Thursday, July 26, 2012

8 Surprisingly Simple B2B Sales Tips

by Jesse Noyes on June 8, 2012 in Sales & Marketing Alignment
B2B sales is by no means easy. It requires not only skill, but panache.

But that doesn’t mean everything about sales is hard. Some tips can be shockingly simple, yet very effective.
Today, we highlight eight B2B sales tips that are easy to put into practice, but deliver results.

1. Let Leads Market to You
When it comes to B2B sales and marketing, nothing beats relevance. One way to remain relevant is to sign up for your leads’ own newsletters, email campaigns and other marketing materials. If you understand how your leads conduct their own sales and marketing, you’ll be better suited to market to them.

2. Leverage the Written Word
There are several ways to establish thought leadership including blogs, social media, newsletters, etc. But few things command trust and respect quite like a book. Has your organization’s executives crafted a book around your space? If so, make sure you get this in the hands of your prospects. It helps you stand out.

3. Set Up Google Alerts
When’s the best time to sell? Probably when your prospect is flush with cash. You can set up Google alerts around a lead’s brand. That way, next time they raise a round of funding, have a particularly good quarter or enter a new market, you’ll be ready to act fast.

4. Have a 90-Day Plan
B2B sales can stretch out for a long time. A lot of the time 90 days just covers the beginning. But having a 90-day plan will keep you focused not just on the long road, but setting up sign posts along the way. Set small goals and cross them off your list.

5. Find and Follow
If you’re working a lead for a while, follow him or her on social accounts like Twitter and LinkedIn. It will give you clues into your prospects’ thinking, the content they’re consuming and whether they’re talking to competitors. (Connecting with rival reps or liking a competing brand is a sign.)

6. Block Out Times for Prospecting
It’s easy to get caught up in daily tasks and moving leads forward. If you don’t make time to prospect, your pipeline may suffer. Set up time on your calendar for prospecting. Don’t go crazy. You want to call with relevant information so around 10 accounts a week is fine.

7.  Ask Hard Questions Early
Losing deals is tough. Working a lead that is never going to buy is worse. It’s often best to get to the nitty gritty right away. Is the company too small? Does the business have the budget to purchase from you? Knowing the answers to these questions means you won’t waste effort.

8. Scour Their Blog
A company’s blog often holds clues into the way the organization collectively moves and thinks. If the executives are on blogging, read up on their posts. Then use that info to establish early on in your conversations.

Do you have a sales tip? Share it in the comments below.