12 tips for B2B Sales Representatives to increase new leads

Content Table

12 tips for B2B sales representatives to increase customer acquisition & ROI via digital selling
1. Establish a Buyer Persona and Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
2. Learn to manage your team remotely
3. Build trusting relationships with your customers
4. Create a personalized customer journey online
5. Have an easy to follow a process for your lead acquisition strategy
6. Upskill your sales team towards digital selling
7. Social selling via omnichannel sales
8. Use social proof on your website or eCommerce store to sell faster
9. Sales automation
10. Aligning sales and marketing teams through a sales automation CRM
11. Increase conversions with persuasive strategies and sales forecasts
12. Shift to virtual selling using 3D and Augmented Reality (AR)

5 Challenges faced by sales professionals post the pandemic

About ewiz commerce

 

To tap a large online market, B2B sales representatives need to transform sales processes by creating digital roadmaps for their customers.

According to a study, 80% of all B2B transactions will be done online by 2025.

Lead generation is critical to the growth and revenue of any business. It takes more than just a sales call, the launch of a new website, and investing in online advertising to acquire new leads.

 

12 tips for B2B sales representatives to increase customer acquisition & ROI via digital selling

 

“As baby boomers retire and millennials mature into key decision-making positions, a digital-first buying posture will become the norm,” says Cristina Gomez, Managing Vice President, Gartner.

Over the past six years, customer acquisition costs have risen 60%. It is getting more difficult for B2B sellers and marketing experts to earn the trust of customers.

Marketers find that reducing customer acquisition costs and proving the ROI of marketing efforts are two of their top priorities. Let’s look at what you can do as a sales rep to get high-quality leads for your B2B business.

 

1. Establish a Buyer Persona and Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

 

Sales efforts will fail if you do not know your customer interests, pain points, and buying triggers.

44% of B2B marketers have already discovered the power of buyer personas, and 83% plan to use them soon.

A buyer persona includes information that provides a deeper understanding of a specific market that may respond to your B2B sales campaign the best.

 

Creating a buyer persona lets you understand your customer better.

 

  • What do they do?

Your sales engagement strategies will change based on whom you are interacting with. You will not engage with a C-level executive the same way that you would with a sales representative of the same company.

 

  • What interests them? 

The goals and objectives of C-suite executives will be much broader than a sales leader or sales rep. Knowing their interests, goals, etc. will help you modify your sales strategies aptly.

 

  • Where are they most active?

To improve your B2B lead generation, identifying preferred platforms for your customers can help you direct your sales and marketing efforts in the right direction.

You can’t sell unless you know what they will buy. There’s plenty that can be done with good buyer persona mapping.

 

Buyer personas constantly change. B2B sales reps must review and update customer databases regularly.

 

2. Learn to manage your team remotely 

 

When salespeople have a set target every quarter, they know what standard to maintain. Setting employee expectations is crucial when you have a remote sales team. Sales teams must learn how to increase customer engagement remotely.

 

  • Training for two-way communication 

Besides setting up regular sales initiatives and targets, sales leaders must also encourage sales reps to perform better. Sales representatives must know how to find leads, and convert them.

Every B2B sales rep must be empathetic and learn to impress and engage on a deeper level. Cold calling/ emailing still works if it is done well. Understand the buyers and their pain points, research possible solutions to how you can solve their problems, or improvise an existing process.

An online sales meeting requires more effort than a physical meeting. It can be quite challenging to keep your customer engaged. Conduct regular sales workshops to train your sales team to communicate effectively.

 

  • B2B sales intelligence tools

To communicate and collaborate effectively, a remote sales team must use the right tools.

If you have the right tools for your team in place, a lot of time and money can be saved. Having sales intelligence software integrated into a CRM system can be a great way to start.

Here are a few sales tools that B2B sales reps can use on a day-to-day basis.

6 Types of B2B Sales Tools that your remote team really needs

 

  • Regular interactions

Take the time to learn about your team’s needs and assist them in any way you can. As the spirit of the sales team grows, engagement will build.

One out of five remote employees already attributes loneliness as their biggest challenge, which makes them less productive. By rerouting your communication channels into tools that provide immediate feedback, you can provide better leadership and improve communication.

 

3. B2B sales representatives must build trusting relationships with customers

 

The experience of talking with a client face to face differs greatly from communicating via email, or even via Zoom.

