Growing businesses today deploy a wide range of marketing and sales strategies to achieve the desired results. But when your business works on a B2B model, the sales process gets a bit more complicated and requires you to work extensively on perfecting your sales strategy. Right from lead generation to the final onboarding — the process of going from an “almost sale” to a concrete association takes a lot of research and resources for B2B organizations.
So it comes as no surprise that the average sales conversion rate ranges from 2.46% – 3.26% across all industries globally. At the same time, 2020 brought a plethora of changes in the way sales processes are carried out worldwide and across verticals. To help you navigate the new normal in B2B sales, here are a few useful tips to keep in mind.
#1 Conduct a Lot of Research
Research — a word that you have probably heard a lot if you have been in B2B sales for some time. B2B sales and communication requires companies to be at the top of their game when it comes to understanding the customers and catering to their needs.
Understanding the primary metrics associated with sales such as the cost of acquiring a specific client, the time taken to convert them, and the time spent by them within the sales funnel can be great indicators of how robust your sales process is.
Conducting thorough research helps companies in identifying the needs and demands of their customers, and helps them tailor their sales strategy accordingly. Research can also offer insights into the strategies used by competitors so that their sales strategies can be polished accordingly. Diligent research can also prove effective in curating some pretty great and highly personalized sales pitches.
#2 Consider Video Marketing
One of the key things about having highly effective B2B sales processes is to be flexible about implementing strategies that would work for the customers. Video marketing has of late become one of the most effective ways to get your customers’ attention. In fact, 93% of marketers affirm that they have converted at least one customer because of a video they had posted on social media.
Creating videos can easily replace pitch slides or presentations that can seem to be too wordy or lengthy for clients. Videos can help B2B brands better engage customers, increase audience retention, and ultimately help increase online visibility which can then translate into increased traffic and sales.
In the current times, online sales are imperative to the success of any growing brand, especially amidst a global crisis where the Internet is the easiest way to reach your customers. Due to the popularity of video marketing, there are now easy-to-use online video makers that can help you put together a brand video in minutes at minimal costs.
You will not only be optimizing your sales efforts, but also the resources required for it. The extra traction that you can generate through YouTube and by uploading videos on your website is the icing on the cake.
#3 Upgrade your Customer Onboarding Process
Onboarding processes can be amazingly transformative for businesses. This might sound cheesy to many, but SaaS brands truly know the impact that onboarding processes can have on customer retention and loyalty. And that can never be taken for granted.
Regardless of how big or small your brand, it is important to know that retaining your existing customers is a lot more cost-effective, as acquiring a new one can cost up to five times more. So you must focus on the customer onboarding process, and ensure that you know your customers and are catering to their needs.
Did you know that 86% of people state that their loyalty to a company will be highly dependent on the quality of the onboarding content, and the service provided during the onboarding process? That is how much your onboarding process can influence your customer to stay or discontinue their association with your business.
For SaaS companies, or brands that have IT products, creating highly user-friendly interfaces and providing effective product tour can eliminate a lot of issues that can otherwise arise in the initial stages of onboarding. Apart from this, establishing communication channels that will help in clear communication can be a great upgrade to consider for your existing customer onboarding process.
#4 Leverage Multiple Sales Channels
In the highly competitive market environment that we are seemingly operating in, picking just one or two sales channels to conduct your business may not be enough. Remember that your customers are everywhere, and as a B2B brand, you must aim to reach them through multiple channels.
The higher the number of sales channels you use to target customers, the greater the chances of conversions. When you use multiple sales channels, you also improve customer perception and engagement towards your brand.
As a growing business, it is imperative that you use a wide range of sales channels such as social media, websites, emails, and cold calls. In doing so, you become more accessible to your prospects and customers.
After all, the future of B2B sales is omnichannel, as per McKinsey’s recent B2B sales analysis. With an omnichannel strategy in place to drive your sales, you would basically be future-proofing your business for years to come.
#5 Engage and Communicate more with your Audience
If there is one lesson that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught managers and executives across the world, it is the power of communication and empathy. With a global crisis sending waves across businesses across the world, communication became the tool through which companies kept their businesses going.
In addition to that, companies had to learn the importance of being flexible and empathetic towards their customers as well as employees through their processes. This trend is likely to (and should) continue in 2022, and the foreseeable future.
Even in the B2B world, people want to associate with brands that care about their teams, not just the ones that are trying to achieve their preset targets. Clients now expect to be dealt with in a much more humane way, rather than the mechanical sales process that puts them in a fixed template. B2B sales managers can now use multiple channels such as calls, messages, emails, and social media to keep in touch with their customers and communicate with them regularly.
B2B transactions can get quite complex, which is why the sales process has a predefined structure and logical set of steps that build the process. While 2020 was a year that demanded businesses to be flexible and adapt to new ways to conduct the sales process, 2022 is a year that marks the transition to the new normal.
With that in mind, new-age businesses need to have processes and systems in place for carrying out their routine tasks and activities with the same fervor and effectiveness. The tips mentioned in the article are just a starting point to the many things that your business can do to distinguish itself from competitors and to drive consistent B2B sales.
This article was written by Lucy Manole, a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.