Industrial Sales

7 Steps of industrial B2B sales process

The industrial B2B sales process simply refers to all stages involved in an industrial company's product sale to another business.

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The B2B sales is an exchange of money or commodity between industrial businesses in exchange for the provision of industrial products (goods or services). Thus, the B2B sales process simply refers to all stages of an industrial company’s products (goods or services) sale to another business.

The B2B sales basics are different from B2C sales. Although they have common ground, B2B sales require special attention and precision.

B2B sales process, lead generation and closing strategies

What is the B2B sales process?

The B2B sales process is a series of structured, customized, improved, and recurring steps used to perform sales. It takes a potential customer (business) from awareness to need recognition and eventually closing the deal.

Consistency of B2B sales process

Consistency increases the probability of succeeding or concluding a contract when specific requirements are met. Isolating the activities necessary to determine the parameters and then assigning calculated values to each parameter lets you achieve 100% success. In addition, effective B2B sales process management reduces the time spent on the B2B sales cycle.

B2B sales process is the handbook of sales success

A B2B sales process consists of a series of phases that are meant to assist salespeople in converting prospects into clients. It's a scalable, repeatable and success aimed B2B sales strategy.

Identify
Qualify
Reach
Follow-Up

The advantages of the B2B sales process

Having an efficient industrial B2B sales process has many advantages, especially in the industrial market segments. The benefits outweigh the difficulties and barriers encountered to get it working.

Benefits of a well-managed B2B sales process

  • You may quickly and correctly identify the customer’s problems and requirements.
  • You may create solutions that benefit both your customer and yourself.
  • You can act persistently but not disturbingly.
  • Maintaining contact with and developing long-lasting connections with your customer gets easier.
  • You may make decisions based on accurate data.
  • You may sharply control the B2B sales cycle stages.
  • You may determine the source of inactive sales leads.
  • You may generate more qualified leads and close a more significant number of deals.
  • You may forecast sales and profit more accurately.
  • You may provide a better purchasing experience to your customers.
  • You may ensure that your customers have a high lifetime value.
  • You will be able to improve your B2B selling strategies
  • Over time, the cost of customer retention reduces.
  • You may increase the number of customer referrals.
  • Your marketing and sales efforts are coordinated to achieve a common objective.
  • You empower prospects to make more informed purchasing decisions.
  • You may connect with the prospect quickly and easily via their preferred communication channels.
Understanding B2B sales process and industrial marketing strategies

7 steps B2B sales process

As you can see, having a well-designed B2B sales process is critical to the success of your organization. After understanding the benefits, let’s look at the steps to making a sale in detail.

1. Prospecting – The starting point of the B2B sales process

Prospecting is the first step in the B2B selling process. It is also undoubtedly one of the most important stages among B2B sales techniques. In this stage:

  • You identify the prospective customers.
  • You verify whether or not they require your product or service.
  • You evaluate whether they can afford you.

 

Qualifying a lead determines whether the customer requires your product or service and whether they can afford it. They can be classified as a lead, a prospect, or a qualified prospect during B2B sales development.

Lead qualification in the B2B sales process

To qualify a B2B sales lead, use one of the following methods of prospecting:

GPCT Lead qualification method:

Goals

Quantify the objectives the lead wishes to accomplish

Plans

Develop strategies and techniques to make the lead accomplish the specified objectives

Challenges

What obstacles stand in the lead’s way, and how should they overcome them?

Timing

When does the lead intend to accomplish these goals?

BANT Lead qualification method:

Budget

Is the lead financially capable of funding for a solution to the problem?

Authority

Determine who is influential enough in the lead’s organization to authorize the purchasing choice

Need

What is the lead’s unresolved pain point?

Timeline

Is there a deadline by which the lead requires your solution?

Create a profile for each lead and consider the various ways in which you might approach leads for sales. The industrial B2B sales process is a continuous operation. It should be a collaborative effort involving everyone in your organization. From whatever actions or campaigns you are running, an opportunity may contact you or vice versa.

designing a B2B sales strategy

2. Preparation

You’ll deal with the following in the second step of the industrial B2B sales process:

  • The first contact with the potential customer
  • Conduct market and customer research
  • Determine the decision-maker
  • Find their sore spots and related requirements
  • Gather all valuable information about the procurement of your products

 

At this phase, you build and adjust your sales presentation to the specific demands of your prospective client. Acquire product expertise in the manner of a counsellor so that you may talk less about the product’s characteristics and more about the benefits of the product’s various components.

Consider this question from the prospect’s perspective. Then, consider what the prospective customers would feel each time a feature is introduced to them, and re-learn your product through their eyes. This step will get your B2B sales process started in the right direction.

Business growth strategies

3. Approach

You make your initial contact with your clients during the approach stage of B2B sales process. There are three typical strategies for initiating contact. You should consider this an opportunity to establish a long-lasting relationship.

