Too Many Buyers And Influencers: In case of B2B account there are so many buyers and influencers. As a result, approaching the authority really becomes difficult. The salesperson will have to deal with so many people and convince for the product quality and Value. He will have to deal not only with the Purchase Manager but also the user and Technical person as well as sometimes with the CEO or some head of the department. All these people will be having different requirements and temperament and convincing these many people will become exceedingly difficult. Therefore, unless you know how to meet the requirements of multiple people in an account, you will not be able to crack the deal.
Long Buying Cycle: In a key account the buying cycle is generally exceptionally long. A key account has its on buying process and formalities. Also as mentioned above there are so many people involved in the buying decision which also results in delayed buying cycle. Dealing with this problem the salesperson will have to keep patience for an exceptionally long time and he must have particularly good follow up mechanism and human skills to deal with all type offer influencers and decision maker in the B2B sales.
They Think In Terms Of Buying Solutions: In a B2B sales when a salesperson pitches a product, the purchasers do not think about that product in isolation, rather the reality is that the product is part of a bigger solution. So, they generally see that how the product fits into the bigger solution. They will not only think about the immediate solution, but they will think about the complete internal production cycle and then take decision. Considering this they will have to look at the overall cost which the organization might have to Incur in case wrong product has been chosen. Therefore, a salesperson must also analyze the situation as to how the product fits into to the complete solution which is required by the customer. It is important for the salesperson to understand the application of his product and implication of the quality or the poor quality of his product in the broader perspective.
Reaching The Decision Maker Becomes Difficult: As mentioned earlier since there are lots of people to be dealt with in the buying cycle of a B2B customer, reaching the actual decision maker becomes difficult. In case of B2B customer there are gatekeepers, influencers, purchase people, technical people, users and so many others who will influence the buying decision. A salesperson will have to cross all these before he riches to the ultimate decision-making authority. Only a skillful salesperson will be able to deal with such a challenging situation.
Considering the challenges of a B2B sales situation, the selling approach and process in B2B selling shall be different. In the following paragraphs I am explaining you few specific solutions to overcome the above challenges and boost up the B2B sales.
Create A Strong Prospecting Engine: As mentioned above the B2B sales process is very long therefore it is necessary that we have a long and fat pipeline of prospects. Therefore, it is important that we have a strong prospecting engine. We need to use all types of sources for prospecting. We can use tele calling, referral and social media marketing and any other methods for prospecting.
Segment Your Customer: Not every prospect shall buy from you. Therefore, in B2B it is particularly important to segment your customer and accordingly go ahead with your sales. You can segment the potential customer with industry, geography, potential of business and so on. But it is important that you pitch to only those customers who fall into your segment. It will help you meet the need of the customer to boost the sales.
Offer End to End Solutions – Approach as Integrator: A B2B seller knows that product is going to be part of some bigger solution. So, the company must look at providing solutions and not the product alone. If you go with a product approach and ignore the solution, then you will not be able to succeed.
Use A Consultative Selling Approach: B2B customers see you as a solution provider therefore you must use the consultative solution making approach. It is important that you must diagnose the requirement properly and understand the problems and then only provide the solution to the company. In B2B situations if you provide an ‘off the shelf product’ without understanding the problem fully then you may land yourself into a problem and you may lose the potential sale.
Use Your Sales Data for Decision Making: Data analysis is particularly important for serving the B2B customers. You must analyze your CRM data for follow up and funnel management. Once you have strong data you will be able to see that you get a good business from your B2B customers. You can use the sales data for decision making and follow up you can create a personalized approach for B2B clients, and you can ensure to boost your sales.
Use Farming Approach for Engagement and selling:
B2B conversions take a long time. During this time relationships with different influencers and decision makers in the business becomes especially important. Therefore, a salesperson dealing with a B2B client must have a long-term view for relationship building. It is imperative for a salesperson to use farming approach and nurture the client for a long time and patiently before it starts generating sales. If you have followed the farming approach you shall be able to boost the sale significantly.