B2B Sales Techniques

Learn these techniques to be successful in B2B sales.
b2b sales techniques cover photo
In this blog post, we will discuss five different B2B sales techniques, including Solution Selling, Challenger Sale, Account-Based Selling, Value Selling, and The Sandler Selling System, and their advantages and disadvantages.

Additionally, we will explore common B2B sales KPIs, such as the Quota Attainment Rate and Sales Cycle Length.

What Is B2B Sales?

B2B sales, also known as business-to-business sales, refers to the process of selling products or services from one business to another business. In other words, B2B sales involve transactions between two companies rather than between a company and individual consumers.

B2B sales typically involve a more complex sales process than B2C (business-to-consumer) sales, as the decision-making process often involves multiple stakeholders within the purchasing company.

Sales strategies in B2B sales often involve building relationships and providing value through personalized solutions that meet the specific needs and challenges of the purchasing business.

B2B sales can involve both tangible goods, such as raw materials or office equipment, and intangible services, such as consulting or software development.

B2B Sales Techniques

1. Solution Selling

Solution Selling is a sales technique that focuses on identifying and solving the customer's problems or challenges with a personalized solution. It involves in-depth conversations with the customer to understand their unique needs and challenges and then offering a solution that addresses those challenges.

Solution selling involves a consultative approach where the salesperson acts as a trusted advisor to the customer, providing guidance and expertise throughout the sales process.
    ADVANTAGES
    • Can lead to long-term customer relationships due to the consultative approach.
    • Can result in higher customer satisfaction because the solution is tailored to their specific needs.
    • Can result in higher sales conversions due to the personalized approach.
      DISADVANTAGES
      • Can be time-consuming and resource-intensive to identify and implement a customized solution for each customer.
      • May not be suitable for customers who have a clear understanding of their needs and just want a straightforward solution.
      • Can be challenging to scale the approach to a larger customer base.

        2. The Challenger Sale

        The Challenger Sale is a sales technique that involves challenging the customer's preconceived notions about their business and offering a new perspective that can help them achieve better outcomes.

        The Challenger Sale approach involves conducting extensive research on the customer's business and industry, then using that knowledge to challenge their assumptions and offer innovative solutions that they may not have considered before. The Challenger Sale approach also involves building a strong relationship with the customer by demonstrating deep knowledge and expertise in their industry.
          ADVANTAGES
          • Can lead to higher sales conversions by offering a new and innovative perspective.
          • Can result in higher customer loyalty due to the deeper relationship built through the challenging approach.
          • Can result in larger deal sizes due to the customized solutions offered.
            DISADVANTAGES
            • Can be challenging to execute for salespeople who lack the required knowledge and expertise in the customer's industry.
            • May not be suitable for customers who are resistant to change or have a rigid way of thinking.
            • Can be a high-risk approach if the salesperson does not have a strong understanding of the customer's needs.

              3. Account-Based Selling

              Account-Based Selling (ABS) is a sales technique that focuses on selling to specific high-value accounts or customers.

              ABS involves a personalized approach that takes into account the unique needs and challenges of each customer. This approach aims to build long-term relationships with key decision-makers in the customer's organization and tailor the sales pitch to their specific needs. ABS involves a high-touch, personalized approach that requires significant research and preparation.
                ADVANTAGES
                • Can result in higher sales conversions due to the personalized approach.
                • Can lead to larger deal sizes due to the focus on high-value accounts.
                • Can result in long-term customer relationships due to the personalized approach.
                  DISADVANTAGES
                  • Can be resource-intensive and time-consuming to research and prepare for each account.
                  • May not be suitable for customers who do not fit the high-value account criteria.
                  • Can be challenging to scale the approach to a larger customer base.

                    4. Value Selling

                    Value Selling is a sales technique that focuses on demonstrating the value of the product or service to the customer.

                    This approach involves identifying the unique benefits and advantages that the product or service provides and communicating those benefits to the customer. Value Selling often implicates a data-driven approach, using metrics and other data to demonstrate the ROI and overall value of the product or service to the customer.
                    ADVANTAGES
                    • Can result in higher sales conversions by demonstrating the ROI and overall value of the product or service.
                    • Can result in larger deal sizes due to the focus on the overall value of the product or service.
                    • Can result in long-term customer relationships if the product or service delivers on the promised value.
                    DISADVANTAGES
                    • Can be challenging to quantify and demonstrate the value of intangible products or services.
                    • May not be suitable for customers who are more price-sensitive and prioritize cost over value.
                    • Can be time-consuming to gather and present the data to demonstrate the value.

