Selling business to business (B2B) is a totally different ball game to that of selling to clients. Here are five classic B2B mistakes your sales people must avoid.
Mistake #1 – Thinking cold calls will bring in business.
Cold calls once served a purpose in B2B sales but that was a lifetime ago. Instead, take the time to research on the web to decide whether it’s worth your while pursuing a particular prospect. Work out how profitable that prospect might turn out to be and assess the challenges faced by your industry. These three pieces of information will help to maximize your B2B success rates.
Mistake #2 – Treating a business interview as a sales call.
Customers are too busy to deal with unscheduled ‘drop-in’ calls by salespeople. Schedule a proper business interview instead. This meeting will have a clear purpose and will be results-orientated for everyone involved no matter what stage your relationship with the client has reached or where you are in the sales process.
Mistake #3 – Assuming you will have the support of your company.
You will have to cope with competition from within your own organization as well as from your industry. Most B2B organizations have multiple salespeople who are all asking for resources to help them in their quest for orders. The best way to get noticed is to have a great track record that demonstrates your ability to turn those sought-after resources into sales.
Mistake #4 – Lacking a clear vision of how to win business from your prospect.
In the initial stages of the B2B sales process, you’ll need to work out how the customer wants things to look after they’ve invested in your company. This vision is vitally important if you’re to convert prospects into sales. Once you’ve defined the vision clearly, list the steps required to help your customer achieve their own vision following investment in your company. Now it’s up to you to make sure that your company fulfills that vision.
Mistake #5 – Forgetting that you’re dealing with people, not companies.
Think about the qualities you look for in the people and companies you want to do business with. Any client presents challenges but it’s how you interact with its people that makes a relationship successful. Take the time to get to know what makes the prospect’s key decision-maker tick and you’re half way to success.
B2B is a highly competitive marketplace and it’s by avoiding these common mistakes that you’ll give yourself every chance of success.