Obviously, the B2B seller must be proactive and ready to work harder than his B2C counterpart in order to keep a pulse on and accelerate the sale. This is good news as it grows him immeasurably.
There is reason why the Business-to-Business (B2B) sale is referred to as complex. Editorial space limits expounding on why, so I’ll focus on one aspect – keeping the sales wheel spinning by doing the buyers’ job.
A B2B sale is one where a business sells to another business; for instance, a bank selling loans to a transporter to buy a fleet of vehicles (as opposed to an individual who wants a personal loan which would be a business to customer (B2C) sale and is comparatively simpler).
Decision making in the B2B sale, involves several ‘buyers’; they may not be the ones who will give the commercial nod, but until they give their technical (or political) nod, the commercial one won’t happen. Here are three ways in which you can accelerate the B2B sale.
Out of the buyer’s laziness or busyness your proposal could be stuck on his desk. Complaining about it won’t progress the sale. Researching what he needs to do to progress the sale and then doing it for him is more productive. For instance, to the Finance Manager who is not getting round to doing the much needed cost-benefit analysis: “I think you’ll find this analysis from comparative industry players useful. I just wasn’t sure about your exact turnover last year and the number of users you’ll have in the two new branches. I’ve worked with Kes. 496 million and 27 users. Is this correct?” This is far much easier for him to respond to than insisting it’s his job to do the analysis.
Next, as with all successful B2B sales, you must have someone on the inside rooting for you. Say you want her to introduce you to the contact person, say Customer Service Manager but the latter needs to see why he should meet you. Try sending a problem-solution ‘business card’ WhatsApp text to your ‘insider’ asking her to pass it on to him. “Hi! Your competitor (X) struggled with cataloguing their customer complaints until they installed our Excited Customer app which has seen them move from double their customer satisfaction. Looking at your business, you can easily move to 88% from your current 52%.” That would be one text followed by, “This is the person I was telling you, you should meet. Here’s his contact. Could I share yours with him?” All your influencer has to do is forward the texts to the contact.
Lastly, study the buyer’s habits and work with them. If the umpteenth email you’ve sent following up on the proposal hasn’t been responded to, study his email reply patterns. If it’s in the general area of 5.45pm, then send the email at that time with a specific thing you want him to do. “I have an idea that will help you attain your goal for being the market leader. Let me know if tomorrow 10am is a good time to meet or is Tuesday next week at 2pm better?”
Obviously, the B2B seller must be proactive and ready to work harder than his B2C counterpart. This is good news as it grows him immeasurably.
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