How to Sell to B2B Decision Makers

B2B sales typically have long marketing and sales cycles due to the nature of the offering. Today’s buyers will put off talking to a sales representative as long as possible before finally committing to a first meeting.

You need to prepare for that first meeting before a potential customer ever asks for one. That meeting is unlikely to include the final decision makers but use it to lay the groundwork for the sale as though it did.

4 Things that Make You Look Bad to Prospects

Today is the day you have your big meeting with a new prospect. You have your slide deck on your tablet, and you are all set, right?

Before you go to your meeting, you need to know about four things that make you look bad to prospects. After all, the last thing you want is to look unprofessional and not very bright. 

How Value Selling Tools Fit into Your Sales & Marketing Ecosystem

Sales and marketing have always been spoken about as though they were a single entity, even while each lived in its own little country. Neither knew nor cared what the other was doing when they really should have been working as closely together as the term “marketing and sales.”

If you haven’t noticed yet, the entire business of marketing and sales has changed. There is no room for silos, only for collaboration.

10 Pieces of the Worst Sales Advice Ever

We all have to start somewhere when we enter the job market. On the way to learning and earning your sales stripes you probably had a good mentor or two. Along the way you may have also heard some of the worst sales advice known to humankind.

Here are ten pieces of the worst sales advice I have ever received.

How to Translate Concepts into Dollars to Close Deals

Selling a product or service ultimately depends on convincing a customer that it will increase revenue or save costs; in other words, that the customer will have more money in the future. You might call this “theoretical money.”

The trick is helping the customer see this “theoretical money” as something substantial and believable that can be used to sell your solution to the other stakeholders inside their company.

How Small Businesses Can Embrace Value Based Selling to Grow Sales

I’ve previously written about when and why you need a cost-justified business case to close deals. As a quick primer, the more your solution disrupts your customer’s business and as the size of the investment grows, the more likely you’ll need a business case.

Large corporations have the advantage of large budgets and the ability to staff sales and marketing roles in-house. They have employees to fulfill positions like: 

  • Front Line Sales Representative
  • Product or Solution Expert
  • Value Engineer or Value Consultant 

3 Strategies for Improving SaaS Customer Retention Rates

As customer acquisition costs continue to rise, many forward-looking SaaS providers are focusing on customer retention to reduce their churn rates. In a SaaS environment, the initial purchase is just the beginning of your relationship with a new customer. You must keep earning customer loyalty to ensure high renewal rates and avoid the financial and reputational damage of churn.

SaaS agreements are a continuous sales process. Despite some differences in selling strategies, the bottom line motivators for both sales and renewals are value and cost. Keeping these aligned with customer expectations requires diligence and ongoing attention that results in higher customer retention rates and overall satisfaction. 

Read This Before Talking about ROI

How frequently do you use the term “ROI” in front of customers and potential buyers?

I frequently hear sales and marketing professionals talk about “ROI” inaccurately. In a casual conversation, people might still give you the benefit of the doubt and have faith that you know your stuff. However, if you’re making a formal presentation or having a serious conversation with a prospect who’s well versed in financial terminology, any misuse of the term could obviously leave a disastrous impression about you and your company.

How to Help Buyers Make Better Purchase Decisions

During my 20-year career in sales, I’ve watched customers get smarter and smarter. As we all know, this is due in large part to the buyers’ ability to research products and solutions online. They visit vendor websites, follow vendors on social media, download content assets, tune into webinars, and attend conferences. In the process, they pick up a vast amount of knowledge about vendors and products.

Most salespeople today understand this. What they fail to understand, however, is that knowledgeable buyers are not necessarily more effective buyers. In other words, better access to more information does not always lead to better purchase decisions.

When is the Right Time to Lengthen the Sales Cycle?

Most sales teams aggressively adopt any tool, methodology, or tactic that promises to shorten the sales cycle. The reason is obvious: the shorter your sales cycles, the more deals you can close and the more time you open up for prospecting.

Believe it or not, however, there are a few situations where lengthening the sales cycle can work in your favor. Here are at least two scenarios in which it might be advantageous for you.