Behind A More Effective B2B Sales Process
Acquiring new customers and closing more deals is increasingly difficult in today’s competitive economy. Now more than ever, your B2B sales efforts require a precise approach in order to keep your business at the forefront, while maintaining an industry advantage over your competitors.
This is why you need a sales-process formula driven by scientific data and designed to generate more revenue, even in an aggressive marketplace.
To gain the competitive advantage, implement this 8-part formula to a more effective B2B sales process. Let’s begin with part #1:
Part #1: Start With Solid Sales Team Hiring & Training
The right sales team makes or breaks your revenue generation efforts. Before hiring any salespeople (or before outsourcing sales to a partner), ensure they complete a hiring assessment that tests them for sales-oriented strengths such as aptitude, logic and aggression. There are plenty of reliable, high-quality tests available, but it’s important to use the same one consistently and leverage the resulting data.
When it comes to sales training, offer both initial training and ongoing mentoring at both the group and individual levels. And don’t just train your salespeople for today’s tasks, but rather, develop them for long-term sales success tomorrow.
Part #2: Break Up With BANT
The acronym BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline) has been a demand-generation standard for years. It’s important to have a linear sales process, a lead-qualification method and a way to measure your pipeline, but BANT is no longer up to the task.
The BANT approach sets your sales team up for failure for many reasons. Not only does it walk your prospect through the qualification process in the wrong order, but it’s entirely sales-centric instead of customer-centric. Instead, you should lead the sales conversation by addressing Need first and save Budget, Authority and Timeline for the last part of the process.
Part #3: Steward Your Sales Database Well
One of your company’s biggest revenue-generating assets (besides your sales team) is your database filled with leads and prospects who haven’t bought from you yet. To truly maximize the effectiveness of your B2B sales process, leverage this data for all it’s worth.
Set a goal of contacting your entire sales database between 1.8 to 2 times per year. Not only does this provide a steady influx of leads into your sales funnel, but it ensures you’re not missing out on any latent revenue opportunities.
Part #4: Prioritize Lead Qualification
Lead qualification must be a high priority in order to close deals effectively. When your sales team isn’t working on high-quality warm leads, your revenue generation efforts risk becoming stagnant.
Robust lead qualification involves asking open-ended questions about a prospect’s envisioned solution and avoiding a direct pitch or hard sell. Increasingly, enterprises even allocate a portion of their marketing budget just to outsource this level of lead qualification.
Part #5: Improve Workforce Management Processes
The B2B sales process is complex and involves more than merely cold calling all day. Rather, you need to improve your workforce management processes and use the right tools to support them.
Success in any sales cycle is directly correlated with strong management of an established call plan or response time, so closely monitor sales activity with the right metrics to ensure your goals are achieved on a daily basis. If you’re using an outsourced sales provider, confirm that they have the proven tools and talent to efficiently and effectively handle your sales inquiries.
Part #6: Only Work With A Clean CRM
A B2B sales process bogged down by inaccurate data never realizes scientifically precise growth. That’s why you need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool with 100% accurate data on your prospects and current customers.
However, building a perfectly clean database is time-consuming if your team doesn’t have a complete commitment to accuracy. By outsourcing sales to an expert partner, you gain dedication to a clean CRM and ensure more effective closing rates will follow.
Part #7: Reduce Your Sales Costs
No matter what industry your business is in, marketing and advertising can be a major drain on your budget, increasing your cost-per-sale. In order to cut down on these costs, while continuing to remain competitive, your B2B sales process needs to take a different approach.
It’s time to leverage strategic marketing automation services that uncover and nurture qualified leads. Marketing automation tools help your business capture leads at a low cost through online web forms and downloadable content offers, and lead nurturing programs let you follow up on those prospects until they’re ready to buy. These online demand generation tools help you reduce your cost-per-sale without sacrificing valuable leads to your competitors.
Part #8: Always Track ROI
The last scientific step for a more effective B2B sales process is to measure the most important metric of all: Return On Investment. Your ROI metrics should be broken down along three main categories: individual metrics, team metrics and program metrics.
On the individual sales rep level, track and monitor attrition rate and average number of days to first sale. At the team level, measure your team’s overall sales pipeline compared to their total revenue closed. And for the program as a whole, always track your percentage to total revenue goal. Together, these metrics give you a clear picture of the ROI for your B2B sales program.
Your B2B sales process should be driven by a scientific approach. Leverage this 8-part formula to reach your revenue goals with greater precision and wider bottom-line margins.
Need warmer leads in your B2B sales pipeline? Click below to download this industry guide from Invenio Solutions® to start converting cold calls into prospects who are ready to buy.