There is not the one silver bullet in b2b selling. That’s the bad news – and the good news at the same time. Because you can reach your goal with your product in different ways. Which sales strategy will pay off most for you depends on your market, your target group and your product. But also on your resources and your individual strengths. A very promising sales strategy in b2b markets, for example, is social selling – but this also requires certain resources.
Social selling is the end of cold calling
Today, the majority of companies research online in search engines and social media for solutions to their current challenges. Social selling captures them there and already at this point begins a communication that is not primarily sales-driven. By providing value-added information, you gain relevance and credibility in the social cosmos of your target group. You position yourself as an expert and activate potential prospects for a topic-related dialogue. Person-centred, not company-centred.
In contrast to content marketing, this is not about the one-sided sending of useful information. Rather, it is about entering into dialogue and building genuine interpersonal contacts and relationships with representatives of your target group. This ultimately results in a much greater awareness of your sales efforts. And a productive basis for the ultimate initiation of a sales conversation. In addition, social selling goes beyond maintaining your own channel and also includes listening to and analyzing what is said on social networks about your company and its products, as well as the needs of your target group expressed there. All this is without question time-consuming at first, but prepares the ground for a fast and effective sales process.
Solution selling addresses profoundly the needs of the customer
Solution selling requires a stronger commitment to the individual prospective customer and an individual advance performance. This is based on in-depth research into the currently pressing needs and challenges of the respective company and/or the corresponding stakeholder in the sales process. And this is truly individual. Based on this, you can offer your prospective buyer a real recommendation for a solution that is precisely tailored to him and his current needs. It is obvious that this sales strategy is particularly suitable for highly individualized products and services. By proactively finding solutions, you position yourself as a real value-added performer. Your customer feels understood and benefits directly from your support. A promising start for a stable and profitable customer relationship.
Strategic Selling identifies influencers in the company
Strategic selling considers various stakeholders in the company, particularly with regard to their influence in the purchasing process – and the other stakeholders. On the basis of various criteria, it determines what role the respective contact person plays in the process, what arguments he or she is likely to be particularly receptive to, how positively or negatively he or she views our product, and how he or she can support us internally on the path to a successful conclusion. In this way, important gatekeepers become visible and advocates are consciously provided with the necessary arguments to be able to convince further parties involved in the purchase process as influencers in their own company. Instead of a one-contact strategy, as many people as possible involved in the purchase process are analysed, assigned to a role and then included accordingly in the sales process. This is not only a promising sales strategy, but also helps to assess which deals are likely to be concluded and how quickly or at what cost – and thus to prioritise them in a resource-oriented manner.
Account based selling requires a strong database
Account based selling is particularly suitable for customers with the potential for high sales and/or a long-term profitable customer relationship. Because a lot of work is invested in building personal relationships with the corresponding target account. Instead of concentrating on a large number of leads, you concentrate on a few promising target accounts – but on these all the more intensively. You can read more about account-based selling and how to use it in your company here in March.
These and other sales strategies are of course not necessarily stand-alone, but can also interact with each other. For example, consistent social selling can also serve as a starting point for subsequent account-based selling. In any case, it is important to establish a clear and comprehensible process in your sales department so that strategic and targeted sales are possible.