Create the Perfect B2B Sales Strategy
We host and attend events to make connections, arrange business deals, and find products or services that can help us solve a problem. Events help put you in the right place at the right time; now, all you have to do is strike up a conversation, make a meaningful connection, and close the deal. That should be easy, right?
Not necessarily. Making a connection isn’t as easy as it seems whether you host or attend B2B events. Unlike B2C customers, B2B customers are harder to attract. So, how do you go about finding the right B2B customers, nurturing a campaign, and making a sale?
For over ten years, CEO and Co-Founder of Social27 Virtual Event Platform, Ike Singh Kehal, has helped enterprises achieve better results by providing them with event solutions. Ike joined Benjamin Shapiro, host of the Martech Podcast, to discuss how you can better understand your B2B customer’s needs and share his knowledge of B2B marketing.
What You Need to Know About B2B Customers
Before planning your B2B sales strategy, you need to determine who your customers are and identify their needs. During the Martech Podcast, Ike says, “B2B is really all about understanding your customer’s needs. It’s not like buyers don’t want to buy; they just need to find the relevant solution for them… But once you’re in, you’re in there for the long haul, and [if] you build a strong relationship, hopefully, a lot of revenue [will come] along with that. ”
Demonstrating upfront awareness of your customers’ needs can provide the foundation for a lasting relationship, which you will heavily rely on as you advance through the sales process.
Targeting Your B2B Customers
Your B2B sales strategy needs to be more personal than traditional B2C sales. Ike fondly refers to personal B2B marketing as, “…business to human. Because… there are B2C products and B2B products, but at the end of the day, you’re selling to a person.”
Therefore, you need to tailor your message to match the intent of the people you’re targeting, aka the ‘decision-makers.’
Crafting Your B2B Messaging
A handful of decision-makers are involved in the buying process, from sales, to marketing, to IP, to procurement. Before you start these conversations, Ike advises you, “…prepare all of [your] documentation accordingly and [create] the right messaging for each of those different players that [you] will encounter.” This way, you can answer questions from all parties concerned before they arise. Your due diligence will save you time and help you streamline the buying process.
We implement this ‘best practice’ here at Social27. Ike told Benjamin during the Martech podcast, “That [our team] starts talking about [what stakeholders will be involved] right in the beginning so that the [organization] that [we are] talking to then starts believing in us more because they themselves are like, wow, you guys are absolutely amazing…”
You only get one first impression. Make sure you are thoroughly prepared to approach new clients!
Discover how the Social27 team suggests you prepare to plan virtual and hybrid events by reading our ultimate virtual event checklist.
Nurturing Professional Relationships
It’s also important that you understand what your customers’ buying journey looks like. “…In many cases, the way a lot of [Social27’s] customers will [look for a new vendor] is that they will do a lot of research… by themselves, and [then] they will talk to their peers…check out multiple different vendors…and by the time they really start giving out actual buying signals, [they] might be 50% [through the buying cycle],” says Ike.
But you can still meet your customers where they are in the buying cycle if you maintain strong relationships with those in your industry.
“It’s about [building] relationships over a period of time. So that when they do get into that buying mode, they will think about [Social27], and they might give us a quick call to see if we can meet their needs,” says Ike.
Networking with various industry professions helps you get your foot in the door and generate potential leads. And once you have one foot in, you’re well on your way to making the sale.
Learn more about networking for lead generation.
Making the Sale
Instead of focusing on the numerous ways your product or service can help your customer, hone in on their most essential needs and provide them with a solution.
In the Martech Podcast, Ike uses the analogy of selling Swiss army knives to a customer that needs a screwdriver. “…Understand how [you can] differentiate [yourselves] and not just talk about those thousand things that you can do for them. [Instead focus] on that one thing that [they] are really in market for. And then… you can continue to expand on that offering and tell them that, hey, tomorrow you might need a knife, [and we can help you there] too,” suggests Ike.
The key to closing a deal is finding a way to provide your customer with long-lasting value. There is nothing we appreciate more than a product or service that will benefit us today, tomorrow, or five years from now.
Communicate the benefits, make the sale by demonstrating your value!
Mastering the B2B Sales Pitch
It isn’t easy to attract B2B customers, but our advice can help make the process easier! The key to mastering the B2B sales pitch relies on ‘understanding.’ You must understand your customers’ needs, the importance of personalizing your message to reach all stakeholders, the benefit of networking, and the value of your product or service.
Once you understand the process, you come one step closer to nailing the pitch.
Looking for More Industry Expert Insights?
You can hear more B2B sales strategy and event industry insights by listening to additional podcast episodes or checking out our other podcast blogs featuring Ike Singh Kehal.
If you’re looking for the opportunity to streamline B2B lead generation and fast-track your sales cycle, consider hosting a virtual or hybrid event! Click here to sign up for a demo and learn how Social27 can help you create a dynamic B2B event.
Interested in hosting Ike as a guest speaker on your podcast? Book him on Kitcaster now!