There was a time when selling any product or service was all about the hard sell, and companies would invest huge amounts of money and time in putting together an excellent team of sales people without worrying too much about other areas. The key for many businesses was to get that B2B sales team working and to secure new clients, which meant more sales and more money.
However, things have changed over recent years. Businesses and business models have changed. The B2B selling environment has changed. Even the way in which potential clients think has changed. Of course, all of this has meant that businesses have had to make changes to adapt to the changing environment.
These days, selling is no longer all about sales as such. In years gone by, B2B prospects had very little to rely on for information other than what the sales person was telling them. Therefore, steaming in, feeding the client with a lot of impressive sounding sales patter, and then producing the paperwork to sign on the dotted line. Nowadays, clients and customer are far more savvy and have plenty of ways to get information without having to rely on what a sales person tells them. This is why there is now so much more to selling B2B goods and services.
What does selling involve?
In today’s modern world, B2B selling is all about combining a variety of qualities, skills, and activities. It is no longer a case of lurking around until a suitable victim steps into your eye line, or meeting a client with the intention of reeling off a well polished script in order to seal the deal.
Some of the other qualities and activities that need to be included as part of the B2B selling process these days include:
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Effective marketing: Running effective marketing campaigns are an important part of successful sales, as competition in all areas is so stiff these days. You need to make the customers want your product or service over and above the competition’s products.
Information: It is not enough these days to have teams that are able to meet prospective clients and show them glossy pictures and brochures of your products and services. Your team needs to be well informed about the product or service, and needs to be able to offer indepth details, answer any questions about the product or service, and even highlight pros and cons.
Customer service: Providing excellent customer service is a hugely important part of the sales process these days. No client wants to be talked at by a robotic B2B sales employee who is reading from an invisible script. Staff should be warm, friendly, and be able to speak to clients on a personal note.
Building rapport: Building a rapport with clients and customers takes customer service to the next level. This is where customers and clients begin to feel comfortable, feel as though they can trust your company and employees, feel confident about doing business with you initially and again in the future, and would even feel confidence about recommending you to others. Building a rapport means building customer loyalty, which can help you to turn a one off client into a loyal, long term one who can help to attract other customers.
Getting a customer and securing a sale is not enough for most businesses these days. B2B selling has become a specialist package that combines many invaluable skills such as those outlined above. It is this combination that can help to make the difference between fleeting sales success and a long term, valuable business relationship with loyal clients.
The B2B selling process has changed in recent times which means salespeople need to improve their tactics and develop better strategies. Download our FREE whitepaper to see how B2B selling has changed