B2B sales, or business-to-business sales, when involved with multiple decision-makers, can be a lengthy procedure. According to a study by Gartner, the average buying group for relatively complex B2B solutions includes 6 to 10 decision-makers. The B2B selling process is getting increasingly complicated as technologies and buying behaviors evolve.
Sales effectiveness improves when you understand the concepts and skills related to the management of multiple decision-makers or stakeholders. You need to have reliable and detailed product knowledge when you're working with multiple decision-makers who want to know how your products or services will make their job easier. Managerial decision-makers are specifically interested in easy implementation. You need to make sure you follow some basic strategies to find the most suitable buyers. In this article, we outline some of the essential factors to keep in mind whenever you're trying to close a sale that involves convincing multiple decision-makers.
Indeed, when it comes to selling to multiple influencers or not, everything depends upon how you display your credibility as an expert. For your sales process to be effective, your influencers and customers must be able to trust you. Provide helpful, necessary, and detailed information, expert advice, and recommendations to help them with their purchasing decisions.
That being said, credibility isn't established in a day. It is a continuous process that demands persistent efforts. Especially in a multi-decision maker situation, it isn't enough to be credible. One must be able to take charge of the sales process to ensure favorable results.
So, as one might ask, how do you do all of that?
Taking ownership of the sale is about identifying what has to be done and taking measures to make it happen. You need to analyze the outcome, learn from the results, and improve, to be able to deliver better results in the future.
You must provide pricing and information about your products in a noticeable and transparent way that can be easily shared and understood. There should not be any compound or hidden charges.
You need to have a set of data and information available to be presented to potential buyers, to establish previous performance records – precisely results. Also, find a way to explain how your past experiences have a substantial bearing on the possibilities of your present plan's success. In this regard, it may be beneficial to accept past mistakes while also specifying how you plan to overcome the same challenges moving forward.
When multiple decision-makers are involved in a B2B sales process, you need to conduct numerous demos. Allowing all the stakeholders to view your products and services appropriately and as many times as possible will increase the chances of them choosing your products and services. Approachability and openness is something that you must have on your end.
While researching your gatekeepers and decision-makers, you need to check and see if you have any shared connections. The influencer is the main point of contact with another business. It is essential to identify them as they have a direct influence on the decision-making process. These include technical experts, people with financial power looking for a beneficial gain, or people who have vested interest in the ultimate purchase decision.
Make sure you explain every aspect of your product/service in your proposal or first demo. Furthermore, you must be fully attentive to the potential clients during the conversations and the demos.
You should be accountable for any questions they might have regarding your products and services. When your prospect has a lot of questions or doubts regarding a specific area, make sure you talk about it in detail before ending the conversation, so that they are not left with any lingering questions.
In B2B sales and marketing, the influencers – both technical and non-technical are very sophisticated. More often than not, they are also experts in their domains, especially in the case of technical influencers. So, it takes much more than just sending them samples to win them over. Make sure that you go into the details of your products and services, specifically aimed at them, to get them interested in your business.
Accurate data is essential in B2B sales. You need to identify the different segments of your target audience, observe them, understand the demands of the particular segments, and work on them.
You must understand personas and dynamic content to achieve the best conversion rates in B2B. Get inside the prospects' heads, to focus on their pain points, then speak to those pain points in the call to action, utilization of unique imagery, and personalized email subjects.
You need to identify which persona category each lead falls into as early as possible in the customer journey. This will allow you to dynamically tailor your content to each persona, so the message is more relevant and targeted for each buyer. Email campaigns can be used as an effective way of leveraging automation while delivering personalized marketing and sales enablement content to individual decision-makers. This is valuable because it creates an automatic and ongoing conversation, thus building trust and loyalty.
Every product or service has its target audience. You have to make sure that you have established a target demographic, and that you are not chasing the wrong segment. Try to understand the specific needs or demands of your target demographic. Focus on how you identify the core offers, and fill in the gaps with adequate research.
To win your target influencer, you need to be able to focus on their specific needs and make them understand how your products and services are exactly what they are looking for.
What you must not forget is the importance of focusing on the service, its quality, price, and time. These are the fundamental requirements of suppliers. With rising expectations and demands, it has become imperative to pay attention to the quality of the products and services. Cost and value are always critical when it comes to B2B sales and marketing, and you need to be very clear and specific about the prices.
You need to determine who is connected to whom – politically, functionally, organizationally, or through personal links – and draw connections, to identify the key influencers. Assessing commitment levels is necessary because it enables you to determine how you can capitalize on your "support" to sell more effectively.
It is essential to understand who is on your side and how they can help you gain in the market. It is also necessary on your part to use your past experiences as a barometer to identify which influencers' demands and priorities most closely match that of the decision-makers involved in the procedure.
In B2B sales and marketing, buying decisions are affected by multiple people with opposing viewpoints and agendas. Learning to work with numerous decision-makers will ultimately help you to shorten the lengthy decision-making cycle, to your benefit. B2B sales and marketing are different from B2C (business to consumer) sales in terms of its main focus. B2B focuses specifically on identifying the target demographic and addressing it with targeted communications.
You must be proactive and find the potential influencers, and share the relevant content needed to win them over. It's important to work closely with the marketing department to use the marketing content as a sales tool and move the prospects further down the sales funnel.
At Intelus, we help B2B companies shorten the sales cycle, improve conversions and save time and money on otherwise wasted sales activities. To learn more about how we can help, book a meeting with us.