  • Premium strategy: Present a gift to your possible client at the start of the conversation.
  • Question strategy: Ask inquiries that pique prospects’ curiosity.
  • Product strategy: Provide a free trial for the prospect to assess and evaluate your service.

4. Presentation

The presentation phase is the fourth stage of the industrial B2B sales process. Now, you exhibit and comprehend how your product or service offerings connect with the needs of your target customer. Pay close attention to your customer’s wants and respond appropriately.

Clarify your customer’s objectives. This can be accomplished by inquiring about their current priorities and revenue expectations. Inquire your customers about their strategy for achieving their objectives.

Customers value insights and professional opinions. On the other hand, they do not appreciate being regarded as a revenue target. Provide helpful feedback and recommendations on their approaches.

handling and overcoming sales objections

5. Handling objections

Among the seven steps of the B2B sales process, handling objections is the most critical and, unfortunately, one of the most overlooked. Please pay close attention to your prospect’s issues and answer them swiftly.

This is where plenty of salespeople fail:

  • 44% of salespeople give up after one rejection
  • 22% following two rejections
  • 14% after three;
  • 12% after four

 

It’s worth mentioning that four out of every five sales require at least five follow-ups. Successfully overcoming objections and clearing up fears distinguishes a good from a bad salesperson and a great from a good salesperson.

To successfully deal with B2B sales objections:

  • Close the gap between your customer’s plans and objectives carefully. Together, dissect every component of their strategy that did not work for them. Then, assist and guide them in comprehending why they (may) require external aid.
  • Establish a schedule. Scheduling is critical for both your B2B sales strategy and your customer’s buying journey. First, you should get accurate information about the lead’s present status.
  • Determine how much time they have to accomplish their objectives and how quickly they will implement plans. It assists in prioritizing and focusing on leads that have an immediate necessity.
Success in B2B sales process

6. Closing

The closing phase is entirely focused on closing the order. At each level, the thing you’re selling may evolve. For instance, a close in the early stages of the B2B sales process could be an appointment for conversation. You are exchanging time rather than a product.

At a later time, the necessity to meet with the purchasing team may arise; in this case, what you are selling is a meeting. Seeing the sale process via this perspective alleviates the strain associated with each interaction and makes things more manageable. However, do not be lulled into complacency; you must eventually request the purchase order. No sales conversation should finish without an agreement in the closing step.

In this step, you obtain directly from your customer regarding how to proceed. Depending on your business and your customer’s requirements, you may wish to employ one of the following three closing tactics.

3 closing tactics for the B2B sales process

  • Optional close: Assume you’re presenting a prospect with a choice between two options. “Would you wish to pay the complete fee upfront or in partial payments?” for example.
  • Close alternative inducement: To clinch the transaction, offer further incentives or discounts, such as a free month of service or a refund.
  • Only standing room available: Create urgency by stating that a price increase will occur soon—for instance, “Prices will increase after this month.”
industrial trade, marketing and manufacturing brings revenue growth

7. Follow-up

Even after you have completed the transaction, B2B sales stages are not complete yet. The follow-up stage guarantees you maintain contact with newly acquired customers — not just for potential repeat business but also for referrals. And, given that retaining existing clients is six to seven times less expensive than obtaining new ones, relationships are critical.

Effective follow-up in the B2B sales process more than doubles your closing ratio. A salesperson should always attempt to establish rapport with a prospect. A follow-up is a process by which you nurture a potential customer.

Persistence is required to maintain contact with a prospect and should not be mistaken for being pushy. As a result, it is critical to agree on the next steps each time there is interaction. Thus, follow-up should be an ongoing effort, even more so in a business-to-business sales process. While the pace should be leisurely, it should not be slowed.

The initiator of the connection is more equipped to handle follow-up talks. They can more accurately assess a prospect’s “willingness to buy” or pick up where they left off previously. This entails maintaining extensive follow-ups on each prospect, stressing their “state of mind.” It is foolish and ineffective to keep this information in any location other than a centralized database.

B2B sales process and growth strategies

B2B sales process flowchart

The B2B sales process flowchart is a graphical depiction of the many phases of the sales cycle; it illustrates how a product progresses through each stage and eventually enters the customer’s hands.

Sales flowchart is extremely important to teach new sales representatives and workers and demonstrate the significance of different phases of the industrial B2B sales process.

B2B sales process flowchart

Creately.com offers diagram and flowchart solutions that enable you to alter pre-built sales process flowchart templates and create your own. This website can be beneficial to you when you are dealing with your B2B sales process mapping.


Conclusion on the B2B sales process

A successful B2B sales cycle is not a static one. It should be adaptive to your B2B growth strategies and changing in response to changes in the business environment. Therefore, it should be a work in progress at all times. The benefits far outweigh the difficulties inherent in developing an efficient B2B sales development strategy. Therefore, use the phases outlined above in your industrial B2B sales process to maximize value.