Closing B2B sales is tougher than ever. Business buyers have a proliferation of information and resources at hand to educate themselves about the purchases they’re making. That means B2B sales teams need to get smarter about how they influence and win over business buyers. Here are four popular B2B sales techniques that can give your sales strategy a leg up in a competitive marketplace:

1. Transactional B2B sales

Transactional selling is the simplest B2B sales technique. In fact, it’s the way most people think about sales: identify a prospect, pitch them your product, and close the sale. The focus is on the short-term, usually on selling a single product – for example,in real estate. In transactional B2B sales, the prospect is aware of their needs, knows the solution, and is simply looking for an offering that best matches their requirements.

2. Solution B2B sales

Solution selling involves understanding the customer’s needs or problems and offering solutions in the form of products or services. It’s about pitching a value proposition. So, instead of simply selling the benefits or features of your offerings, you focus on the end state of the sale—how will the buyer’s organisation improve by adopting your product or service. Solution B2B sales have slightly longer purchase cycles but typically lead to deals with a better ROI and the potential for multiple repurchases.

3. Consultative B2B sales

Consultative selling is similar to solution selling; though, with the former, the buyer is aware of their problems or needs but not very proactive about finding a solution. In consultative B2B sales, the salesperson gains a deep understanding of the buyer’s problems or needs and how to fulfill them. They then advise the buyer about potential solutions, taking on a consultative role that nudges buyers towards making the purchase. Consultative B2B sales often require the efforts of a salesperson along with a subject matter expert, so that all the buyer’s doubts and questions can be resolved. This B2B sales method usually features larger ticket sizes, longer purchasing cycles, and a high-touch face-to-face selling environment.

4. Provocative B2B sales

In provocative B2B sales, the customer is not aware of a problem or need they might have. The salesperson executing this sales technique needs to make the buyer aware of their problem or need, and pitch their offerings as a solution. Provocative B2B sales are tricky to execute because the salesperson risks patronising or offending the buyer. However, if done well, this method gives the seller a first-mover advantage by offering the buyer solutions to problems they didn’t even know they had – and thus beating the competition to it. With provocative B2B sales, the primary thing being sold is guidance, followed by the product or service as a solution.
A B2B sales team may need to adopt different sales techniques depending on the buyer they’re interacting with. A CRM software like Salesforce’s Sales Cloud tools your sales teams with a 360-degree view of prospects and customers. It unifies data from multiple sources on one shared platform, providing sales teams with all the information they need to understand customer needs and determine the best suited B2B sales techniques to deploy in any situation.

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