When prospects meet you in person, it gives them confidence that they’re in capable hands, as opposed to a virtual meeting. The booming field of eCommerce, however, illustrates that it is possible to create trust and maintain long-distance client relationships.

 

  • Online communication 

Online communication can sometimes cause awkward moments. People make the mistake of talking over each other more during video calls, or they could have trouble conveying key project elements through email.

In the current online era, there are many ways of communicating online. Whenever you transition to remote work, it’s best to reach out to clients and ask how they’d prefer to communicate. For example, clients who usually meet with you might prefer video calls instead.

 

  • Meeting clients’ expectations 

Meeting clients’ expectations is one of the most important steps you can take to earn and retain client trust. If a business provides better customer service, 47% of consumers would recommend it to others.

Clients may not want to work with you in the future if a project takes longer than they think it should. The best way to keep customers happy is to tell them precisely what you’ll deliver and by when.

 

When you understand what buyers need, it is easier to create content and sales collateral to improve your digital sales.

 

4. Create a personalized customer journey online

 

In B2B commerce, customers expect personalization through digital channels. For instance, when brands customize homepages and product recommendations for each customer, they create a more positive customer experience.

In the US, 75% of consumers expect personalized web pages – and 73% said that not receiving a personalized experience would influence their future purchases.

Source

By using visitor data at the right time and analyzing it carefully, a brand can personalize its customer experience according to the visitor’s preferences and needs at the moment.

A predictive algorithm can analyze visitor data even more closely to determine interest levels or conversion rates.

Even after visitors leave your B2B commerce website, you can follow up with retargeting and email campaigns. These remind visitors about their carts, suggest complementary products, or alert them about promotional offers.

 

5. Have an easy to follow a process for your lead acquisition strategy

 

Many sales teams rarely outline or standardize their sales procedures. This leaves B2B sales reps to make their own decisions.

By understanding the ‘true’ reasons for losing a deal, sales reps will be better able to qualify opportunities, reduce sales costs, and increase their chances of success.

You’ll be more likely to close deals if you communicate effectively with prospective clients. Through the use of sales tools mentioned above, B2B sales teams can identify where parts of the process need to be changed.

Similarly, disrupting someone’s busy schedule will not lead to a positive response. Understand your prospects’ interests and their social media profiles, and then provide them with an offer they can’t refuse.

 

6. Upskill your sales team towards digital selling

 

McKinsey Global Institute states that 375 million people, or 14% of the total workforce, would have to gain new skills. In order for a B2B sales representative to succeed, sales reps must learn to engage their customers in new ways.

A good way to start with upskilling is to understand what your sales team as well as the higher management thinks about upskilling. Conduct an internal survey asking whether upskilling is required, and if yes, what needs to be done, and how?

upskill your sales team towards digital selling

Companies must learn to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions and how to match B2B Sales development reps to new sales activities. BANT is a popular sales qualification technique where a B2B sales representative can assess a client’s ability to purchase based on four criteria:

popular sales qualification technique

This will help organizations determine the number of salespeople they need for different leads in different stages of the sales lifecycle.

If you already didn’t know this or if you knew this but haven’t considered adding it to your B2B sales process, you now know why upskilling is so important.

B2B companies can effectively implement upskilling strategies in different ways:

  • Short videos
  • Online courses
  • Self-study material
  • Group activities
  • Gamification

In order to support remote sales operations and drive revenue with B2B sales, both technological upskilling and new-age sales tactics must be given equal importance.

Key areas to focus on:

  • Omni-channel Communication
  • Using CRM to generate sales reports
  • Learning sales automation and strategies
  • Virtual sales and virtual presenting skills
  • Communication and leadership
  • Posture and tonality for cold calling
  • Effective prospecting, methodology, and sequencing
  • Team collaboration using different sales tools

 

7. Social selling via omnichannel sales

 

Since the pandemic, omnichannel sales have gained rapid popularity and have become the dominant path for B2B sales. Marketers who maintain one-channel plans are losing money as omnichannel models become more popular.

Social selling via omnichannel sales

To maximize a customer’s experience, omnichannel sales models can help you retain more customers, reduce turnover, and boost satisfaction.

