table of content
Developing a sales strategy is the need of the hour for Business-to-Business organizations. A sales strategy helps businesses to develop clarity over their target markets and helps in driving remarkable results.
Sales teams often struggle to develop a personalized sales strategy that can generate, nurture and convert leads successfully. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all framework when it comes to developing a sales strategy. An ideal B2B selling strategy is business-specific.
However, there are some approaches and tips that can help organizations to develop impactful sales tactics and strategies. This guide will list some of those approaches for achieving long-term results.
What is a Sales Strategy?
A B2B sales strategy is the mix of different sales tactics and methods to convert leads into customers. Some of the critical aspects of a sales strategy include identifying your target customers, developing lead nurturing strategies to interact with these prospects, and developing a suitable sales process.
Some of the critical elements of a sales strategy include:
- Identifying and documenting the target user persona
- Creating a sales pitch and ensuring that you are using the right value proposition for the right group of audience
- Developing a consistent lead generation plan
- Developing and tracking the sales pipeline regularly
8 Most Effective Sales Strategies for Businesses in 2022
We are sharing 8 tried and tested sales strategies to help the sales teams and startup founders in growing their brand presence. Start putting these strategies into action to derive results:
1. Target small, niche-specific prospects
Therefore, reaching out to a niche-specific market is very important to execute successful B2B outreach campaigns. At the beginning of your outreach program, you can create a target customer profile based on common pain points and purchasing power. Accordingly, sales reps should reach out to these prospects for further interactions.
Wondering where to start? A sales team should start by finding the answers to these questions:
- Did you identify a problem that is painful and can be a point of struggle?
- Who is facing this problem? Is the target user group large enough?
- Do these target audiences have the financial capability as well as the mindset to pay enough to solve this problem?
Once you find the answers to these questions, it will be easier to plan your sales strategies.
2. Don’t chase every lead; start prioritizing
A business might generate countless leads. However, all of these leads are not bearing the same value. A great sales strategy is to use the lead scoring method to identify which lead is valuable for the business.
Marketing and sales teams use various lead scoring frameworks to identify the worthiness of a lead. You can score a lead based on different characteristics like:
- Demographic data like location, occupation, etc.
- Company background like the type of industry, target market, etc.
- Online activities and social media behavior
And the list goes on. Sales managers can score these leads on a scale of 1 to 100 based on their relevance.
By including lead scoring within the sales strategy, businesses can restrict the nurturing activities of unqualified leads. This can help the sales reps to prioritize the valuable leads and they can free up their time spent chasing each lead coming their way.
As shown in the above image, B2B sales teams can set their criteria when it comes to lead scoring. Some of the criteria to analyze potential customers’ intent can be:
- Submitting forms
- Email open rate
- Number of visits to the website
- Social media engagement
- Attended webinar/podcast
- Downloaded ebooks
The prospect who scores higher based on these criteria can be considered as the ideal lead.
3. Listen to the prospects meticulously
Every sales rep must improve their active listening skills to understand prospects’ expectations, objections, feature requests, and other factors. In fact, sales teams should record prospect calls, note down these factors, and include these within their sales pitch to increase the conversion rate.
“Sellers who listen to buyers carefully and then give them the missing ingredients – those are the ones who stand out.” – Deb Calvert, President of People First Productivity Solutions
Since sales reps interact with multiple prospects each day, it can be a challenge for them to summarize the key takeaways from each conversation. Here are a few steps to improve active listening for sales reps:
- Listen to the prospects meticulously. Sometimes sales reps are so confident about their research and knowledge about a prospect, that they ignore most of the things the prospects are saying. However, in reality, some very useful points can come to their notice if they truly listen to the prospects.
- Repeat what you heard from the prospect. This will help you win their trust and assure them that you are concerned about their challenges. However, try to sum up what they said in your language.
- If you have any confusion, make sure to confirm with the prospect within the same call. You can use phrases like - “Do you think I understood it correctly?” to reassure.
- Sales reps should also ask follow-up questions that help them understand the prospects’ expectations correctly. These follow-up questions should be open-ended so that the prospect gets an opportunity to explain a concept. Asking close-ended follow-up questions might lead them to think that you are only interested in making a sale.
4. Make the most of referrals
When we say outbound lead generation is tricky, hopefully, most departments will agree. Hence, it is a smart choice to look for an alternative method of lead generation.
