Since starting Venture Accelerator Partners almost five years ago, we have worked with over 40 companies. One of the main activities we help to drive for our customers is B2B sales meetings. “Get us in front of the right people and we will sell the solution” is often heard from our clients. For non-sales people, I believe there is a general lack of understanding about what preparation is needed for the meeting and the follow-up after.
Here are our top tips for what to do before and after a B2B sales meeting:
It is hard to have a successful meeting without a plan. Many of our meetings involve more than one person on our side, so devising a plan and planned agenda is a big help. The VA Partners meeting plan includes:
- Customer participants and role
- Why is the customer meeting us?
- What are our goals for the meeting?
- Next steps
It is important to have done the research on the target prospect. This means looking at the company and the individuals involved in the meeting. Some of the best sources of information – about the company and individuals involved in the meeting – come from the calls and emails you used to book the meeting. It is important to supplement that information with additional research from the web and social media.
One of the most important components of a meeting is the next steps. These should be activities that help to move the sales opportunity towards a closed account. If a proposal is a next step, then an expectation on the time it should be delivered should be communicated. Completing these tasks on-time demonstrates to the prospect that you are interested in doing business with them and you can be relied upon.
We recently had a meeting with a prospect with one of our clients that went very well. There were lots of questions and interest in the meeting and during the demo. The next step was a meeting with some of the other decision makers within the organization. After three weeks, five emails and two calls, we had our next meeting set-up, with some additional team members who were required to be involved in the sales cycle. When dealing with prospects you will often need to be the aggressor. They don’t always follow-up when they say they will.
For more process idea’s see our Sales and Marketing Fast Start Plan.