  • 90% of companies in B2B went to virtual sales within a month of the pandemic – McKinsey 
  • Over 70% of customers prefer doing business remotely and want to make digital, self-serve purchases over $50,000 – McKinsey 
  • Compared to a single-channel, omnichannel orders are 250% more frequent and 13% more valuable – Omnisend

 

An omnichannel strategy offers customers a personalized customer experience that suits their natural habits and intuition. And to be as effective as possible, the right channels need to be selected, tested, and optimized constantly.

 

8. Use social proof on your website or eCommerce store to sell faster

 

A testimonial from an industry expert, online reviews, or a large company using your product are examples of social proof.

As a B2B sales representative, social proof is a great way to convey to potential clients that they can trust you.

Social proof works by tapping into our instinct to mimic what others are doing. It establishes trust and credibility, eliminates any risk associated, and thus helps customers make purchase decisions.

There’s evidence to the fact that the impact of social proof is amplified when people from one’s own peer group have embraced the idea or behavior.

  • Online shoppers conduct 87% of their research on the product they wish to purchase – Salesforce
  • 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase – Bizrate Insights
  • 77% of consumers have a greater impact on their purchase decisions when they see photos from customers than professional images – Yotpo.

Trust plays a critical part during the online shopping process. Social proof also creates stories about your brand and humanizes your brand to them.

Also, integrating user-generated content into a B2B website allows brands to build trust, sell products at critical points in the customer journey.

9 Types of Social Proof to kindle trust and earn loyal customers

 

While replying to comments on social media is a great way to boost customer engagement, you must also listen and learn from your customers.

Understand what they value, how you can provide more of what they like, where your product is glitching, and what was the impact on the life or business of your customer.

 

9. Sales automation

 

Do you want to know how to generate sales leads and create amazing B2B sales strategies for prospects?

Knowledge is key to any successful sale.

A great B2B sales representative will qualify hot leads from the junk. This requires that the sales rep has a significant understanding of what the B2B business is, does the business need your services, what will it cost to gain this qualified lead, and so on.

This information can be incorporated into an automated system.

B2B sellers can use an automated sales and customer service platform. It can qualify your leads by searching the web to gather contact information and deliver it to your sales team.

A sales automation software can help automate lead generation, contact management, and report generation, appointment scheduling, and a lot more.

Here’s what instapage states about sales automation:

  • B2B marketers boosted pipeline contributions by 10% with sales automation software
  • 80% of marketing automation users see increased leads, and 77% see increased conversions

Through automation, employees can work efficiently without mismanagement of regular operations even when they’re at remote locations. Sales teams can also track B2B orders, gather, process, and move data between different systems, while also monitoring customer behavior.

 

10. Aligning sales and marketing teams through a sales automation CRM

 

Sales reps can also automate parts of the sales funnel to gather leads from the online buyer journey of the customer. This way, they can use sales automation by working alongside the marketing teams to drive traffic, convert leads, and generate repeat business.

Marketing automation, sales automation, and customer relationship management platforms (CRMs) may seem similar at first, but they are in fact very different from one another.Difference between CRM, Sales Automation and Marketing Automation

 

According to HBR, the most common reason for stagnant or declining revenue is a misaligned sales and marketing department.

Marketing teams and sales staff can use CRM with automation to learn more about customers, create campaigns, and prioritize activities.

Over the course of a year, companies aligning their marketing and sales teams experienced 24% faster sales growth and 27% faster profits.Impact of smarketing: sales and marketing alignment - statistics

Sales automation tools can help your team quickly act on a successful marketing campaign with personalized communication with the customer. However, most companies find it difficult to have a holistic view of a customer.

That’s where a CRM comes in. The most effective technology used by companies with high sales and marketing alignment is CRM, followed by email marketing, analytics, and marketing automation.

CRM integrated with sales and marketing automation tools

A CRM integrated with sales and marketing automation tools can improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase productivity.

It allows sales and marketing teams to work together on a common platform and increase performance. Moreover, the whole outreach process is also centrally stored so everyone can easily access it. You can also hide sensitive information that need not be visible to everyone.

 

11. Increase conversions with persuasive strategies and sales forecasts

 

Understanding how people think is key to marketing success. That’s why psychology is the basis for the most effective marketing practices. Urgency is a psychological principle that can apply to B2B sales as well.

The best urgency techniques involve:

  • Showing stock levels to instill fear,
  • Presenting countdowns to worry about running out of time,
  • Highlighting missed opportunities like “sold out”, and
  • Using limited-time free shipping and exclusive offers.

