Are you staying ahead of the competition as a sales leader? In a world of ever-changing markets, it’s critical to recognize the tools and methods available to optimize your sales playbook.
By leveraging efficiencies that create better leads, higher conversion rates and more effective sales team members, you are positioned to excel as a sales leader.
If you want to help your organization achieve financial and growth objectives, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and even stay ahead of the competition, read on to maximize your impact in today’s B2B sales landscape.
Setting the foundation for B2B sales leadership
Every great sales team operates on a solid foundation. Consistent execution of fundamental processes with constant refining to optimize output is the key to success.
It’s really no different than a great basketball team. They make the big plays but also make the free throws and hold defensive positions. With a foundation built around consistent processes, great teams are formed.
As a highly effective sales leader, you can build a foundation for success by identifying several key factors in your organization.
- First, you and your sales team must wholly understand the product. Sales professionals require training on the solutions just like a new client. Carve out time in the sales team’s calendar to provide training and measure it.
- Next, identify how your offer uniquely solves a problem for the prospect. Don’t underestimate or overlook this step as it’s critical to the value proposition.
Developing effective communication methods to share the all-important value proposition while hiring + inspiring a talented sales team to deliver the message will round out your foundation for building a winning organization.
Evaluate and enhance your sales pipeline and process
Your foundation is strong and now it’s time to gain a comprehensive understanding of your company’s goals and objectives. Fine-tuning your pipeline and process is paramount to achieving those goals.
Ask yourself a few pressing questions to help align your pipeline with big-picture goals:
- Is our pipeline robust enough to meet company goals?
- Is our “win-rate” (percent of deals won on average) enough to reach goals? Do we have historic data to validate this assumption?
- Do our available solutions generate enough prospects to realistically reach our goals?
If you hesitated or answered “No” to any of these questions, it’s time to strategize around the deficiencies. Build alliances across the company to connect sales, product, finance, and marketing teams.
Depending on your exact situation, you may create:
- Stronger financial offerings (BAFOs, Discounts, BOGOs, financing options, etc.). These Bottom-of-Funnel offers can convert hesitant prospects into buyers.
- New product/offers to attract a larger audience. Collaborating with product and marketing teams can increase audience exposure while mitigating overly narrow offer focus.
- Custom solutions to identified weaknesses in your offer and sales strategy.
As a sales leader, you should also regularly evaluate your sales pipeline to ensure that there is a healthy mix of opportunities at different stages of the sales cycle, and that the team is not relying too heavily on any one particular deal. And don’t forget to verify where any drop-offs are happening so you can make changes to reduce the amount of leads you’re losing.
Remember: Enhancing the sales pipeline and process so you can generate qualified B2B sales leads also requires regular training and coaching for your sales team. This helps them improve their skills and adopt best practices.
By continuously improving the sales pipeline and process, sales leaders and decision makers can increase efficiency, close more deals, and drive revenue growth.
And don’t forget—part of having an effective process requires you to have somewhere safe to store leads and customers alike.
Why having a CRM matters for B2B sales
Having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is essential for sales leaders to effectively manage their sales operations and drive revenue growth.
A CRM, like Hubspot, allows sales leaders to keep track of customer interactions, manage sales pipelines, and measure performance. It provides a centralized database of customer information, enabling you to make data-driven decisions and identify areas for improvement.
Additionally, it can help you prioritize sales activities and ensure that your team is spending their time on the most valuable opportunities. By automating repetitive tasks and providing real-time insights, a CRM can help you become more productive and efficient, enabling you to focus on building strong relationships with your customers and driving revenue growth.
Discover a partner in your marketing team
The sales team/marketing team relationship is famously at odds. That’s why you need to find sales and marketing alignment. Working together can make a huge difference in the functionality of the business! Think of the marketing team as a secret weapon for your sales team rather than an enemy.
Often, understaffed marketing teams work tirelessly behind the scenes to create buzz and excitement around the company’s products and services, generating MQLs and SQLs all while building brand awareness.
They do this through a variety of strategies, including a hefty content strategy designed to find and nurture new B2B sales leads.
This content strategy often follows a marketing funnel through which different content is produced at different stages for leads. From a blog on the company’s website to a well-written lead magnet that does an excellent job of generating new leads to high converting lead generation forms, your marketing team can do it all.
