I know the title looks like clickbait but let me assure you it’s not. I’m not even proposing that the marketing departments take over the sales department.
I know most modern B2B marketers believe they could do a better job at selling than the sales executives but let’s not take up more work and rather work smarter.
What I mean by modern B2B marketers need to start selling is to make the job of the sales team easy, and warm up leads so they quickly convert and drive revenue growth.
Selling involves convincing the prospect about the value and utility of a product. This is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.
What if the prospects are already convinced about the value and utility of your offerings? The sales team can work quickly and close more deals and grow revenue.
It’s a win-win situation so let’s see how you can go about it!
Stages in a B2B Sales Cycle
Before we learn about how modern B2B marketers can start selling, we will need to understand the different stages in a B2B Sales Cycle.
Source – Hubspot
As a B2B marketer, you will understand which sales cycle stages each marketing strategy helps with. You may even spot and make the most of new opportunities.
Prospecting involves identifying a potential client, determining whether they need your product, whether they’re willing to pay for it, etc.
This stage involves collecting information about the client and preparing for the initial contact and presentation that will follow through.
You get in touch with the client, either personally or virtually, and engage them in a conversation to understand their requirements.
You present your products and solutions in a way that they are positioned to be the answers to the client’s requirements.
The negotiations can be about the pricing, wanting additional features, customizations, etc. Customers always seek the best value for their spending.
At this stage, the client finalized the purchase. You can use various closing techniques to close the deal quickly. Then the product or service is deployed for use by the customer.
The follow-up stage has you continue communications with your customer to assist them with any queries or difficulties. This makes it easy to acquire repeat orders and referrals.
So how can modern B2B marketers start selling?
Modern B2B marketers can start selling by adopting marketing strategies and conducting activities that eliminate the steps in a B2B Sales Cycle or make them as easy and quick as possible.
A faster B2B sales cycle means you can close more deals at the same time. Revenue growth starts snowballing with sales cycle times improving steadily.
So let’s take a look at things you can do to start selling!
How can Modern B2B Marketers Start Selling
Let’s check out all the different strategies and activities a modern B2B marketer can do to start selling.
Leverage Marketing Automations
The prospecting and preparation stages in a B2B sales cycle can be completely eliminated by leveraging marketing automation.
You will of course need to prepare and regularly update your Ideal Customer Profile. Using that as a base, you can filter, qualify, score and segregate leads automatically.
Source – Xplore.com
Opting for a single customer view framework will make preparation a walk in the park for the sales team. A lot of time can be cut out from the B2B sales cycle using automation.
While you can argue that these processes do not count as selling, if you consider the B2B Sales cycle, you’re shortening it significantly with this automation.
You’re not only carrying out tasks usually performed by the sales team but also automating them completely. This saves a lot of time and resources for the firm.
Secure the Risk-averse Buyers
Let’s face the facts, a lot of B2B vendors haven’t been delivering on their promises. So, we have a lot of B2B buyers who are risk-averse.
This results in a lot of convincing and advocating needed to get a client to believe in your product, its utility, and value. These only add to your business costs.
You can inspire confidence in them by managing reviews on third-party review websites such as G2, Capterra, or TrustRadius and sharing customer testimonials.
This helps you build credibility for your brand. B2B customers find it easy to trust brands that have strong credibility in the market.
Moreover, providing a monetary guarantee such as a money-back policy or highlighting how competitive your prices are can also help a lot.
Ensuring these risk-averse buyers have a positive customer experience can turn them into brand advocates that can further benefit you.
Existing customers are an important asset to any B2B business. A steady inflow of reorders adds significantly to your revenue.
However, getting customers to reorder on a regular basis is not easy. The customer needs to have an incentive to order a new product from you.
The solution for this is to present the customer with a good enough value incentive that gets them to order a new product to upgrade to a better plan.
How does one achieve it? Update your products and offerings with new features and utility on a periodic basis. The consumer electronics industry follows this approach.
They constantly come out with new and improved products and people buy them. If you present customers with a significant upgrade, they’ll send in the orders for sure.
