When you're putting together your B2B sales plan, there are several key things that you need to know. By understanding them, you can develop a more efficient sales strategy that will enable you to connect more effectively with your customers. Ready to transform your B2B sales operation and make it more successful than ever? These five things will help set you on the right path.
1. A Defined Sales Funnel
Your sales funnel is the method by which interested parties make the move from prospects to customers. Think about how your customers decide to make a purchase from your business. Do they do research? Do they have time to do it in detail, or do they need to make a purchase fast when the need arises? What information do your customers rely on when they're making purchasing decisions?
The more you know about your customers, the better you can construct your sales funnel.
Keep in mind that the average high-ticket B2B sales transaction requires at least three meetings in order to move forward. Do you know what those meetings look like? What needs to happen in each of those meetings in order to move your sale along the path?
2. Meeting Guides
Once you know what your customers are looking for and what should happen in each meeting, it's time to create a guide that will help instruct your sales team.
A knowledgeable sales team is able to more easily answer customer inquiries, ask the right questions, and help move the buyer through the sales funnel. Meeting guides can also help ensure that your customer gets the same experience no matter which member of the sales team they're dealing with.
3. Sales Routing Chart
A simple flowchart can help monitor your incoming leads from the moment they make contact with your business. How are they handled from that first contact? Where are they routed? Who is it that deals with specific customers?
Your sales routing chart should make it simple for any member of the team to easily direct a new contact to the person most suited to handle them or to move an interested customer further down the sales funnel.
4. Defined Lifecycle Stages
Today's customers are looking for a customized marketing experience--including where they are in the sales funnel. Just like you wouldn't propose marriage to someone you'd just met, you don't want to hard close a prospective customer who has just been identified.
Define your lifecycle stages using common language that will make it easy to identify where each customer is in the sales funnel.
This may also help govern your sales team's interaction with customers in various stages of the cycle.
5. Reasonable Goals
Sales goals are the motivating force behind every sales operation. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you need them! It's also important, however, to remember that sales goals should be reasonable. A sales goal that is unreasonably high can be even more counterproductive than one that is set too low.
Take the time to study your salespeople and understand how much they're able to accomplish. Then, set reasonable goals that encompass both their current targets and their future efforts. Set goals that are attainable, but that salespeople must work in order to achieve, and watch your numbers climb.
Moving your customers through the sales funnel can be a challenge. If you need more help ensuring that you have the right processes in place for your customers, contact us!
We'll work with you to develop reasonable goals, make sure that you understand the sales funnel, and create more defined lifecycle stages in order to create more effective customer interactions.
Jake Fisher, is President and Co-Founder of Bridges. He helps Bridges’ clients with their revenue and growth goals by providing better strategies, better processes, and better technology. He also makes videos and written content to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers achieve their own revenue goals. And, he talks to business and industry leaders at conferences and association events.