Industrial Sales

B2B sales cycle must be properly managed!

Every single step in the B2B sales cycle is crucial for your company's overall success, sales performance, market reputation and brand loyalty.

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I want to talk about how each step of the purchase process – from marketing to attention to conversion to delivery is as important as the last, and how missing one step can ruin the entire experience! Let’s start with the definition of B2B sales cycle.

What is the B2B sales cycle?

The process of introducing a buyer company to a product, taking into consideration the need to buy, and finally making the purchase is known as the B2B sales cycle. Matter what type of sales process, the procedure changes according to the length of time required to locate a suitable prospect. Each B2B sales process has unique characteristics that impact both the vendor and the customer.

A B2B (Business-to-business) sales cycle happens between companies. During B2B sales stages, salespeople promote products that are beneficial to businesses. This cycle frequently makes use of B2B marketing strategies that emphasizes a product’s capacity to increase client retention.

Sales orders are received on a regular basis and are typically for industrial goods or services. Additionally, multiple purchasers are involved in the B2B sales process.

The B2B sales cycle is the amount of time required to complete a sale. The cycle begins with your initial contact with a potential customer and ends when the prospect makes a purchase decision. For an effective B2B sales strategy, shortening the sales cycle without compromising the prospect’s relationship with you is crucial.

Managing the B2B sales cycle

Motivating and selling to such knowledgeable decision-makers demands a B2B sales cycle that integrates marketing and sales experience.

Marketing
Attention
Conversion
Delivery

B2B sales cycle stages

Sales cycle affects the overall sales success of your company. Every single step in the B2B sales process is crucial to the overall success of the product/service offered and brand loyalty. So let’s dive into the pieces that make up the cycle to understand their relevance in conversion and how one phase affects the other like a domino effect.

1. Marketing

Many companies’ largest budget category is marketing in the B2B sales cycle. Therefore a B2B company will want to invest the proper amount in marketing and make sure that their budget is well spent. Getting the right message in front of your prospects is key to raising.

2. Attention

In the B2B sales cycle, your marketing should effectively communicate the value and benefit of your product/service to capture your prospects’ attention productively. Failing to capture the target B2B markets’ attention means marketing expenses are wasted. But if you hit the sweet spot where your marketing attracts attention that prompts engagement, you can nurture and grow that attention.

prospecting, identifying needs, presentation, objections, closing and follow-up

3. Conversion

Once you can get the target B2B market’s attention, you need to focus on converting that leads to a business transaction. Without the proper lead nurturing/marketing automation and follow-up, closing a deal becomes almost impossible.

Keep in mind that marketing and sales are equally important in the B2B sales cycle. There needs to be alignment between who the marketing department targets and the quality of the leads that the sales department targets. When the B2B process works well, your conversion then leads to.

4. Delivery

The job doesn’t stop at the conversion phase of the B2B sales cycle. The delivery phase is the last and most crucial piece that ties it all together. Whether a product or service, its delivery must be efficient, consistent, easily accessible and of high quality, but most importantly, precisely what you promised.

Suppose your unique value proposition doesn’t line up to what you’ve promised. In that case, you quickly lose customers’ trust, respect, brand loyalty, and ultimately, their future business!


Every single step in the B2B sales process is essential. However, while things are going their way, they might break down at the last stage. In my experience, even if you manage the first three steps correctly, if they have problems with the delivery, even your valuable customers will leave you.

A customer may travel the B2B sales cycle smoothly through the first three steps. Still, when it came time for delivery, everything fell apart, and it left a bad taste in their mouth. In this situation, all of those marketing expenses and lead capture efforts are wasted because leaved customers most probably don’t come back.

monitoring and managing B2B sales process

B2B sales cycle management

It is common practice for a B2B salesperson to create a long-term relationship with a customer and close a deal by using a unique pattern. This pattern, referred to as the B2B sales strategy, assists in converting a prospect (potential customer) into a paying and valuable customer.

By addressing customer worries about you, your company, and your product, a successfully managed B2B sales cycle removes objections from the customer’s mind.

process of business-to-business world

How to manage your B2B sales cycle efficiently?

Determine the requirement

There is a reason why the customer decided to contact you. Your objective is to ascertain that cause and to demonstrate a demand for your products (goods or services). By inquiring about the customer’s demands and carefully listening to their responses, you can ascertain how your solution meets the customer’s problem.

You’ll need to ask specific questions to ascertain the precise requirement. For instance, determining that a customer requires a coating system will not assist in developing a sales argument. However, establishing the client’s requirement for a new coating system for a new pipeline project will lead you to start a new B2B sales cycle.

B2B sales cycle diagram that shows the selling process

Present the product and demonstrate it

When proposing your product to a customer, explain how your product meets their needs. Avoid wasting time during your B2B sales cycle on functions that the customer most probably will not use. For instance, if the client wishes to acquire an electrical engine, displaying them a diesel engine will be ineffective and nonsense. When possible, demonstrate the product and let the customer see your operating product for themselves.

Negotiate

The sales professional must be forthright negotiation throughout the B2B sales cycle. If the product needs multiple options, describe them to the customer and include the pricing of each option. Inform the customer on how to maximize the product’s performance and convince them to accept the product before talking pricing.

Determine the customer’s budget and operate within it while preserving a profit margin. When feasible, take advantage of financing options. Rather than attempting to convince your customer to spend $1 million at one time on a CNC machine, explain to them that they may apply for a lease that will allow her to purchase the machine in small monthly payments.

marketing, lead generation, prospecting and B2B sales process

Improving B2B sales cycle

There are many ways to improve your sales cycle, and you don’t have to limit yourself to one technique. However, Understanding where the problem areas are and how to fix them can get you on the path to improving your business and having loyal customers.

Improving your business-to-business sales cycle does not require trial and error. It entails doing an in-depth examination of your current B2B sales process, identifying weak links, and then repairing or eliminating them. Due to the fact that each B2B company’s situation is unique, there is no general formula that will enable you to close more deals in less time.

Additionally, due to the degree of complexity of the B2B sales, we cannot say when you might be able to see the results. It can take months for some corporations and enterprises for improvements to take hold and generate money. In other circumstances, a minor adjustment to the targeting and team assignment enlivens the situation.

business development and revenue improvement

Conclusion

Once you grasp the steps of your sales cycle and what drives them, you can sketch out a roadmap for developing your sales cycle and navigating through a number of possibilities.

Bear in mind that it may take some time to determine what changes may be made to the B2B sales cycle to get it to work the way you like. It requires some patience and hard work to develop a bullet-proof B2B sales strategy which will save your company people, time, and money.