A great way to generate new leads is through referrals. A referral program is all about identifying your loyal customers who will happily recommend you to their peers. The sales team can then send a follow-up mail to these prospects to identify whether they are a good fit to move forward.
Here is an outreach template that you can use to ask for referrals:
5. Try to resolve the uncertainties faced by prospects
Sometimes prospects are uncertain about your products and services. Sales reps should address these uncertainties at the first attempt.
If a prospect is quiet during the product demo or is not asking as many questions as you hoped for, they are probably confused about certain features of the product. Sales reps should immediately ask them the reason behind their confusion instead of proceeding with their sales pitch.
You can directly ask them if they would like a more specific explanation anywhere. It is your responsibility to start a conversation and help the prospects clear their doubts before moving further.
6. Connect directly with the decision-maker
Sales strategies have evolved over the years. B2B professionals no longer expect transactional communication with sales reps. Instead, they expect the reps to build a rapport with the B2B decision-makers, add value and help them make purchase decisions eventually.
However, when you are targeting a B2B company, be prepared to interact with multiple stakeholders. Generally, the following group of stakeholders plays a key role:
- The initiator who first identifies a pain point and the need to solve it
- The decider who makes the final call on which product to buy
- The buyer communicates with the sales team to complete the process
- The user who will use this product regularly
- The gatekeeper who has access to information of all the stakeholders
The sales reps often have to go through the gatekeeper and other groups of stakeholders before interacting with the decision-maker. To keep your sales cycle shorter, it should be your top priority to connect with the decision-maker quickly.
Here is an email template to reach out to the gatekeeper:
7. Map and streamline your sales processes
Before developing new sales strategies, make sure to document your current strategies and processes in a sales playbook format.
The best way to map and streamline your current sales process is by interacting with each sales rep. Here are some questions that you can ask the reps to gain more transparency in your sales process:
- What are the most effective lead generation channels?
- What are the steps we follow to convert a lead into a paid customer?
- Are the marketing and sales strategies aligned in the organization? If not, where is the bottleneck?
- How are you prioritizing the leads to identify the valuable ones?
- What are the major sources of lead generation for our brand?
Once you find the answers to these questions and map them successfully, it will be easier for you to identify the gaps. Therefore, you can develop new sales strategies to address these gaps and accelerate your sales system.
8. Create realistic benchmarks based on past performance
Unrealistic benchmarks can lead to a lack of motivation for the business development executives. Identifying the appropriate set of sales metrics can help the sales managers to set suitable benchmarks for the sales teams.
The steps to set benchmarks are as follows:
Step 1: Capturing appropriate metrics
Sales teams might come across various metrics for different categories of the sales department. Here are the most common metrics to consider:
- The sales activity metrics include no. of emails sent, email open rate, no. of cold calls made, etc.
- The sales pipeline metrics include sales cycle length, lead generation rate, lead conversion rate, etc.
- The conversion metrics like percentage of deals closed/lost etc.
Make sure to assign these metrics to the right sales reps for better results.
Step 2: Estimating the benchmarks
Once all the metrics are collected, the next step is to calculate the benchmarks. Two common ways to approach this are:
- Estimate the average metrics across your entire sales department
- Set criteria for each segment based on past performance and estimate the average of the same
The second method can be complex and time-consuming. However, it is more personalized and can deliver more realistic results.
Step 3: Incorporating these benchmarks into practice
Finally, when the benchmarks are defined, the sales managers can start communicating them with the sales teams. They can either communicate these benchmarks over team meetings or interact with the reps on a one-to-one basis.
Communicating these benchmarks will help the sales reps to stay on the same page with the larger organization and ensure that they plan their sales strategies accordingly.
Developing a sales strategy is only the first step. Businesses should focus on implementing these sales strategies in the smartest possible way to derive results.
- Get real-time insights on how the sales reps are opening the call, handling objections from prospects, and the gaps in their sales pitch.
- Provide automated assistance to the reps in filling these gaps with innovative lead nurturing strategies.
- Use the Voice of Customer (VoC) feature to identify the right group of audiences for your products and develop an accurate customer profile.
Want to explore more? Book a demo today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t forget to share this blog!
You might also like to see other resources
Want To See Salesken In Action?
See how Salesken can provide unparalleled insights into every customer interaction