4 Keys to Building A Successful B2B Sales Process
Is your B2B sales process delivering the ROI that you expect? B2B selling has changed in recent years, thanks to digital technology. Even social media, initially used primarily for B2C sales, is now a trusted tool for B2B sales teams.
So if you want to get the most out of your B2B marketing and conversion initiatives, you need to approach the task with an open mind. The trick is to identify the B2B sales tactics with real staying power, and leave the fleeting trends behind. Here are four tips that will keep your B2B sales process operating at peak efficiency.
Lead Generation Through Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a beautiful thing, and it’s especially useful in B2B sales. When a potential B2B customer needs information, they use the same sites you do to find it. Inbound marketing allows your company to show up in the places where your target customers are most likely to look for it.
- There are too many components of inbound marketing to cover them in a quick blurb, so we’ll just look at a few of the most important. Search engine optimization is near the top of the list. Your odds of receiving a click rise dramatically the closer you are to the top of the search results. SEO puts your site on the marquee, directing prospects to the next step of your inbound process.
- Social media is another big B2B inbound tool. Content marketing, which we’ll get to soon, plays a major role on social, but there’s more to the process. Your entire social presence, right down to one-on-one interactions, can be geared toward sustainable lead generation.
Marketing and Sales Team Integration
Your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page. Simple as that. Think of it in terms of the pitcher-catcher relationship in baseball. When the pitcher and catcher both know what the next pitch will be and where it’s expected to go, they have a good chance of forcing the batter to make an out. If each is working independently of the other, well, someone’s probably getting hit with an unexpected baseball.
- Make sure each team understands the goals and needs of the other. Your sales team can provide valuable information about the types of prospect they are looking for, and your marketing team can teach salespeople better ways to reach that target audience.
- Collaboration also breeds trust. When marketing hands over a lead to sales, you want your salespeople to know they can count on the data it contains.
Content Marketing to Build Trust
Quality content is one of the keys to unlocking the benefits of digital B2B sales and marketing. Every piece of content you create is an opportunity to build trusting relationships with potential and current customers. Offer valuable, informative content, and you become a trusted advisor in your sphere of influence. If they can trust your content, they’ll be more likely to trust your business.
- Most of your inbound marketing efforts, especially social sharing and SEO, will aim to draw readers to your content. Your content then builds trust with those readers, so content-based leads are often very well qualified, before you’ve even had any direct interaction.
- Great content generates social shares, another source of qualified leads. When someone sees that a trusted friend has implicitly endorsed a company by sharing its content, they’ll be more likely to click through, too.
CRM and Software Integration
Customer relationship management platforms are excellent tools, but the results CRM delivers depends on how you use it. Your software-based tools need to work together across departments, just like your teams do. That means integrating software as completely as possible, and ensuring that your people use every element of the platform. Skip one element, and the whole process suffers.
- Provide the educational tools and training necessary for your team to use your CRM software effectively. A CRM that’s rolled out with great intentions can quickly become a dud, if nobody understands how to use it.
- You may need to give your team a pitch of your own, if you want them to use CRM. Some employees may be turned off by CRM myths, or by the potential change to their routine. Show these skeptics the time-saving and financial advantages of CRM in real terms, and it will be easier to get full buy-in.
Modern lead generation is all about finding creative ways to use the many tools that you have at your disposal. With the right B2B sales process, your lead generation efforts will reach new prospects that you’d have never found through traditional means. The future of sales is here, and it’s time to hop on and enjoy the ride.