Once upon a time, a salesman would call on a business with a display case full of samples for making a pitch on whatever the product was. Perhaps he – or she – had a portfolio with documents to show a decision-maker why this service was above all else. “Traditional” sales tactics have changed over the decades, as well as the people who present them, and the digital age of technology is now a huge part of the way we do business. Some people think cold calling is a thing of the past , but no, it’s not – it is still useful as long as the salesperson first does his/her homework.
Business to business (B2B) sales are now moving beyond the basics.
We have all had people contact us through phone or personal appearances, trying to sell us … something. Why do we care about this product, why is it so necessary for us, why should we spend the money on it? Those questions were rarely answered by the salesperson in the pre-digital world of commerce. But now, cold calling can be useful if there is real information to back it up—something that is mined from internet sources.
Information is now literally at our fingertips. People can find whatever they want with a click of the mouse – the fast “I want it and I want it now” internet information world we live in has changed the way people buy items and services. Data is crucial to understanding what clients want or need, and how to turn those wants and needs into leads and sales. The more you know about what your client wants, the easier it is to create a specific sales plan meant for that one target. Yes … specific. Because the one-size-fits-all product mentality no longer works in the digital world for B2B sales.
Customized Customer Service
Your clients want one very important thing from you, the salesperson; to know that you are listening and engaged in creating solutions to the problems or needs of their business. Knowing everything there is to know about the business, and what the purpose is for satisfying its own customer base, is a key because the more you know, the better opportunity there is to create a viable solution – and sale. The data is out there but you must find it and use it to create a successful game plan. Customer service is what we all want and have come to expect, however, purchasing items from the internet has compromised that personal experience for many. our business may be digital, but you can still provide that unique personal service that your customers will appreciate.
What are the best leads for sales teams to follow and what do we mean by “the right kind of data?” Sales and marketing teams need to put some time into the thought process of what they’re going after. Start with organization – when information about a large company or small business is incomplete or erroneous, the sales strategy for selling your product to these organizations is useless. Are you even sure you’re talking to the right person who makes the ultimate purchasing decisions? Do your research and then create a strategy that would convince the purchasing agents of these companies why they need to buy what you have to sell. Another tool is to analyze what the data is telling you. For example, what are the would-be customers doing in terms of buying; what do they use most of; what items do they gravitate toward; what is their preference on quality? Most importantly, what are the purchasing agents willing to spend on these products and services? Every piece of data garnered will help sales professionals develop strategies to give the client unique and personal customer service.
Internet Sales for B2B
Businesses that sell products or services to other enterprises must have an internet sales presence. Everyone buys online these days, everything from personal items to office products. Everything. Pricing products or services appropriately is an important factor for your businesses and sales teams but the internet does not always allow for customized plans. Consumers want to know, up front, what a product or service will cost them. If your business profits depend on what you pay distributors or contractors, sometimes it is best not to portray your pricing on your website. The page can show a listing of items and services but then suggest online customers contact the company for specific pricing. This is another way for customers to be forthcoming with information that will benefit the sales team; to acknowledge the exact needs and budget of the organization. When your sales site has created a solid purchasing relationship with the client’s account manager, you can then set up a price-included transactional webpage, specifically for that business.
Technology is always changing but personalized customer service is never to be taken for granted. A good sales team will know what his target needs and how much the client is willing to spend. The digital age will help with that but a salesperson’s smile and attention will still go a long way.
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