Winning the project and handing it over to the delivery team
These 5 stages represent the sales roadmap for any business and you should review them on a daily basis!
Methods to get more B2B Sales from your Enterprise prospects
Prospecting is the first stage of the B2B sales funnel and involves a low level of engagement with possible clients. The aim of this stage is to expand as much as possible the reach into the market and to identify new prospects.
Here are 4 ways for you to increase the number of prospects:
Networking at Events and Trade Shows
Email Campaign to your Contacts
Referrals from existing clients or friends
Reaching out to new leads on LinkedIn
Prospecting should be an ongoing process since sales is a numbers game and as such, you should aim to increase your chances of success by increasing the volume of leads you are working on.
After an initial interest from a client, the next step is to validate the opportunity and ensure that your time and efforts are well spent on the hottest leads.
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself as you qualify an opportunity:
Does the client seem to have an allocated Budget for the project?
Do my contacts in the client have the right authority to take a decision?
Is there are a need for my offerings?
Will the client be able to take a decision to move ahead in a timely manner?
This lead qualification method is called the BANT model and allows you to determine if you should propose for that opportunity.
5 essential components of winning B2B proposals
Proposals explain to clients our solution to their needs. They are time-consuming to produce so they should only be put together after good qualification of the opportunity.
Here are 5 essential components that you should add to your enterprise sales skills to generate in a winning proposal:
Summarise the proposal in an Executive Summary. Most clients would read this section so you should leave it till the end to ensure you cover all key points
Have a section that shows that you Understand Client Needs
Include a section that outlines Your Solution to those needs
Include an easy to understand Financial Investment section. Always refer to your sales price as an investment and not cost and as much as you can show the Return on that investment. You can also put next steps
Appendices to cover all other standard information, like your corporate profile, implementation methods, solution features etc..
The proposal’s main body can be short and effective but has to be customised for each client. The appendix material, on the other hand, can be prepared ahead of time and reused in proposals efficiently.
Remember, proposals reflect of your company’s professionalism, so make sure they give clients a feel of the quality of service they can expect from you.
Tactics to watch out for when Closing your B2B Sale
Here you will learn about creating better-negotiated outcomes.
Negotiation happens all the time within the organisation, with suppliers and with clients. If done well, it strengthens the relationship between the two negotiating entities by ensuring that expectations are clear and the outcome is in the interest of both parties.
Many negotiated outcomes are jeopardised due to these 3 tactics:
The negotiator breaks up the negotiation to small parts so that you approve one element just to find that there is another that is then introduced. Always make sure that you only give your final answer after knowing all the elements that would be negotiated
The negotiator claims that if there is no deal if they don’t get what they want. If the negotiator is being one-sided and not ready to take your point of view, then it is better to disagree early than to get into a one-sided relationship. Most of the times they are bluffing
The negotiator takes from you what they want today with the promise of better future terms. No one can guarantee the future unless it is in a contract, so don’t count on empty promises
Everyone in the organisation should be aware of good negotiation tactics so they preserve the interest of the company in all their dealings and to reach better outcomes.
Remember that the best possible outcome is a Win-Win situation where both parties win the negotiated agreement.
3 Considerations in Implementing Successful B2B Sales Projects
Projects are launched all the time across organisations whether they are internal or external. It’s important to ensure successful project implementations so as to avoid a loss of a lot of time, money and in some cases reputations.
Successful Project Management takes into account the following considerations:
An agreement on the acceptable quality level of the output of the project. As an example, if the project is to send a person to the moon, the quality requirements would be dramatically high.
A budget for the costs that would be incurred to deliver the project
An accepted time period during which the project should be completed
The three aspects are all related to each other and as such are set out at the beginning of the project and are tracked all through the implementation of the project. If there is a need to improve any one of the three elements, that would have an impact on the other two elements.
Everyone in your organisation should learn these three basic aspects of projects and define them at the beginning would help save a lot of costs, time and effort.
The ultimate aim of the enterprise sale is that you get paid quickly and get paid in full.
Want to know more?
If you are interested in learning more about Enterprise Sales and how to develop your sales skills, you can take our 24min sales course.
Since you have read this far, we have a special offer for you.
You can have now, our bundle of B2B Sales online course and a consulting engagement to help you structure your sales process or to prepare you for a job interview. Just put ‘mypotential’ at the time of checkout to get an additional 30% off the discounted price.
If you want to see all the library of services you can check out our shop and your special discount would apply to any order.
We hope that through this Enterprise Selling guide you would be able to increase your sales and have a banner 2018!