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Have you ever designed a sales process for a B2B company? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
In fact, many people are unsure of where to start when it comes to designing a sales process for their business. But don’t worry – we’re here to help!
Sales processes are the lifeblood of any successful B2B sales operation. But creating a process that meets the needs of your company and your customers can be tricky.
But what does that actually mean? Why do you need to design a good B2B sales process? And how do you go about creating one?
In this blog post, I’ll outline the basics of designing a sales process that works for your business. I’ll also offer some tips on how to make sure your process is successful which will help you close more deals, faster.
Let’s dive in!
What is a B2B sales process?
A B2B sales process is a series of steps that a salesperson takes to take a B2B prospect from initial contact to close.
A good sales process will be tailored to the specific needs of your company and your products. It should also be designed with your customer’s journey in mind.
Creating a sales process – as well as a great business policy – can be a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can start small and iterate as you go.
The most important thing is to get started and to keep moving forward.
Why design a B2B sales process for your sales team?
A well-designed B2B sales process will help your sales team close more deals, as simple as that.
Think of it this way: having a defined sales process makes it easier for your sales team to know what to do at each stage of the sale. This, in turn, leads to more consistent results and a higher close rate.
A well-designed B2B sales process will also help you build better relationships with your customers since you’re organizing all your data and activities and thus, you’ll have clearer communication.
By following a consistent process, you can ensure that each customer has a positive experience with your company, even when you face adversity from their end. Because you’ll be able to be in constant contact with your leads, it will build loyalty and keep them coming back for more.
So that’s why you need to design an inside sales process. But how do you go about creating one? Let’s go over some steps you need to take before actually answering this question.
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Steps you need to consider before designing a great sales process:
When it comes to inbound sales process, they’re quite arduous and time-consuming to design. If you want to make sure your process is successful, there are a few steps you need to take into consideration before starting the design process. Here they are:
- Define the steps of the process: The first step is to define the steps of the process. This will help you to map out what needs to be done at each stage.
- Identify the people involved: The next step is to identify the people who will be involved in your sales policy. This includes your sales team, your customers, and any other stakeholders.
- Set expectations: Once you’ve identified the people involved, it’s important to set expectations. This means defining what each person’s role is and what they can expect from the process.
- Create supporting materials: After you’ve defined the steps of the process and set expectations, it’s time to create supporting materials. This could include email templates, scripts, checklists, and more.
- Train your team: The final step is to train your team on the new process. This includes teaching them how to use the supporting materials and helping them to understand the expectations.
Through these simple measures, you can now start designing a B2B sales process that will help your sales team close more deals and build better relationships with your customers.
What makes a great B2B sales process?
There is no standard answer to this question. The best way to design a sales process is to start with the basics and then tailor it to the specific needs of your company and your products.
That said, here are the usual steps involved in a B2B sales process:
Identifying & generating your leads
The first step in any sales process is to identify and generate your leads. You need to have a system in place for finding and getting more potential customers.
Outbound lead generation can be done through a variety of methods, including online advertising, trade shows, cold-calling, and word-of-mouth.
Qualifying the lead
The next step is qualifying the lead. This is where you determine whether or not a prospective buyer is a good fit for your product or service.
There are a few key criteria you’ll want to consider when qualifying a lead:
- Need – Does the prospect have a need for your product?
- Budget – Do they have the budget to purchase it?
- Authority – Do they have the authority to make the purchasing decision?
- Timeline – When do they need/want to make a purchase?
Nurturing the lead
After you’ve qualified a lead, it’s time to start nurturing them. Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with prospects and educating them about your product or service.
The goal of nurturing is to build trust and credibility with the prospect so that they are more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
There are a few key methods you can use to nurture your leads:
- Email marketing: Sending regular emails with helpful information and resources
- Webinars/demos: Showing prospects how your product works and how it can solve their problems
- Content marketing: Creating blog posts, ebooks, and other resources that help prospects learn more about your product and the problems it solves
The goal of the nurturing stage is to keep your company top-of-mind with the prospect so that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll think of you first.
Building rapport and trust
Just like in any relationship, you need to build rapport and establish trust with the leads you’re trying to acquire. This lays the foundation for a successful and, more importantly, long-lasting relationship.