You can also avoid or ease potential sales issues by using sales forecasting.

A study found that companies with accurate sales forecasting typically increase revenue by 10% a year and meet their quota by 7.3%.

An effective way to forecast sales is by using a predictive analysis algorithm.

These algorithms consider multiple factors like order history, past sales, website activity, 3rd party site activities, etc. It also uses integrated sales forecast tools and AI analytics to provide insights into futuristic forecasts.

 

12. Shift to virtual selling using 3D and Augmented Reality (AR)

 

In a retail store, customers get to look, feel and touch the fabric of the clothing they buy. They can also try it on and see if it looks good on them. The same can’t be said for an online eCommerce store.

But with AR, you can virtually sell through chatbots, voice search, videoconferencing, contactless selling channels like virtual showrooms.

3D eCommerce experience provides customers with a better understanding of the product

Source

A 3D eCommerce experience provides customers with a better understanding of the product even before they enter the sales pipeline. This allows them to make their own independent decisions during the buying process.

There are many ways you can use virtual and augmented reality to engage your customers.

 

  • You can bring a digital showroom to the customer who is physically present elsewhere.

Mobile devices have also made 3D and AR content accessible without the need of using specialized hardware or custom apps. Prospects can now visualize the entire product catalog using a c;oud-based AR.

 

Augmented Reality Shopping Apps – AR Furniture

 

  • You can expand your small physical store into a virtual shopping mall

VR also works the other way around. You can give your customers a truly rich and immersive shopping experience by converting any physical space into a grand virtual reality.

IKEA created an interactive showroom that uses virtual reality to offer an innovative 3D product experience.

 

IKEA – Virtual Reality Showroom


 

5 Challenges faced by sales professionals post the pandemic

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced B2B buyers and sellers to go digital.

  • Over 90% of B2B decision-makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run.
  • 3 in 4 believe the new model is as effective or more so than before COVID-19 (for both existing customers and new prospects)

In 2020, US eCommerce revenues grew by over 32% despite the decline in physical store spending. However, B2B selling won’t be the same anymore.

Here’s what you need to know about the challenges you will face as a B2B sales representative:

 

1. Selling from a distance

 

Many sales professionals are conducting their customer conversations remotely for the first time, and it is difficult. Gaining buyers’ attention and keeping them engaged virtually is difficult for 91% of sales professionals.

 

2. Getting a meeting

 

As most people are now working from home, there are no standard office hours for people to work in, and getting a meeting has become more difficult.

Establishing urgency (42%), contacting prospects (37%), and handling price objections (35%), are among the biggest challenges salespeople face today.

 

3. Managing a virtual sales meeting

 

Connecting with a potential customer over a screen is a challenge.

Give a stellar virtual presentation while ensuring that the customer is carefully listening and is not distracted.

Data from LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report 2020 confirms that virtual selling has gone mainstream, with 81% of sales professionals conducting more video conferencing.

 

4. Leading a virtual sales team can be tough

 

If your salespeople work together, you can have regular conversations in the halls, listening to what is going on and asking for their input. But leading and motivating remote sales representatives is a much tougher task.

In a groundbreaking study published in the fall of 2020, HubSpot summed it up as follows: “Sales leaders who do not invest in remote selling fall behind.” 

Those who waited for normal to return suffered as a result. The study shows that 64% of teams who changed to virtual sales (or a hybrid model) met or exceeded their targets for 2020, while only 50% did not.

 

5. Customers’ needs are changing post the pandemic

 

The pandemic has resulted in many changes in customer behavior, furthering the advancements in digital technology that was already underway. In the future, the nature of B2B sales operations will differ from before.

Most B2B selling interactions are now remote, and approximately 80% of customers prefer virtual selling over traditional selling.

 

About ewiz commerce

 

ewiz commerce is an Al-driven B2B eCommerce platform that offers a host of eCommerce services including building your eCommerce website, automating it, and providing you with a team of experts to support your day-to-day activities.

 

Features of ewiz commerce

 

ewiz commerce provides complete control over the B2B eCommerce experience from end-to-end.

Sell faster with ewiz commerce

 

ewiz commerce is not just a platform for creating an online B2B eCommerce website, but also a software platform for managing it, marketing it and maximizing your revenue through AI-powered automation. B2B sales representatives can largely benefit from it.

Get a free demo today!

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