B2B Sales – a short phrase that sounds simple. In all honesty, most people don’t appreciate the complexity of sales and how interwoven it is in all facets of a business.
A few things to consider right off the top – Without sales, there is no business. Revenue is a function of some form of sales effort. The sales effort drives all remaining aspects of the business including operations, logistics, finance, IT, HR, and R&D. Without sales, the others have little place.
As I mentioned above, sales is a complex interaction of events and to do it properly takes quite a bit of thought and planning. When a company is looking at building a strategy and plan for a product or service, one must consider a large number of factors including:
The overarching plan that drives sales success is that it needs to be detailed and needs to articulate the goals to be achieved both at a high level and at an activity or execution level.
All successful sales efforts require supporting infrastructure to ensure success. One of the largest infrastructure tools being a sales CRM.
Your team needs to be aligned with the type of sales you are undertaking. For example, direct or channel. The skills of the sales person need to match the requirements of the job.
Successful selling follows a proven set of steps, these steps are your methodology.
Paths to Market
Direct, channel, inbound lead generation or a combination of two or more. Check out our sales trifecta for more details.
The overarching management of specific clients from a service or product standpoint is vitally important as it helps to ensure long-term and repeat customers. In addition, it can also help to identify challenges that could lead to a disruption of the relationship.
Including channel support is important as happy customers lead to long-term or repeat customers. It also assists in identifying up-sell opportunities.
Sales success is generated by activities being performed regularly and routinely such as calls, emails, meetings etc. It is a numbers game.
A style of management such as management by walking around or weekly meetings.
A key item to consider and weigh. Are you going with a SaaS model or a traditional licensing cost and annual fee or a one-time cost model? Does your pricing include discounting or is it volume based?
Sales and Operations
Understanding how sales impacts operations and how to forecast operational needs.
How sales and marketing are related and work together, what are the best media to market through and how is sales involved.
This is a must in any sales strategy today, leveraging content to drive inbound leads.
Supporting documentation covering benefits and features including sales sheets, brochures, power-point presentations, promotional videos etc.
Managing social media platforms to help drive sales. Build mind-share in the market and have sales people leverage social media effectively to support sales efforts.
Understanding who you are competing with for finite budget dollars with is important, the better you understand your competitors the more effectively you can position yourself.
If you are in need of strategic or ongoing part-time sales and marketing assistance feel free to contact me, I would be happy to see if we can help. Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a source of excellent sales and marketing information, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.