The B2B sales cycle is tougher and more competitive than ever. Potential buyers can gather information and do research online before you even know they exist. It has become harder to reach your leads and offer them your business presentation, value proposition, and pricing information.
B2B sales and marketing are often about finding the right leads before they know they need your solution and nurturing those leads into opportunities. You want to target the right audience with the right messaging at the right time.
By leveraging B2B data, you can find the decision-makers to boost your B2B leads. Key insights can help you overcome the B2B sales cycle’s greatest challenges and turn those opportunities into closed sales.
1. Finding the Right Prospects
As a B2B company, you should be aware of your target market and their attributes. Whether by company size, geographic location, or financials, finding the right prospects will lead to more closes.
You know that your prospects may be looking at you, but how can you find them? Lead prospecting often involves research in your market so that you can identify leads for cold calls, email targeting, or geotargeting ad campaigns.
The challenge is to bring this information together in one place so that you can arm your sales and marketing teams with what they need. From your CRM to your marketing automation tools, you want the information to be easy to retrieve, segmented, and accessible.
2. Appealing to Decision Makers
While identifying the right companies is the first step, your next challenge is to find the decision-makers within that organization. B2B sales now involve an average of 6.8 people per decision. This means you have to find the right people within the organization and appeal to their roles and buying prioritization.
The team of decision-makers may each have their own objections, from cost to risk avoidance to an unwillingness to change. You will need to dig deep into the profiles of each to understand what will motivate them to make a purchase. Adaptability is key in successful B2B sales.
At the same time, while the number of decision-makers has grown, they also are given more options. The accessibility of information on your competitors makes them even more aware of their options as they weigh the pros and cons.
This can also paralyze decision-makers from reaching any decision. You need to guide them through the process and continue to make your product or solution stand out. Because the B2B sales cycle can be long, you need to make sure you understand and connect with the right people.
By staying up-to-date on executive roles within the company, their profiles, background, and experience, you can target your messaging and sales tactics. Leverage your CRM tool to keep important information on all of your primary and secondary contacts.
3. Engagement That Matters
Your communication with the decision-makers should be strategic. At the same time, as you fill your sales pipeline, you don’t want your communication to become unwieldy. You should segment and target your contacts by their stage in your sales process, from lead to opportunity follow-ups.
As much as possible, you want to stay in front of your decision-makers and remind them of what you can offer. Using the information you have collected on their profiles, you can engage with the leads in more meaningful ways.
For example, if you use geolocation data, you can support your sales reps in the field. You can also target your marketing messaging based on location.
As your opportunities move through the sales cycle, you should provide more meaningful communications that help to overcome objections. In addition to direct communications from your sales reps, ensure that they see the value in what you are offering. Thought leadership, company information, and case studies can establish your brand as experts in your industry.
4. Value Proposition During the Sales Cycle
Every time you are making contact with a B2B sales prospect, you are making a statement about your company. You are continually building a value proposition based on that prospect’s needs.
If information changes throughout the sales cycle, you need to be ready to adjust. Decision-makers can change, or information on the companies overall may impact their ability to make a decision. You need to stay informed about these changes so you can be ready to meet the sales prospect where they are.
Because B2B sales cycles can be so lengthy, the decision-makers can change. You may have worked up an entire presentation based on identifying one person’s objectives, only to find that person replaced. In this case, you may need to change your approach.
It could be that changes within the organization will bolster your overall presentation to the company. You can articulate your value and position yourself as a solution to their current problems. By staying in-tune with the company as a whole, you will have a handle on what they need.
5. Disparate Tools for Your B2B Sales and Marketing
As you work with the data, profiles, and notes that you have on your prospects, a frequent challenge is that the information becomes scattered. From each sales rep tracking information differently to different tools used, it can become hard to manage your information.
You will want your efforts to be streamlined as much as possible. Ideally, your tool should be able to handle all of the following:
- Searching and segmenting prospect data
- Maintain contact information
- Easy communication with decision-makers
- Alerts and follow-ups on company changes
By managing your efforts in one system, your sales reps will save time. Your marketing efforts will be more effective because they are based on the information that has been collected. You can focus more on sales and less on systems.
Leveraging Data to Drive Your Business Forward
The data you need to gather and manage qualified leads is available. By harnessing it, you can improve your overall sales prospecting and provide more meaningful information to your sales reps. You can better qualify your leads and overcome these B2B sales cycle challenges.