Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 09:21 am
Business-to-business (B2B) sales come with several challenges. To say that the B2B sales process is complex and time-consuming would be an understatement.
Unlike business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, the B2B sales cycle involves multiple senior-level decision-makers. The average order value is typically higher, which makes it even more difficult to convince prospects that your solution is the right fit for them.
It also increases the length of the sales cycle. That, in turn, poses the challenge of maintaining momentum and keeping prospects engaged.
According to HubSpot, 80% of sales require at least five follow-up calls. Unfortunately, 44% of sales professionals give up after one follow-up.
In such scenarios, how can sales leaders optimize their pipelines to drive maximum conversions? The key is to build a well-defined workflow that guides sales teams at every stage, from the qualification call to the demo and, finally, closing.
In this article, we’ll outline a few helpful techniques to improve your B2B sales workflow from the get-go. Let’s dive right in.
Provide a Human Touch With the Discovery Call
Discovery calls play a crucial role in B2B sales. Think of them as a window of opportunity to make a striking first impression on every prospect. Besides learning more about a potential buyer, it’s a good time to give a sneak peek at your product or service and show that you care about your customers.
But sales reps can’t reap the benefits of discovery calls with cookie-cut questionnaires and scripts. Rather, they must research a prospect before the call and tailor their questions accordingly.
Avoid asking questions whose answers already appear somewhere online. Instead, sellers should put on the shoes of their prospects: focus on learning more about their prospect’s role in the company, the goals they intend to achieve, and the internal challenges they must overcome in order to close a deal themselves.
After all, the person on the other line is indeed a human being, and they might be under pressure by their superiors to bring in the next best solution. All of this is to help your sales reps gain deeper insights into their prospects’ needs and pain points by the end of the call.
Additionally, it’s important for reps to avoid overwhelming prospects with qualifying questions or product features at this stage. Focus on listening to them and answering their questions in detail. It can go a long way to show that you value them.
Personalize the Demo According to Your Customer’s Needs
The best B2B sales demos help prospects understand how your product or service fits into their organization. By the end of the demo, prospects should have a clear idea of the challenges and pain points they can overcome with your offering. That, in turn, makes the demo an integral aspect of closing a sale.
How can your sales reps execute engaging demos? The key is to personalize them for each prospect.
It’s a good idea to have a standard script to guide your sales team. But make sure they are customizable according to each prospect’s unique needs and pain points.
If your reps have invested adequate time in the discovery phase, they’ll have a plethora of background information about the prospect’s company, their role in the organization, and their goals. CRM platforms, such as HubSpot and Salesforce, can also come in handy here.
Make sure your sellers use all the information they’ve collected to highlight how your product or service addresses the prospect’s pain points. Point out specific features and benefits that align with their goals. Also, it’s a good idea to have sellers adapt their communication style, language, and visual aids to match the prospect’s level of technical understanding and learning style.
Demonstrate Real-Life Case Studies Throughout the Cycle
Case studies are an excellent tool to engage prospects and nudge them forward in the sales funnel. They also help build trust and credibility, and are particularly crucial in B2B sales due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders in purchase decisions.
Beautiful.ai, an AI-powered presentation software, recently elaborated on this in a blog post: “Social proof is the easiest way to build credibility… Think of it as the equivalent to a review on Amazon: a television with better reviews will likely result in more sales. The more case studies, or testimonials, that you have the more likely new customers will see you as a viable option.”
A common mistake that sales professionals make is to restrict case studies to product demos. But if you want to optimize your sales team’s workflow, it’s wiser to use case studies at every stage of the sales cycle, starting with the discovery call.
When selecting case studies to share with prospects, it’s essential to choose examples relevant to their specific industry, business size, or pain points. It’ll help them see the potential of your offering and how it can help them accomplish their goals. Have your sellers share the successes and challenges that previous customers faced, as well as the results they achieved.
Collect and Analyze Call Data
If you’re looking to improve your team’s sales workflow and maximize efficiency, call data can be your biggest ally. Tracking and analyzing data from sales calls can help you gain valuable insights into the performance of your sales team, as well as identify areas for improvement.
Many organizations use a mix of call recording software and data analytics tools for this purpose. Such toolkits can provide you with valuable metrics to help your sellers improve for future calls. You can reflect on what went wrong in a specific demo and extract learnings for subsequent calls and demos.
Other tools like Demoleap provide in-call analytics to help sellers learn and make adjustments during the call so that takeaways can be applied instantly. In general, investing in the right tools can go a long way in helping your reps maximize efficiency and stick to their training. Demoleap, for example, provides an AI-powered live sales assistant that serves as an in-call coach, reminding and prompting sellers what to say at the right time based on real-time call data, and can even take over a seller’s mouse and “lead” the visual presentation while the rep focuses on speaking.
As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to take initiative and make suggestions that will catapult your organization to new heights, especially if your processes are not as strong as they should be. There are a plethora of sales tech solutions at your disposal, and choosing the one that’s best for your team can help you, in turn, sell your own product more. With 75% of B2B organizations planning to support traditional sales with AI-enabled solutions, you’ll want to make sure your organization doesn’t remain stuck in the past.
Prioritize Regular Training to Implement Best Practices
Regular training is crucial to improve the workflow and increase the chances of closing B2B sales. Start by investing time and resources to provide your sales team with the right knowledge, skills, and tools to excel in their roles. That involves training on product and industry knowledge, sales techniques, and customer service.
Additionally, make sure that training is ongoing and constantly updated as sales processes and best practices evolve over time. Regular training can keep your team up to speed through workshops, coaching, and mentoring programs. Effective training also requires proper measurement and tracking of progress to determine areas of improvement.
The B2B sales process comes with unique challenges and complexities. If you want to increase your team’s efficiency, you need a well-defined workflow that guides your team at every stage.
From personalizing discovery calls and demos to processing call data and identifying gaps in your sales process – there’s a lot you can do to improve your organization’s workflow. It’s just as crucial to use the right tools to support your sales team at every stage of the sales process.