                    5. The Sandler Selling System

                    The Sandler Selling System is a sales technique that involves a step-by-step approach to sales.

                    This approach involves building a rapport with the customer, identifying their needs and challenges, and then offering a solution that meets those needs. The Sandler Selling System also involves addressing objections and concerns that the customer may have and closing the sale in a low-pressure, non-confrontational way.

                    The Sandler Selling System is based on the idea that selling is a collaborative process that requires trust and respect between the salesperson and the customer.
                    ADVANTAGES
                    • Can be effective for salespeople who prefer a structured, step-by-step approach.
                    • Can result in higher sales conversions by addressing objections and concerns.
                    • Can lead to long-term customer relationships due to the non-confrontational approach.
                    DISADVANTAGES
                    • May not be suitable for customers who prefer a more personalized, consultative approach.
                    • Can be challenging to execute if the salesperson does not have strong objection-handling skills.
                    • Can be a high-pressure approach if not executed properly.

                    Common B2B Sales KPIs

                    Quota Attainment Rate

                    Quota Attainment Rate is a measure of a salesperson's performance in meeting their sales target or quota. It is calculated as the percentage of the salesperson's quota that they have achieved within a given time period.

                    For example, if a salesperson has a quota of $1 million for the year and has achieved $800,000 in sales by the end of the third quarter, their quota attainment rate would be 80%.

                    This KPI is used to measure the effectiveness of a salesperson's efforts and to track progress toward achieving overall sales targets.

                    Average Deal Size

                    Average Deal Size is a measure of the average value of a sale. It is calculated by dividing the total value of sales by the number of deals closed within a given time period.

                    For example, if a salesperson closed 10 deals worth $50,000 each in a month, their average deal size would be $50,000.

                    This KPI is used to measure the sales team's ability to sell high-value products or services, and to identify areas for improvement in terms of upselling or cross-selling.

                    Sales Velocity

                    Sales Velocity is a measure of the speed at which sales are being closed. It is calculated by multiplying the number of deals closed by the average deal size and dividing by the length of the sales cycle.

                    For example, if a sales team closed 20 deals worth $50,000 each in a quarter, and the average length of the sales cycle is three months, their sales velocity would be $1,666,667.

                    This KPI is used to measure the efficiency of the sales process and to identify bottlenecks or areas for improvement in terms of lead generation, lead qualification, and deal closing.

                    New Leads Generated per Month

                    New Leads Generated per Month is a measure of the number of new leads generated by the sales team within a given time period.

                    It is used to track the effectiveness of the sales team's lead generation efforts and to identify areas for improvement. This KPI is particularly important for businesses that rely on a steady stream of new customers to maintain growth.

                    Win Rate:

                    Win Rate is a measure of the percentage of deals won compared to the total number of deals pursued. It is calculated by dividing the number of deals won by the total number of deals pursued.

                    For example, if a sales team closed 10 deals out of 20 pursued, their win rate would be 50%. This KPI is used to measure the effectiveness of the sales team's efforts and to identify areas for improvement in terms of lead qualification, deal closing, and objection handling.

                    A high win rate indicates that the sales team is effective at identifying qualified leads and closing deals, while a low win rate may indicate weaknesses in the sales process that need to be addressed.

                    More KPIs and metrics that will help to drive revenue are explained in another SalesPipe blog.

                    Conclusion

                    In conclusion, B2B sales is a complex process that involves selling products or services from one business to another business.

                    Different sales techniques can be used in B2B sales, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Solution Selling, Challenger Sale, Account-Based Selling, Value Selling, and the Sandler Selling System are some of the common B2B sales techniques used today.

                    To measure the success of B2B sales, several key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used, such as Quota Attainment Rate, Sales Growth Rate, and Customer Acquisition Cost.

                    By understanding and implementing these techniques and KPIs, businesses can increase their sales and build long-term relationships with their customers.
                    Post by Mattes Wöstemeier.
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