Let’s face it all of us, at least those in major world cities where B2B activities are paramount to success such as Boston, New York City, Los Angeles , Chicago, London, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Tokyo, etc.. feel economic pressure to sell, sell, sell. How we sell, who we sell to, where we sell and with what we sell are important to reaching that success.
In my 20+ years of B2B Sales, B2B Sales Training and B2B Social Selling I have witnessed a lot of the good and bad of B2B selling. For my LinkedIn and Twitter audiences of B2B Sales professionals, here are my Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of B2B Selling, which can support any industry focus.
5 DO’s of B2B Selling
1. DO have a written, collaborative, measured Sales Plan that aligns with your company’s financial goals. Make sure that this Sales Plan is reviewed, supported and enhanced on a monthly basis.
2. DO invest in Sales Training , whether that is internal team training for on-boarding new sales recruits or investing in an outsourced Sales Training program or individual Sales trainer or Sales consultant. Make sure that the Sales training is customized to your organization’s culture, mission and resources. Make sure that the training is not just a one-time shot; but one that includes appropriate documentation, goal-setting and follow-up.
My personal approach to B2B Sales Training is to view all elements of Marketing and Sales in the organization as holistic and that the Salesperson plays a key role across the spectrum. I have trained hundreds of corporate teams in B2B Sales and specifically in B2B Social Selling. If interested, you can review my client sales teams review of my work on my B2B Sales Training page.
3. DO appropriate Sales prep work for any new qualified leads. Something I have always done since day 1 of my B2B Sales career is to develop my own “Sales prep sheet”. The sheet is detailed with items including:
- Name of company and url
- Name of contact, title , responsibilities and position in decision-tree
- Company current agencies and consultants
- (2) company competitors
- Company Services
- Company Revenues (annual)
- Company Industry and Sub-industry
Related: 10 DOs of Proper Content Marketing
4. DO invest and use a solid CRM platform. Salesforce is the biggie here, although there are many others, including using LinkedIn as a mini-CRM, as a describe in my 3-part LinkedIn Training course for B2B mid and enterprise level organizations. A CRM and appropriate daily use keeps you and your Sales team on track.
5. DO use LinkedIn as your main B2B Social Selling tool. As I detail in my LinkedIn Branding and Sales book and throughout my LinkedIn courses, Webcasts, Videos, Webinars and Action Plan worksheets, there are millions of sales success stories on LinkedIn. This is because LinkedIn was built and performs as credible B2B global networking tool. When used correctly, a B2B Sales professional has the ability to:
- Do cold calling
- Gain warm introductions to targeted leads
- Call on pre-qualified marketing leads
- Arrange in person meetings around the world with hot prospects
- Gain LinkedIn visibility to earn target interest
- Build a personal brand that drives thought-leadership
- and much, much more.
- I suggest you read the Sales and Sales etiquette portions of my LinkedIn book and start seeing immediate sales results with appropriate action.
Ok, now for the DON’TS
5 DON’Ts of B2B Selling
1. DO NOT chase a prospect that is unqualified. This means:
- Not ready to buy
- Does not have the budget for your services. This is the most important.
- Is fishing around for free information
- Is not the decision maker and has no access to the decision maker
2. DO NOT oversell. This means talk less, listen more. Know what you want to listen for before you even get on the phone, send the e-mail, meet in person.
3. DO NOT sell by service features and benefits. Sell by:
- Developing a real, authentic relationship
- Sharing success stories of what you have done for other industry related B2B companies
- Honing in on a simple, quick statement of what your service can do to drive profits, revenues, cost-savings or all of the above
4. DO NOT think me, me, me, me, me
I had a friend once tell me that people are always thinking what’s in it for them. Ever since I heard that, I have listened in for that when vendors call me to sell their services into my Agent-cy. I can tell you that is so true. Many business owners, Sales managers and Sales professionals have not been trained to think outside the box, listen first , create relationships first and not sell. I have made my B2B sales career by creating partnerships, rather than selling to clients.
5. DO NOT get comfortable.
Sales can go up and down at anytime. Do not get comfortable with the status quo. In B2B Sales you always have to push for more.
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