11 Proven Tactics to Improve Your B2B Sales
Do you want to suck less at B2B sales? If you’re a boss, do you want your sales team to suck less? Then you need to read this article.
If you’re selling B2B services in 2020, then we’re going to go through some sales tactics that you need to think about to not become complacent. Because when we’re talking to a lot of companies, and in my past experience, the biggest issue that we see is that people in B2B services specifically start to become very complacent with their sales, and they’re not doing what they should be to drive revenue.
Let’s go through these 11 proven tactics for increasing your B2B service sales.
Have a commission plan
The number one B2B service sales tactic, no matter who you are working for, is that everyone in B2B service sales needs to have some sort of commission plan. If you do not have a commission plan and you’re just a straight salary, go see if the perks of a company car and a credit card and all that stuff. If you don’t have a commission plan, there is nothing that’s going to drive you to actually perform more than what the bottom-line standard is. So, if you work for somebody who doesn’t have a commission plan, you need to talk to your boss about that.
Change your job or something to owners out there if you don’t have a commission playing with your people you’re not incentivizing them to actually work harder to get those sales and those dollars that is what they’re chasing after. I mean money motivates – it’s been proven over time. So start with who you’re working for.
Have your own target
If you have a commission plan in place then start to work the numbers that figure out where do you want to be with your annual revenue and work backwards into thinking how many deals you need to get to know to get to that point.
Once you have that figured out and you haven’t quit your job or anything like that or if you’re in a new B2B service sales job when you’re watching this the the issue is that people don’t know either where to start or how to actually push through when they don’t get a response.
So the first thing is you have to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool so just looking at prospects in general you’re going to have trade shows you’re going to have LinkedIn you’re going to have email marketing list building all those things.
You should be using Google to look at your competitors, figure out who they are doing business with and who you can try to go and take from them. Those are all things that you’re going to want to set up and start going after, and build out that list of who are your potential customers.
By using LinkedIn, you’re going to be able to do specific searches for those companies and then go after those influencers, decision-makers and people at those companies, from a connection request standpoint.
Always be prospecting
In B2B service sales, you have to prospect. People are so lazy these days and it’s so annoying to listen to people complain about how they don’t have revenue, they don’t have sales, they don’t have all this great activity, however it’s because they’re not actually putting in the work to go out there and get it.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Australian small business coach working on your own, or have a large team of salespeople selling a well known B2B product, it comes down to constant effort.
Face it, it’s not going to come to you unless you have a marketing department that’s amazing where you have an agency like ours, it’s just feeding you good stuff you’re never going to actually get those deals that are worth the money. So when you get those, then comes the commission that gets you to where you want to be, so you have to prospect.
Embrace email marketing
Now, when you’re prospecting on people, say by cold calling a lot of people, many people say it’s dead or it’s less effective. Email marketing isn’t dead or less effective.
You have to be doing that from a follow-up standpoint if you email somebody they don’t answer, pick up the phone and call them. If they don’t respond to that send them a message on LinkedIn if they don’t respond to that set them something in the mail.
Try direct mail
Direct Mail is not dead, it’s just less effective for B2B service sales. If they’re not responding to all of that, go to their facility as long as there’s somewhat local or if you’re in the area. Go to their facility and knock on the door and cold call on them. So when you’re looking at all these different ways to reach out to somebody, you have to just put them into this cycle and not be complacent.
You know, you tried one method and it’s not working because most of the time people try after two times, if they don’t get a response they just become lazy and they don’t want to follow up again.
Have a CRM
To organize all this stuff, you’re going to want to have some sort of good software system in place. Old-school people, generations like mine and above, are used to spreadsheets and things like that. CRM systems are out there right now. You need to utilize them and and have all your stuff organized and set up reminders and all that stuff.
Whatever CRM system you have, you can get into cheap, whether it’s you know a hundred couple hundred bucks a month or a couple thousand dollars a year, but get your company to invest into using a CRM.
Even if you’re with somebody small that doesn’t have one, you need a way to track all this information. So whether it’s HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Salesforce, any product like that, just make sure you put some system in place. You can’t do B2B service sales without software, I assure you.
The best systems are going to get you to a level that it’s more repetitive and you’re going to be reminded of things. It’s going to be less of you driving and remembering and just allow the system to do that for you.
When somebody gives you an opportunity to quote something an RFQ or an RFP or whatever it is, in your space of B2B services, you know specifically talking to you, do not take more than two weeks to turn that thing around. There honestly is no reason that it should take that long, regardless if you have to have other suppliers, quotes or you have to work the numbers or you’re traveling or whatever it is, you should be looking at 2-3 days max to get that information back.
If you don’t have all the information, you don’t have whatever you need from the potential customer. That’s one thing, however once you get that you should be no more than a couple of days. We’ve had numerous clients in the past that would say “oh yeah, it takes us usually like two weeks to turnaround a quote”, that is being absurd, it should only take you a couple of days.
In B2B service sales, speed matters. When somebody gives you an opportunity to do business with you you get that back to them as fast as possible.
Now let’s talk about trade shows. Trade shows are a the thing of the past. We used to get all these great leads, all this awesome interaction over a couple of days, however now they are losing its effectiveness. Just like the other things I mention, go into it with the expectation that you’re not going to walk out with a gift from God that says “here’s your argest account”.
It’s most likely not going to happen. Take it for what it’s worth, work the booth get off your ass and stop sitting behind on your phone or looking down on it. You need to get out into the aisle and hustle. If you’re going to them, start auditing the performance of that trade show to see if it’s worth your time and is it as effective as it used to be, because most likely it’s not effective and maybe you should reduce the number of trade shows you’re doing.
Don’t be lazy
All right, so you’ve got the CRM system, you’ve got this company you’re working for, it’s going to give you commission for your hard work, and so now the next step is to put all the above into action. Do this every day, stop being lazy. Everybody in B2B service sales is either completely lazy or they’re motivated and doing something, however they don’t have the tools or the knowledge or the resources to actually be effective with that.
Don’t start on a Monday, don’t wait, start today. Just start making a change right now. You need to cycle through all your contacts, reach out to them, whether it’s through the methods that I just mentioned of contacting them or whether it’s through something else that you think of, you have to do it on a repetitive daily basis and keep working through it.
What ends up happening is you take a hunter that was hired to hunt, and this is to the hunters that used to hunt that now farm, and sales managers that are managing these people and the CEOs that are running the companies. You bring a hunter and if you do if you do not have the support resources in place, they bring in business that business can be taken and then pushed along into whatever service or product you’re selling.
The hunter then becomes a farmer. What ends up happening is that’s fine at first, in a short period of time, however eventually the hunter becomes a farmer permanently. Now they’re just an account manager, they’re no longer hunting they become complacent with the revenue that they’re getting for the business. They’ve become complacent with their own salary and they’re just okay and then now you get lazy.
Hire hunters not farmers
This is the generation that we’re in. People that are 30+ years old and over, especially in the older generations, a lot of these guys have become so complacent because they’re okay with making this much money. They just keep on working the same accounts and that’s fine if you’re their boss or the owner of the company, and you’re okay with that.
However if you’re paying people in B2B service sales, let them hunt that’s what they want to do. The first question in the interview when you’re interviewing the salespeople should be are you a hunter or are you a farmer? You should put the resources in place, allowing them to continue hunting prevents them from becoming complacent.