B2C VS B2B
B2C VS B2B Sales
There are some important similarities and differences between the approaches and skillsets required for successful B2B vs B2C sales. In either case, while building an effective sales force, you need to take into account the backgrounds of your salespeople. Are they the right fit for your products, services and markets?
Are they transitioning from B2C to B2B or vice versa?
Many companies find that significant training is required to achieve a high level of sales performance as these transitions present themselves. In these cases, sales force outsourcing becomes a cost-effective alternative.
How are B2C and B2B sales similar?
1-They both require a sales process.
B2B lead generation and sales may take longer and involve more nurturing. However, a well defined strategy and planned tactics are needed in both arenas.
2-They both require alignment with marketing.
If your online and offline marketing messages don't align well with sales communications, potential customers will shy away.
3-They both require excellent customer service.
Once a sale is made, the ability a customer has to reach your support team and get helpful service has everything to do with retention and churn rate.
How are B2C and B2B sales different?
1-Emotional vs Rational.
Retail sales are often emotional, based on a perceived immediate need, while corporate sales are planned, evaluated and longer term. Online shopping has changed this to some extent, allowing customers to research and compare prior to purchase.
2-Cheap vs Expensive.
Again, not strictly true, but on average B2C sales have a lower price point and are less often paid out over time. There is a crossover where B2B sales involve products such as office supplies. Corporate services are often retainer-based over the long term. Luxury B2C items such as houses and cars are paid over a long term as well;
3-One-off vs Relationship.
Retail point-of-sale purchases are often done without prior contact and with no ongoing relationship between salesperson and customer. This is seldom true in the B2B arena, where the entire sales process is often based on relationship building and trust.
While there are many B2C salespeople with years of experience, the learning (and success) curve is certainly shorter than in B2B. B2B salespeople must know how to work with senior decision-makers in addition to knowing their products cold. That can take years to develop and the right personality to make it work.
If you are interested in improving your sales performance, contact us for a free consultation.
The hardest thing about B2B selling today is that customers don’t need you the way they used to. In recent decades sales reps have become adept at discovering customers’ needs and selling them “solutions”—generally, complex combinations of products and services. This worked because customers didn’t know how to solve their own problems, even though they often had a good understanding of what their problems were. But now, owing to increasingly sophisticated procurement teams and purchasing consultants armed with troves of data, companies can readily define solutions for themselves.
In fact, a recent Corporate Executive Board study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that those customers completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a supplier. In this world, the celebrated “solution sales rep” can be more of an annoyance than an asset. Customers in an array of industries, from IT to insurance to business process outsourcing, are often way ahead of the salespeople who are “helping” them.
But the news is not all bad. Although traditional reps are at a distinct disadvantage in this environment, a select group of high performers is flourishing. These superior reps have abandoned much of the conventional wisdom taught in sales organizations.
• Evaluate prospects according to criteria different from those used by other reps, targeting agile organizations in a state of flux rather than ones with a clear understanding of their needs
• Seek out a very different set of stakeholders, preferring skeptical change agents over friendly informants• Coach those change agents on how to buy, instead of quizzing them about their company’s purchasing process.
These sales professionals don’t just sell more effectively—they sell differently. This means that boosting the performance of average salespeople isn’t a matter of improving how they currently sell; it involves altogether changing how they sell. To accomplish this, organizations need to fundamentally rethink the training and support provided to their reps.
Increase B2B Sales With An Outstanding Presentation
What is the best way to engage
a prospect in a sales dialog?
Make your sales presentations entertaining, interactive and memorable.
Every one of us has sat through one of those presentations. You're sitting in a boardroom. You’ve eaten the catered lunch. It's 1:15 PM. They dim the lights and start the slick PowerPoint presentation. The pitch begins. You realize that that "free lunch" really wasn't free. Your mind wanders and you start to plan your weekend or think about all the work you should be doing. You send a text or two. You really don't remember the presentation at all.
Don't let this happen to your next presentation
Companies often invest a lot on money in client entertainment. A sales presentation often includes a costly catered lunch. The sales materials you leave behind are expensive and often go unread. But how much money, time and effort do most companies invest in making the sales presentation really entertaining and interactive?
It's challenging to make a sales presentation memorable
We live in a fast-paced, dynamic world. Being constantly forced to multitask, peoples' attention spans are getting shorter and increasingly fragmented. Sales presentations need to keep up and be designed for this new, more demanding audience that will not be entertained by a "dog and pony show.
You clients and prospects live in an interactive world where they are used to having an active role and being in partial control. Here are a few ways that sales leaders have made their presentations engaging and memorable:
Make it a Magic Act
Magicians have been doing it for years; they spice up a boring act with audience volunteers. This is one trick worth stealing from them.
When the magician selects his volunteer, at first we secretly wish we were selected. If the magician then locks the volunteer in a box and pulls out a gigantic saw, we change our minds and breathe a sigh of relief. No one really wants to volunteer to be sawed in half.
Start the presentation off with a brief introduction but then move quickly into a dialog. Keep it informal, keep it on topic, and involve your audience. It doesn't matter where you are giving the presentation – a large group, a few people in a conference room, online or by remote video – you can build in audience participation. Just don't lock anyone up in a box and pull out a gigantic saw.
Make the presentation style suit your audience
Don’t use a "flashy" presentation for a small, informal group. Save it for a large meeting, conference or for a Board presentation where it is expected.
When you are presenting a small group or an audience of one, keep the presentation simple. Don't use a laptop or projected presentation unless it is core to your product or service. When you have a small group, work to maximize your opportunity to make a personal connection.
Discard the old structured presentation agenda
Have the guts to abandon a classic, structured sales pitch. Most presentation experts recommend a sales presentation with an Introduction, Benefits with concrete examples, Conclusion where you "ask for the order", followed by a Q&A period.
Think about changing this up. Why not incorporate the benefits in the introduction? Why not invite questions in the middle of the presentation? And why wait to ask for the prospect's business? Remember, your audience has seen dozens, if not hundreds of presentations. You do not want to blend into the sea of just another corporate presentation.
Don't use outdated clip art, complex build slides and cluttered templates
it seems obvious, but is it still such a common mistake, we have to address it. The fastest way to brand your company as "out of touch" is to use canned clip art. At all costs, avoid "cartoon" style illustration. Don't use complex build slides or cluttered PowerPoint templates. It is far better to use a plain template with straight-forward, simple language and online information-added graphics.
We all love PowerPoint but…
In this case less really is more – more memorable that is. Keep the slides to the minimum number required to tell the story - period. Research shows that shorter slide presentations are more memorable. Don't bore the audience with data clutter. Make a few brief, powerful points and support them with fast memorable facts and brief case history example. The goasl is to inspire questions, without giving all the answers.
If you are not a standup comic, don't pretend to be one
Everyone in the room is exposed to the high-level comedy on TV so the bar for a joke is very high. Use prepared jokes only if you can really deliver them professionally. If you lack comic timing, avoid them at all costs.
Say thank you and don't just hope for an encore performance - ask for it.
And no matter what, end the entire presentation with a thank you and a request to go to the next step – ask for a follow-up meeting or when you can start service. Make the audience want an encore.
Bottom line: Make your sales presentation stick. Impress yourself with how elegantly simple it is and how well your audience listens. Deliver the goods, not the fluff.