Art of B2B Sales [learnings from 5 years of B2B client handling]


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You think B2C sales are hard, try B2B!

B2B is a different ballgame altogether. The persons you are trying to sell to are part of a business themselves, and they sure know a few things about it.

Whereas in the B2C segment, you can appeal to the emotional, impulsive nature of a customer, this is no longer a case for B2B. Your potential client is a logical and rational firm, who would take a decision based on a number of metrics.

Of course, there are variations in type and stage of a business customer, it might be an early stage startup or a multinational conglomerate, the underlying idea is the same.

Getting the foot into the door of a B2B prospect is much difficult given the whole system and processes in place. The sales cycle is big. If you start in a traditional way, it may be a possibility that it can take weeks to reach to the decision maker after multiple follow-ups. So is it worth it at all?

You bet, it is!

Within difficulties lie opportunities. An average B2B deal ticket size is much bigger, and customer loyalty much more. Given the high switching cost, a business prefers to work with existing vendors. In case of a B2C customer, it is just a matter of clicking on other mobile app icon or website than yours.

For example, if you are selling an online recruitment service to a firm, after integrating it into their organizational process, they will stick to it; whereas consumer of an online food delivery business can choose any one of the multiple options available to him/her as per current price, offers or preference.

So how to master the strategy. Like others, it’s also a combination of small things done right. Presented below.

1) Find the right person: As you research the company, there might be multiple possibilities to go forward. Platforms like LinkedIn are very useful to check the profiles of various leads, and evaluate which one fits the best into your target range. Let’s say in case of a mid-size company, initiating the conversation with a trainee/junior employee or Founder/CXO/Owner will not help; as in the first case, you might not be able to share across your idea, and in the second, might never get a reply!

2) Present the right thing: Your customer is only interested in knowing how you can help them, not who you are. So more than your company profile, you should pitch earlier success stories and testimonials from clients preferably in the same industry as they are. Having a reference or recommendation is quite helpful as well.

3) Follow-up at right time: Don’t follow-up as soon as the date changes, or only when the month changes. Depending upon the parameters to be considered, and seniority of a person, the follow up should be at a certain interval and with grace. Desperation or frustrations are the emotions better left out of the picture here.

4) Quote the right price: Unless you have innovated a new product, chances are the prospect already has an idea about the type of solutions you are selling. Quote too much, you are unaffordable; quote too less, they might doubt the quality. The pricing should instill in them the confidence of good ROI. You should be able to logically map pricing with the feature, and optimization your product/service should bring to the company.

5) Offer the right trial: In more instances than not, the company is going to ask you for a trial. It’s always good for both parties to measure mutual benefits before they make commitments. And you should suggest for the plan which is most suited to the current needs of the company, than one which is more expensive or easier to carry out. Keep the duration long enough for them to measure the effectiveness of solutions.

6) Close the right way: Once you have established a fit, time to close the deal! Be careful with legal agreements being signed with an authorized signatory, and other terms and conditions of the engagement. The last thing you would want is a conflict about the scope of delivery one week into the association. Discuss any item which might cause ambiguity or confusion going forward.

7) Support in right manner: Be it a subscription or on-demand model, you can not afford to lose a client due to lack of timely and efficient support. You want to work for a long duration, and the client to be your ambassador for others. Ensure to back up all your claims of top-class service during the sales process with the excellent service throughout.

If done right, B2B holds tremendous potential for a business. You need to do your homework right, and solve some real problems the other business is facing in an optimized way.

Happy selling!

Vivek Jain
I am co-founder and CEO at My interests are in the startup ecosystem, innovation, and using technology to make the world a better place. I have 12+ years of experience in IT, education, training and staffing domains.


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