Create a Sense of Exclusivity
Commonly observed in the B2C realm, even B2B businesses can benefit from this approach. At the core of this approach is the scarcity principle.
Your goal should be to create hype followed by a limited time or limited quantity offer. Start with an effective marketing campaign.
Focus on creating a buzz in the market by talking about new and intelligent features, a promise of higher utility and returns compared to competitors, etc.
This needs to be followed up with good pricing. The pricing should not be too lucrative. It should be reasonable and should ensure healthy profits for your firm.
Follow it up with an offer that is time-bound or limited in numbers. This creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency on part of the potential customers to finalize the purchase.
Knowing where exactly a customer was in his customer journey was earlier impossible. Technologies such as customer journey tracking made this a reality.
A lot of insights can be generated by analyzing a customer’s journey. It is possible to identify customers who might be holding back for the lack of a good offer.
In such instances, you can have the sales executives approach and engage with them. There are chances it may fail and cost you time and resources.
A better approach would be to analyze all the data you have about such customers and understand what may be holding them back.
It could be the pricing, lack of some feature, additional utility, etc. Once that has been identified, you can directly present them with a personalized offer.
If you get it right, customers will jump aboard quickly. Thus, you will close a lot of deals quickly, and save on time and resources with personalized offers.
Tactical Guest Posting
Guest posting is important for outreach and earning backlinks. However, you can further increase its utility by tactically using guest posts to sell your products.
How does one achieve that? There are many ways you can do so.
First and foremost, you can mention your brand as an example of how a business should handle marketing sales, customer success, etc.
Here’s an example. In this article titled, 12 Inspiring Business Branding Examples, we were able to tactically position ourselves as an example of inspiring branding.
Now, the article has all our details. Thus, not only did we position ourselves positively, but we also gained access to Snov.io’s reader base.
This not only builds brand reputation but gets readers thinking about you whenever they need a service that you offer. The power of good examples cannot be understated.
You can also opt for listicles. Mention yourself along with the other top competitors in your sector in an article that can be titled “Top 10 Tool for….”
Recent years have seen a rise in the adoption of a product-led growth approach. This approach is most useful for SaaS and B2B software solutions vendors.
The approach uses the product as the primary means for acquisition, expansion, conversion, and retention of customers.
You can opt for a freemium or a free trial model using this approach. The idea is to let the customers experience the utility and user experience of the product.
When they’re driven by their customer experience, the sales process gets easy as the first four sales cycle stages have already been done by the product itself.
This drastically reduces the sales cycle time while also allowing for rapid expansion and revenue growth. The only thing you need to focus is on the customer experience.
You can set up a feedback loop within your organization to ensure you keep improving the customer experience regularly.
Get an Industry Thought Leader to Advocate for You
This strategy is similar to influencer marketing. The only difference is that it is not a direct approach and rather a subtle one.
Industry thought leaders have a lot of important people that look up to them for inspiration and advice.
Source – Toprankblog.com
Having someone similar to use and advocate for your products will benefit you tremendously. Just look at what Tesla or SpaceX achieved with Elon Musk.
Tesla is famous for its 0$ marketing budget. Elon has been a thought leader for multiple industries. His association with Tesla has allowed Tesla to sell without any marketing.
While not everyone has someone as influential as Elon Musk associated with them, you can try to get a reputed thought leader in your industry onboard.
This approach grants you the trust and attention of everyone who follows the said industry leader. Moreover, you raise your credibility by having such associations.
Marketing in the traditional ways is no longer fruitful; even sales for that matter. A modern B2B business needs sales and marketing aligned for growing revenue.
Thus, modern B2B marketers will have to do additional things to aid sales. Selling via marketing strategies drives tremendous revenue growth.
We have given you examples of a few strategies. If you look at the stages of the B2B sales cycle from a marketing perspective, you may find new opportunities.
Remember, all you have to do is eliminate stages in the B2B sales cycle or make them quick and easy!
So which strategies will you try out first?