Turn More Leads Into Customers With This 8-Step B2B Sales Process
← Back to Blog Emil Kristensen

Turn More Leads Into Customers With This 8-Step B2B Sales Process

B2B Sales Process WordPress

You’re likely under constant pressure to convert every B2B lead you nurture—whether it’s a warm lead conducting product research or a cold lead who just wants your lead magnet.

Sure, your job is to turn as many leads as possible into customers, but making B2B sales is a challenging task.

Considering the amount of money businesses invest in B2B products, they have to ensure your products help them achieve their goals. That’s why you’ll often have to interact and convince a company’s decision-makers before you land a B2B sale.

Since you already have a complex situation, you want to eliminate bottlenecks that can make the situation even tougher.

How can you achieve this? By creating an efficient B2B sales process.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to create a B2B sales process to close more sales and gain more profits for your business.

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Table of Contents

1. Acquire Sales Qualified Leads

2. Understand Your Prospect’s Business

3. Educate Prospects About Their Business

4. Make Your Sales Pitch

5. Resolve Objections

6. Close The Deal

7. Follow Up With New Customers

8. Track Sales Performance to Update Process

Why Build a B2B Sales Process?

If you’ve been in sales long enough, you’ve probably heard of that salesperson who closes leads without trying. The person who understands every lead’s problem and can present convincing marketing messages.

Unfortunately, this is an exception rather than the rule. In reality, B2B sales reps need to be more of scientists than artists to sell effectively. Meaning, they need to have a B2B sales process rather than winging it. 

According to research by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association, companies with a defined sales process deliver an 18 percent higher revenue growth than companies without a sales process.

One major benefit of having a B2B sales process is that it provides a sense of direction to your salespeople. They can see an overview of the stages of turning a lead into a customer.

Furthermore, a sales process makes it easy to identify and block leakages in the sales funnel. Likewise, if you run a sales team, you can track your sales reps’ effectiveness at different stages of the process.

With proper documentation over a period, your team can also make more accurate sales forecasts from the number of prospects at a particular stage in the sales process.

Nevertheless, your B2B sales process shouldn’t be too rigid if you want to obtain these benefits. Rather, they should be adaptable according to industries, pain points, and other factors.

Now, let’s go over the vital stages of a B2B sales process.

1. Acquire Sales Qualified Leads

Businesses often expect salespeople to perform miracles without considering the quality of leads they have to work with. For instance, MarketingSherpa found in a study that 61 percent of B2B marketers send all leads to sales. Out of those leads, only 27 percent are qualified.

In such situations, sales reps face an uphill battle to turn their leads into customers. That’s why acquiring sales qualified leads should be the first step in your B2B sales process. 

Your sales and marketing teams need to determine the criteria for a sales qualified lead together. What are the actions a lead must take to show they have a high chance of buying your product or service?

Once a lead is sales qualified, the sales team can acquire information about the lead and their past interactions with the marketing team. This is where a CRM tool comes in handy. For teams that use a CRM tool, collaboration and transfer of information about leads are usually seamless.

Acquiring sales qualified leads is beneficial for one primary reason: it will prevent you from wasting energy and time on leads that are less likely to buy your product.

2. Understand Your Prospect’s Business

If a business has to pay $5,000 for a product that’s critical to their operations, they want you to, at least, understand their needs. You can also call this the discovery stage. 

First of all, you need to check their website and understand: 

  • Their services;
  • The type of customers they serve;
  • Their brand voice; and
  • Pain points your product can eliminate.

Apart from these, you need to know the decision-makers involved in purchasing your product. In most cases, the decision-makers will be potential users and the department related to your product.

Next, you should study their industry and some of their competitors. Can your product give them an edge over their competitors? Make sure to capitalize on this. 

That said, there are some details about your prospects that you can only have when you ask. It’s important to directly ask those questions that can reveal their pain points.

This makes prospects feel important. In fact, in a HubSpot study, buyers think the most important way sales representatives can improve the sales experience is by listening to their needs.

By performing these tasks, you can develop personalized solutions to their pain points.

3. Educate Prospects About Their Business

When you research your prospect’s business, most of the information you’ll find is what your prospect already knows. Now, what insights did you draw from your knowledge of their business?

You need to fill this information gap so that prospects can see a glimpse of the benefits they’ll derive from your product.

While interacting with your leads, deliver unique insights you’ve acquired from your research into their business and industry. At this point, you can provide information about common problems they face and possible ways your product is a viable solution.

Educating your prospects about their business shows that you’ve done your homework. Better still, you’re likely to impress a prospect because they’re already obtaining value even when there’s no contract in place.

Single Grain has a great example of this. The marketing agency provides free marketing consultation on their website.