There are a few key ways to do this :
- Be human: Talk to them like you would talk to a friend. Be personable and relatable.
- Listen: Really listen to their needs and problems. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.
- Find common ground: See if you have any common interests or experiences that you can bond over.
The goal of building rapport is to create a connection with the prospect. This will make them more likely to do business with you and, just as importantly, to stay loyal to your company over the long haul.
Presenting your solution
Once you’ve built rapport, it’s time to present the solution. This is where you show the prospect how your product or service can solve their specific problem.
It’s important to remember that you’re not just selling a product, you’re selling a solution. So, make sure that you tailored your presentation to the specific needs of the lead.
This is your chance to show off all of the features and benefits of your product. But, don’t just focus on the features. Be sure to highlight how those features will solve the prospect’s specific problem.
For example, if you’re selling a CRM system, don’t just list off all of the features. Instead, focus on how the CRM will help the prospect manage their customer relationships more effectively.
No matter how great your product or your strategy for lead generation is, there’s always a chance that the prospect will have some objections.
It’s important to be prepared for these objections and to have a plan for how you’re going to handle them. Some common objections you might encounter include:
- It’s too expensive
- I’m not sure if we need it
- I need to think about it
These objections can be tough to overcome, here are the 3 steps you can use to handle objections like a pro:
- Acknowledge & Empathize: Put yourself in their shoes and understand where they’re coming from.
- Ask questions: Find out more about their specific objection. What is it that’s holding them back?
- Offer a solution: Once you understand the objection, offer a solution that will address their concerns.
For example, if they say your product is too expensive, you could offer a payment plan or a discount. If they’re not sure if they need it, you could offer a free trial.
Quick Tip 💡
If your leads have been properly generated and nurtured, a “no” more often than not means “Not yet”. The key is to listen to the objection and then offer a solution that will address their specific concerns.
Closing the sale
You’ve done your work, you’ve built rapport, you’ve presented the solution, and you’ve overcome any objections. Now it’s time to close the sale.
The goal at this stage is to get the prospect to commit to doing business with you. You need to:
- Ask for the sale: This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many salespeople never actually ask for the sale.
- Give a deadline: If the prospect is dragging their feet, try giving them a deadline. This will help to create a sense of urgency and get them to make a decision.
- Make it easy(-ier) on the buyer: The easier you make it for the prospect to say “Yes”, the more likely they are to do so. This means having everything ready to go on your end and making the payment process as smooth as possible on their end.
Quick Tip 💡
For example, if you’re selling a subscription-based service, be sure to have the sign-up process ready to go. If you’re selling a physical product, be sure that the payment process is set up and that you have the product in stock.
Following up post-sale
The sale doesn’t end when the prospect signs the dotted line. In fact, that’s just the beginning. Now is the time to focus on delivering on your promises and providing an exceptional customer experience.
You need to keep in touch with your new customer and make sure that they’re happy with the product or service they’ve purchased from you.
Ideally, you should reach out to them within 24 hours of the sale being made. Thank them for their business and see if there’s anything you can do to help them get started.
After that, continue to check in on a regular basis. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The important thing is to stay in touch and build that relationship.
Quick Tip 💡
You can reach out via email, phone, or even social media. Just be sure to use the method of communication that your customer prefers. Remember, always go where the customer is, do not make them come to you, because they simply won’t.
By following up post-sale, you’re showing your customers that you care about them and their experience with your product or service. This will help to build loyalty and keep them coming back for more.
The B2B sales process doesn’t have to be complicated. By following our tips, you can close more deals and build better relationships with your customers.
Quick Tip 💡
Almost all steps mentioned above can be automated using tools like LaGrowthMachine. Our solution ticks all the boxes you would expect from a good lead automation tool, such as: automated multi-channel workflows, enrichment of your leads’ information, lead nurturing, etc.
Design your B2B sales process now!
So there you have it, the complete guide to creating and optimizing your B2B sales process. We hope you’ve found this information helpful and that it will give you the tools you need to start improving your sales performance.
It can be a long and arduous journey, but hopefully, these tips will help streamline the process and make sure you’re headed in the right direction. Are there any steps we missed? Let us know in the comments below!