Let’s face it: Business-to-business sales is not for the fainthearted. While B2C salespeople can rely on charm, good looks and wit to help close deals, in the B2B “jungle”—where the stakes are high and consumers are more sophisticated and discerning—these traits won’t get you far.
In B2B sales, it’s not what you sell that matters (although that’s not to be completely overlooked), it’s how you sell that matters most. To be successful, you not only have to know your consumers, but you have to know their world—their industry, their geography, how big their company is … the list goes on.
Every sales rep knows you only have one shot to make a connection with a buyer, so you better make it a bull’s-eye. Having access to comprehensive consumer insight allows salespeople to properly craft more relevant sales pitches and have meaningful conversations with prospects. But, where does one get this informational insight? Believe it or not, it’s right under your nose, as follows:
- Social media: Through “social listening,” agents are able to hear firsthand what prospects are saying about their brand and, more importantly, their competitors. By connecting and engaging with potential buyers, reps can dig deep into buyers’ needs, pain points and challenges to facilitate more meaningful, relevant conversations. According to research, 78.6 percent of salespeople using social media to sell outperform those who aren’t using it.
- Contact database: Your contact database is filled with untapped business intelligence. While it might seem obvious, it’s worth mentioning, as a surprising number of salespeople don’t use their contact database to its full potential. That’s because data is often outdated and/or inaccurate given the rapid rate of data degradation. Clean it up, maintain it and use it for all it’s worth.
- Marketing department: Just like you, your marketing department associates are in the trenches day in and day out, combing through piles of data to reveal insights into buyer behaviors, preferences and sentiment. Don’t be afraid to pick their brains once in awhile; chances are you’ll learn something new.
What steps do you take to empower your sales teams? Let me know in the comment section below.
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