During this consultation, they ask critical questions about your business’s marketing campaigns. In return, they provide insights and how Single Grain can help you improve your marketing results.

4. Make Your Sales Pitch

In most cases, after extensive research, B2B prospects already have an idea of what your product can offer. Nevertheless, you need to convince them with a personalized sales pitch.

This could be through an email, phone call, or video call. During this pitch, you have to present your unique selling proposition and how it will eliminate their pain points.

You should also show how your product will improve prospects’ revenue. You can base this estimate on the results similar businesses got by using your product.

Remember to keep your sales pitch as short as possible. If you’re pitching on a call, two minutes is a good number. You can then have a few minutes to take questions.

What if you get no reply to your email sales pitch? You can send a follow-up email after a few days.

Unfortunately, most marketers and salespeople refrain from following up when their first email goes unanswered. According to data from Yesware, 70 percent of unanswered sales email chains stop after the first email.

Meanwhile, you have a 21 percent and 18 percent chance of getting a reply to your second and third emails, respectively. That said, never send 10 follow-up emails to a prospect. You have to recognize the difference between persistence and being annoying.

5. Resolve Objections

Since no product is perfect, there’s always a space for objections. While you think your sales pitch is fantastic and prospects should beg you to sign the contract, some will say no.

When they say no, they’ll give you a reason why they’re unable to start using your tool right now. In some cases, these objections are just minor. In this case, you can convince them by providing more information about your product offering.

However, in some other cases, objections can be a way of rejecting your product. Whatever the type of objections you receive from a prospect, you should be ready with possible resolutions.

What are some common objections B2B leads can have?

  • We’re already using a competitor.
  • Your product is too costly for our budget.
  • Your competitor has lower pricing.
  • There’s a lack of buy-in from my bosses.
  • We can’t use your tool at this time.

Here, having a deep understanding of your product and the lead’s business will help resolve their objections. Even if they still say no, you can leave the communication channels open and try to convert them later with new information.

Successful objection resolution can be the difference between a new customer and a lost lead.

6. Close The Deal

After resolving your prospects’ objections, you can now close the deal.

For prospects who have no objection to your sales pitch, you can skip that step and close the deal. At this point, the lead is ready to become your customer. All you have to do is provide the information they need to become a customer.

This involves presenting possible pricing plans and the costs. Better still, if you have a personalized plan that will suit their business best, you can show them.

Once you agree on the best plan for your prospect, the next step is to guide them through the payment options. 

7. Follow Up With New Customers

Congratulations! Now, you have a new customer. But there’s still more work to do.

At this stage, you’ll have to hand over your new customer to your customer success team. This team will onboard them and take them through the essential tasks they can perform with your product.

Of course, the customer success team should have information about your past interactions with the new customer. With the information, they’ll understand the customer’s goals and help achieve them.

But even after handing over the customer, you can’t cut all contact with them. You need to follow up with the customer success team and the customer.

After all, the customer bought the product because of the work you did and the promises you made. Are they getting the benefits you promised?

This may sound too easy, but few businesses do it. According to research from SuperOffice, only 2.4 percent of companies follow up with customers.

To make follow-up easier, you can set up a schedule and reminders at intervals. This will show that you care more about their results than just taking their money. In return, you’ll more likely retain your B2B customers and improve customer lifetime value.

8. Track Sales Performance to Update Process

An efficient B2B sales process is only as good as the results it can help you achieve. In light of that, there’s no B2B sales process set in stone.

You have to track how effective your sales process is moving leads closer to the sale and converting them to customers. Some metrics you need to track include:

  • Sales qualified lead to win conversion rate
  • Average lead response time
  • Deals closed vs. goal
  • Sales growth vs. goal
  • Sales pipeline velocity

From these numbers (and other critical metrics), you can see how effective your sales process is. Furthermore, you can track the effectiveness of each stage in the sales process. Are all the stages necessary for conversion?

By tracking your sales performance, you can make adjustments to your sales process to boost conversions even further.

Want More Conversion Optimization Tips?

We’ve put together 12 CRO resources to help you drive more leads and revenue.

Whether you’re looking for satisfaction guarantee examples or product page examples, we’ve got something for you.

You’ll also get immediate access to 23+ other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Swipe File Now →

Conclusion

Without making sales, no B2B company can survive. That’s why you and your sales team are always under pressure to convert every lead available.

Undoubtedly, winging it is a method that’s doomed to failure even before you start. The smart way to give yourself the best chance of making sales is to create an efficient B2B sales process. 

I tried to help you with a simple process you can implement for a start. Once you implement the process, you can track its effectiveness in converting your B2B leads into sales.

Then, updating the sales process for your unique needs comes in later. 

Are you planning to create a sales process, or do you have one already? What do you think about having a B2B sales process for your business? Leave a comment below.

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