The marketing team should also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and market trends, which the sales team can use to tailor their approach and close more deals. Plus, they help create marketing collateral, like brochures, scripts, advertisements, and playbooks that the sales team can use to effectively communicate the value proposition of the company’s products and services.
Essentially, the marketing team can act as the sales team’s wingman (when the right leaders are at the helm) providing support and helping to close more deals.
But trouble can always come into play if the marketing team is not clear on the needs of the sales team and vice versa.
A collaborative relationship between sales and marketing teams is essential for driving revenue growth and achieving business objectives.
Increasing B2B sales through social media
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, so too do the methods that companies use to increase their sales. In today’s climate, one of the most effective ways to reach out to potential customers and increase sales is through social media.
Many sales leaders wonder how, exactly, to sell on social media. But the answer may vary from team member to team member.
One thing is for sure: Simply having a social media account is not enough. In order to effectively increase sales using social media, you need to have a strategy in place. This means you need to understand who your target audience is and what kind of content appeals to them—written, videos, or photos.
It also means staying up-to-date on the latest trends and changes in the social media landscape. The way you convert leads via LinkedIn may differ from the way you approach B2B sales on other social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Turn your website into a B2B sales team member
Sales leaders and decision-makers don’t often think of their website in terms of a team member. But when you want to become a better sales leader, having this mindset can make a huge difference in your overall success!
That’s because a website is often someone’s first impression of your business. They use it to learn more about not only your products and services—but you, too! And a website that is out-of-date or confusing to navigate will potentially make your sales calls much harder than they need to be.
As you’re about to see, this is where having good rapport built up with leadership in marketing can make all the difference!
In order to have a high-converting website you first want to make sure that your website has a clean and professional design which accurately represents your brand and makes a great first impression on visitors.
Websites that offer a clear and easy-to-use navigation structure will also help visitors find the information they need quickly and easily. This can increase the likelihood of them becoming a client—or at the very least, booking that meeting with a human team member.
Additionally, your website should be optimized for search engines so that it can be easily discovered by potential customers. This can be achieved by using relevant keywords in your website’s content, meta tags, and alt tags—something you can work with your marketing team to determine.
You can also implement other search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, such as link building and social media marketing, to improve your website’s ranking and visibility.
Finally, offering clear calls to action can encourage visitors to do something specific. Maybe it’s making a purchase or filling out a contact form. These updates to your website can help turn it into a valuable asset that generates leads and drives sales for your business.
The art of the close
Let’s say you’ve made it to the close.
This is, arguably, the most critical stage in the process and a good close can mean the difference between success and failure.
For B2B sales teams and sales leaders, a strong close is essential for driving revenue growth and achieving performance targets. And to start, you need a viable sales enablement strategy.
Good closure also requires having the right sales assets or sales collateral on hand that you can share with prospects who are lower in your marketing funnel.
A good close will always require the salesperson to build rapport with the customer, understand their needs and objections, and effectively communicate the value of the company’s products or services.
Remember: Today’s B2B leads are savvy. In addition to identifying the problem, a business can now:
- Research problems of other businesses similar to their own.
- Research how their competition solves this problem.
- Research all possible solutions.
- Network with business acquaintances, friends, family, neighbors, and their family pet regarding recommendations.
Nonetheless, you can still be effective when it comes to selling to B2B prospects. By updating your strategy to be digitally focused (after all, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally) you’ll attract a lot more interest, which is key to growing your bottom line.
Find a good partner
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s required to be a good B2B sales leader, that’s okay.
It’s a lot to take in.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it all alone. You can outsource your needs instead.
Yet there are a lot of misconceptions about outsourcing marketing and sales. Granted, there will always be businesses that worked with an outsourced team and had a so-so, or even straight-up bad, experience. But these experiences tend to get more attention than the good ones.
On the other hand, outsourcing your sales efforts can provide a company with access to specialized expertise and resources that may not be available in-house. Outsourced sales and marketing teams can also be more agile and adaptable, and can be brought on and scaled up or down as needed. Additionally, outsourcing can provide a company with access to new markets and customer bases.
Staying on top of the ever-changing sales landscape is crucial for businesses looking to grow and be successful this year. The sales landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies, trends, and strategies emerging all the time. By staying informed and adapting to these changes, businesses can ensure they are using the most effective techniques and tools to connect with customers and drive sales.