B2B sales organizations sell to other companies. Sales leaders and their sales teams are responsible for an increase in B2B sales. This revenue growth allows the sales organization to grow, expand, and create new offerings. Net new revenue is how B2B sales measure success, but B2B is more difficult than ever.
In this article, we will look at how sales organizations use value creation to increase their revenue. We’ll start by looking at the B2B sales process. Following that, we'll explore targeted marketing strategies and customer retention, and end on data analysis.
Understanding the B2B Sales Process
For over two decades, the B2B sales process was presumed to be linear. The process started with targeting and ended with a won deal. Over time buyers and decision-makers changed how they prefer to buy. The process became increasingly nonlinear. Instead of the straight line, the process changed.
Overview of the B2B Sales Process
It still makes sense to track the opportunity stages of the sales process. What has changed is that many buyers no longer allow the salesperson to follow the opportunity stages in the order that salespeople recognize. Because this is true, potential customers need salespeople to create a different type of value from the sales conversation. Without creating value, the salesperson will struggle to close deals.
Understanding the Buyer's Journey in B2B Sales
Buyers buy what the salesperson sells occasionally. It's not uncommon for a decision maker to buy the product or service the salesperson sells once or twice in their career. Sellers, on the other hand, sell their offerings every day.
The seller's experience helping other clients make that decision and improve their results. This provides the salesperson the ability to create value for their client by facilitating the buyer's journey. By leading the client through the sales process, the salesperson creates a preference to buy from the sales rep. This approach can also shorten the sales cycle.
Identifying Key Opportunities for Revenue Growth
Another change in B2B buying and selling is that buyers expect sellers to already know their problems and pain points. The salesperson who makes a cold call only does so because they believe they can help their prospective client.
The salesperson addresses the client's pain points by explaining why the decision-maker cannot produce better results. They also create value that allows them to identify and pursue an opportunity for revenue growth and improve their client's results. By creating value, the salesperson creates an opportunity in their sales pipeline.
Developing a Targeted Marketing Strategy
Sales and marketing teams work together to develop a marketing strategy. More companies build revenue teams that include marketing, sales, sales operations, and sales enablement. This alignment can speed up revenue growth by ensuring the sales force can create value for their target market.
Identifying the Target Market in B2B Sales
There may be nothing more destructive to an increase in revenue in B2B sales than salespeople spending their time and effort on companies that are not their targets. It’s important for sales and marketing to identify the companies that will—and will not—benefit from the value of what the sales organization sells.
Careful, thoughtful targeting helps create value for clients by removing the need for the salesperson to ask outdated qualifying questions and instead ask open-ended questions. Sales organizations that still follow a traditional sales approach would improve the sales experience by removing the off-putting qualifying questions.
Developing a Marketing Plan to Reach the Target Audience
For revenue teams, developing a marketing plan needs to provide awareness. They also need to activate their target clients. The salesforce needs marketing to provide the content that will allow them to nurture their prospective clients over time, eventually breaking through and scheduling a first meeting.
It's important that marketing focuses on a one-to-many approach, creating awareness. It's also important for salespeople to communicate one-to-one. The combination is better when the messaging aligns and compels change.
Maximizing ROI through Targeted Marketing Campaigns
Maximizing ROI is an important aspect of any marketing strategy. Companies can leverage targeted marketing campaigns to reach their audience, and craft personalized marketing messages that resonate with their target clients.
Marketing analyzes customer behavior and preferences to gain insight into what motivates their targets. This knowledge can develop marketing strategies tailored to the specific needs of their target audience.
Maximizing Revenue through Customer Retention Strategies
Every company wins and loses clients. It is difficult to increase revenue in B2B sales when you experience churn. The greater the churn, the more challenging it is to generate net new revenue.
Importance of Customer Retention in B2B Sales
The many companies with a customer success function are almost always companies pursuing growth. They employ this strategy because it prevents churn.
Strategies for Increasing Customer Retention
The first B2B sales strategy is to ensure the client is realizing the results they need. Clients defect when they are not getting the value they paid for. The second strategy for retaining customers is creating new value. This new value also prevents being displaced by a competitor.
Utilizing Customer Feedback to Improve Retention
Nobody likes bad news, but with customer feedback, you can learn what changes you may need to make to retain and grow your clients. Acting on the feedback from customers will help you retain them. It will also help you prevent the problems that cause the churn that decreases revenue and creates an obstacle to increase revenue.
Utilizing Data Analysis to Identify Areas for Revenue Growth
Technology allows sales organizations to capture customer data. That data can provide insights into what's working, what isn't, and insights that were unexpected. A data-driven approach provides a source of truth, even if you must speak to clients to better understand some of your findings.
Key Metrics to Track for Revenue Growth
The first metric is net new revenue. The second metric is your churn. The second may wipe out the first. You also need a pipeline of future revenue by opportunity or by your offerings. Tracking average deal size and sales cycles are also helpful.
Using Data Analysis to Identify Areas for Improvement
The first place to identify areas for improvement is always churn. The greater your churn, the more difficult it is to increase revenue. You don't want your new opportunities to replace the clients you lost.
The second place to look for improvement is net new opportunities. You can create new opportunities that grow revenue by selling more to your existing clients, creating new value. You also need to look at net new clients and opportunities in your sales pipeline.
The third area where data can identify opportunities for improvement is the effectiveness of the B2B sales force. A higher win rate will increase revenue. Training, coaching, and developing your sales force will speed net new revenue. This is especially true for a full-cycle salesperson.
The fourth area is marketing and the effectiveness of the new sales collateral that buyers seek before they meet with salespeople.
Net New Revenue Growth
The starting point for an increase in revenue is creating value for your prospective clients. This is especially important now that buyers need help completing their buyer's journey. When sales and marketing align on the target clients, you improve your results by focusing your effort on the right targets.
Sales organizations can increase revenue in B2B sales by implementing effective sales strategies, targeted marketing campaigns, and using strategies to retain their clients. Data identifies areas for improvement, so sales leaders can improve revenue growth and achieve long-term success. If you need help increasing revenues, go here.