B2B sales differ greatly from B2C sales. The strategies used in B2C sales are not always viable for B2B sales. If you compare the average sales cycle of a B2B company with a B2C company, you will find out that a B2C sales journey can be completed within a few minutes, whereas a B2B sales journey can take on average 4 months.
Various reasons contribute to long B2B sales cycles, multiple decision-makers, high-value deals, and long-term solutions. Thus, B2B sales departments work differently from B2C sales departments, and accordingly, B2B sales strategies vary.
In this blog post, we will look at 7 B2B sales growth strategies for professional services firms.
- Align Sales and Marketing
The quality of leads determines the success of the sales. Therefore, it is very important that an organization’s marketing and sales team efforts are aligned to work toward similar goals. Suppose a marketing team generates leads to complete the targets without qualifying them on set parameters. In that case, it gets difficult for the sales representatives to convert them into clients.
For example, if a marketing team has approached clients who do not have a budget to purchase a professional firm’s services, they will not likely convert because of budgetary concerns.
Therefore, sales and marketing teams must be aligned and share feedback for consistency in their business development efforts.
Professional services firms can use a B2B playbook to ensure consistency. It acts as a living guide for the business development department.
- Use CRM Software
74% of businesses say that CRM solutions give them better access to customer data, allowing for more personalized service. If your professional services firm is not using CRM software to manage the communication with clients, it is time to use it.
CRM software provides one central place to manage relationships with customers. It allows you to store prospective and existing client information, record service issues, manage campaigns, and more in one central place. The data provided by the CRM software allows the marketing team to channel personalized communications to the clients, enables the sales team to understand the clients better, and permits the customer service team to provide quick solutions to the clients’ queries.
Adopting a CRM solution improves the overall efficiency of the business development process and helps companies find opportunities to grow business.
- Create a Strong Solution-Oriented Demo
Moving prospects from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom requires months of effort. Most B2B clients decide on the purchase after the product or service demo. It is the most important aspect of the sales cycle, which falls into educating the client. It is crucial to deploy your best resource for the product or services demo.
B2B consultants always recommend the sales professional sell solutions, not the products. Educate your clients on how your company’s solution is beneficial for them instead of praising your products.
For example, if you are a financial services firm that plans to sell your bookkeeping software to a B2B firm, your product specialist has to teach the client how your software will be helpful and address their needs.
A professional service firm can even create a product playbook that includes all the product or service information for reference during the demo.
- Build a strong follow-up strategy
Follow-up is important to close the deals. Various reports suggest many salespeople do not follow up with the leads after the first point of contact. It is very important to get in touch with them and assist throughout the buying journey.
It is said no one wants to be a nuisance, but checking on the clients from time to time is a good way to convert them into leads. Although the frequency of the follow-up varies from client to client, it is good to develop a standardized follow-up plan based on the categories of leads.
Many companies report that sales representatives need at least 5 follow-ups to connect with clients. Keeping in touch with your clients shows that you see them as valuable prospects. Many B2B companies automate the process of client follow-up with marketing automation tools. However, if you have a narrow list of clients, you can consider sending customized messages for effective communication.
- Follow account-based marketing
The Pareto Principle in sales says that 80% of the revenue of a business comes from 20% of the clients. Account-based marketing is all about targeting high-worth clients. It is a key sales strategy that B2B firms use to improve ROI. It involves targeted personalized communication to each client. It helps B2B professional services firms become more focused in their marketing efforts. Instead of having to market to thousands of potential accounts, they have a more concentrated list.
A salesperson uses various sources to collect the client’s information in order to understand the client’s needs. Marketing communications should be customized as per the client. The purpose of the marketing material is to provide a solution to all clients’ queries. Once all the potential client’s concerns are addressed, it results in sales.
Qualifying the right leads is very important for an account-based marketing strategy. You can use the account-based marketing playbook to create a customized strategy for your firm.
- Nurture leads
Not all the prospects you target convert into clients. But there are higher chances that they may use your professional services firm in the future or even recommend others based on their interaction with the company.
If a company does not have a good lead nurturing plan, it will lose plenty of opportunities. It is challenging and costly to find new leads. This is why it is very important to nurture the relationship with the clients. You can move these potential clients to the warm leads and keep sending the advertising materials.
A B2B business firm needs to be aware of its sales funnel to move leads through the sales pipeline continuously. Businesses can also get feedback for lost leads. It will help you make improvements at every stage of the sales cycle.
- Make most of the existing customers
Almost every B2B firm understands the importance of existing customers, but only a few firms successfully build a long-term relationship with them. Surveys suggest that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
You may be surprised to learn that 91% of consumers are open to giving referrals, but just 11% of salespeople are actively seeking referrals, making existing clients gold mines. Not only are they easy to upsell and cross-sell new products and services, but they can bring new customers to the business.
You can use the various strategies to keep building a long-term relationship with existing clients, such as offering rewards to exclusive discounts on new services and assigning dedicated customer success managers.
How can Company Expert Help You?
Company Expert is a leading B2B growth consultant firm for the professional services industry. We provide a range of B2B proprietary solutions and technology designed to inject speed, knowledge, and growth into B2B financial services, technology, and professional service firms. We have a vast range of B2B sale playbooks in our collection that can be used to develop core operational processes for your professional services firm.