Being able to close sales is a critical skill. With a wide spectrum of approaches out there, figuring out the best sales tactic for your business can be very difficult.
B2B and B2C sales are very different animals, and what works well in one arena may fall completely flat in the other.
We’ve put together a list of 10 tips and tricks that will help you develop your own sales approach into a well-oiled, effective machine.
10 Tips for Closing B2B Sales (& How to Keep Your Pipeline Full)
First, we’ll show you an easy but powerful method for keeping your pipeline full so you have plenty of leads to close.
By using a tool called Clickback WEB, you can get detailed information about companies visiting your website (even if they didn’t convert). You also get access to accurate contact data for key leads at those companies, including decision makers, C-level executives, managers and more.
You can configure the software to value your target industries more heavily, so you can pick out the most valuable leads and add them to your pipeline.
It’s a simple and effective way to keep your pipeline full of the highest-quality prospects.
1 – Be Prepared
The single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of successfully closing a deal is to be as prepared as possible for your prospect. That means doing research on both them and their company.
By researching the actual person you’re about to speak to, you can be certain that they’re the right person to be talking to.
You want to be sure that your prospect is someone who is authorized to pull the trigger on the deal, and is positioned to recognize the value of your offer. You may also be able to identify some of their professional challenges that you could help with.
Familiarizing yourself with the company and its industry, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to identify pain points that your offer can address.
Plus, being able to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the company and industry in question gives your prospect confidence that you’re not just trying to sell them on something for the sake of making a sale, but that you actually feel your offer will be valuable to them.
Which brings us to our next point.
2 – Don’t Sell a Product, Sell a Result
This and other tips also apply to other areas of prospect interaction, such as email marketing.
If your conversation with the prospect is a one-sided spiel about your product’s features, how awesome it is and how many customers love it, your prospect will tune you out.
In general, prospects don’t care how groundbreaking or award-winning your product is. They’re looking for a solution to a problem they have, and want to know whether your product provides that solution.
The whole conversation should be geared towards the prospect and their needs. If you’re describing what your product does in a way that shows them that it meets their specific needs, they’ll be much more likely to make a purchase.
How do you know what their exact needs are? Ask them! A quick question towards the start of your call, something like “So what were you hoping to get out of <product>?” can go a long way.
If they give you specific details about what they’re hoping for, you can steer your conversation accordingly.
3 – Know and Deliver a Strong UVP
In the midst of trying to ascertain what the prospect’s needs are and address them, it can be easy to forget to set your product apart from the competition.
By the time they’re on the phone with you, most buyers have already done thorough research into possible solutions to their problem. They’re very likely aware of the competition and are looking for confirmation that one particular solution is better than the others.
With that in mind, it’s crucial that you clarify why your product is unlike anything else on the market – what makes it unique and valuable, and better than the rest.
If you know your product’s UVPs in and out, and they match up well with your prospect’s needs, closing the sale becomes much easier.
4 – Don’t Second-Guess Your Pricing
If you’re charging premium prices for a premium product, don’t second-guess that approach. Larger companies won’t mind the price tag as long as your offering provides the value they need.
Instead of tweaking your pricing, ensure you’re targeting businesses with sufficient purchasing power that know your product’s value outshines its price tag.
5 – Get Face-to-Face When It’s Worthwhile
It can be absolutely worthwhile to take a trip and present your sales pitch in person. Face-to-face sales can be significantly more effective. This is particularly true of premium products that come with a high price tag.
If you have an especially important potential customer, a quick trip and a strong in-person presentation can clinch the deal more reliably than a phone or video call.
Of course, this is only applicable to some contexts. The prospect’s business needs to be valuable enough that the trip is worth the time and effort.
6 – Stay Unfazed
Like any customer-facing job, in sales you will inevitably run into argumentative or pushy prospects. You might also end up talking to high-powered executives or others that could seem intimidating.
Keeping calm in these situations is a very important skill. Don’t get intimidated, offended, or take things personally. Maintain a professional attitude and stick to your sales tactic.
7 – Give Prospects Choices
As your meeting comes to a close, you’ll have a deal prepared to offer the prospect. At that point, unless they’re completely ready to sign, your prospect will compare your offer to the competition’s.
You can tilt the odds in your favor by making multiple offers at once. Give them three or four options, based around different price points and value. This means the prospect has a range of choices to use for comparison, and is more likely to pick one of your offers.
8 – Make Your Process Flexible
Sometimes, your sales process – the steps you follow to reach a sale – doesn’t match up with a prospect’s buying process.
When that happens, don’t try to force the prospect to conform to your process. Instead, adapt to meet their requirements, and you’ll find that the potential customer’s journey is more smooth.
9 – Don’t Fear Rejection
Many sales professionals bend over backwards to avoid having their prospect say “no”.
“No”, however, is not necessarily a bad outcome for B2B sales, particularly if your business model involves repeated licensing of a product, such as the SaaS industry.
The ideal customer for B2Bs is a long-lasting business relationship, and for that to happen, the customer needs to be a good fit. If a prospect is not a good match, they are more likely to reject your offer.
On the one hand, it’s lost revenue, but on the other it frees you up to focus on other prospects that are more likely to become long-term customers, bringing in more revenue overall than that lost opportunity.
10 – Keep Prospects Engaged
If your conversation becomes a monologue, the prospect will disengage. Even if your sales presentation is on the longer side, make sure to keep the prospect interested in what you’re saying.
The way to do this is to regularly flip the conversation back over to them by asking something like “Does that make sense?” or “Does that sound good?”. Ask questions and confirm that the prospect is following along. Make your presentation into a dialogue.
Not only will you keep the prospect’s attention, but you’ll also be able to answer their questions on the fly and learn more about any objections or blocks they may have.