The B2B landscape has seen many changes in recent years.
As customers’ needs remain in flux, so do their expectations when working with suppliers, service providers and other B2B companies.
For these B2B companies, this means that yesterday’s lead generation and sales strategies are no longer as effective as they once were. In other words, B2B marketers and salespeople need to change their attack strategy, so to speak, if they want to “woo” their customers – and have a chance to stay competitive.
Unfortunately, many B2B marketers and salespeople have not yet caught up with this rest from their industry. They continue to go against the grain – or ignore the changes in their industry altogether. These individuals:
Treat lead generation and sales as robotic, hands-on processes.
Failure to make a clear distinction between leads and qualified leads.
Fail to develop or implement strategies for customers at every stage of the sales funnel
In turn, these companies waste time, money and energy chasing leads that will most likely never become paying customers.
In this article, we discuss three changes B2B companies can make to improve their lead generation and sales processes.
Let’s get started.
3 B2B sales tips to improve lead generation and conversion rates.
The following sections discuss three strategies B2B companies can implement when gathering leads, nurturing them in the pipeline, and making sales calls.
Let’s start at the beginning. You can also check Remote Closing Academy YouTube.
Define qualified leads
The days of buying contact lists and having your salespeople spend hours cold calling everyone on those lists are long gone.
Selling is no longer about casting a wide net and getting every deal you can rolling in. It’s now about knowing exactly which potential leads have the highest likelihood of becoming paying customers.
As mentioned earlier, the needs and expectations of B2B customers are changing drastically. In turn, the average time customers spend thinking about a single purchase has increased. This then means that salespeople need to spend more time interacting with individual customers before making a sale.
Nevertheless, it is important that B2B companies focus only on the leads they collect, which will almost certainly be converted into paying customers.
To do this, these companies need to define their ideal customers in terms of their:
Persona, including firmographic and behavioural information.
Interest in the product or service the company offers
Intention to buy the product or service
Budget, authority, need and timeframe (BANT).
However, marketing and sales teams should be careful not to be too rigid with these definitions. The trick is to determine how much time teams should spend on average on individual leads – and then determine which of their collected leads has the best chance of conversion within that timeframe.
Focus on authentic lead generation and engagements
In addition to the last section, it is also important for B2B companies to focus on building authentic connections with prospects while trying to make sales (rather than going the “hard sell” route).
More and more B2B customers are looking to connect with subject matter experts rather than salespeople. This is likely due to the fact that so much information about a company’s products or services is available on the company’s website – meaning that customers can compare and contrast products from competing companies without having to speak to a salesperson.
When customers contact a salesperson, they gather detailed information about the company’s products and ask specific questions about their needs. They don’t need to be “sold” anything – they are pretty close to buying at this point. Instead, they are trying to find out which company can offer the most value alongside a quality product.
When generating leads, B2B companies should focus on adding value through strategies such as content marketing and social media engagement. After leads have begun to show genuine interest, sales teams should engage with them personally – to continue to provide value.
(Note: companies can definitely implement automation as needed for the lower-level aspects of marketing and sales – but you need to be careful not to do so to a point where the interaction with customers feels untrustworthy).
Use lead distribution software to enhance your sales teams
Lead distribution software distributes leads by lead location, the products they are interested in, the sources they are coming from, and much more. This way you can assign leads to the most appropriate sales agents, based on agent-criteria, like seniority, performance, and more. With effective lead routing sales teams can significantly increase their conversion rates by matching the right staff to the lead’s needs and providing the best possible scenario for closing the sale.
Offer leads choices
Although customers within a B2B company’s customer base are likely to share a number of traits and characteristics, they all have individual needs too.
This means that B2B companies cannot simply take a one-size-fits-all approach when offering their products or services. Such an approach can lead to lost sales, wasted resources and low customer satisfaction. Consider the following hypothetical situations:
A lead does not need a set of features offered by a company’s product and does not want to pay full price for a product they will not fully use.
A lead needs most of the features offered, but cannot afford the full price and would agree to lose some of the features if it meant a more affordable product.
In both cases, if the company is too rigid in its offers, it will most likely not be able to close a sale to any of these leads. On the other hand, if the company were willing to work with these customers individually to come to a price and quote agreement, this would not only increase the likelihood of the sale, but also increase the likelihood of these customers coming back in the future.
To be clear, when it comes to making an offer to your B2B customers, it pays to engage with them to determine exactly what they need and can afford, and how you can tailor your offer to meet those needs.
The process of generating leads and increasing conversions has changed drastically for B2B companies over the last few decades. Your marketing and sales teams should be focused primarily on providing top-notch value to your leads and customers – while making sure they don’t waste time chasing leads that will never pay off.