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October 24, 2017

The new-age B2B marketplace is not what it was a couple years ago. Managers are spoilt for choices no matter what they’re looking to procure, have access to even more information at their fingertips, and are being engaged with at every possible platform and channel. This means that B2B sales teams must work smarter than they did in the past.

The notion that the B2B sales cycle is long is now obsolete. You don’t have a  long time to close the sale once an inquiry is made. Given all the information  available online, buyers do a lot of research and narrow down their options,  discuss them with internal stakeholders who are key to the purchase /  procurement decision, and then approach a few selected vendors. In essence,  most buyers have a broad idea about what you offer and how it suits their  needs. So it’s important to quickly address their specific queries to win the  business.To win at B2B sales, executives need to let go of some of the beliefs  that don’t serve them anymore, and embrace some ideas that will stand them in  good stead, going forward.

o guarantee a win, ensure your sales team uses a CRM to log all queries as soon as they come in, ensures they’re quickly answered in a manner that provides the right information succinctly, and follows-up to check if the client needs more information or has more questions.

  1.   Even the most loyal customers are under pressure and need quick responses and turnarounds. Regulatory, political, competitive, and  several other factors influence your customer’s decision to procure and implement a new solution from you – many of which come  with tight deadlines. Delays can have significant implications for the business.

 A CRM can help you log different queries, set reminders to help you follow up with different internal teams for technical clarifications  needed for your response, and ensure your turnaround time is reasonable. 

  1.   B2B customers need answers at their fingertips, on platforms and channels they’re most comfortable with. Some might prefer a  website, some might choose a seminar or a maybe webinar, and some might want an app to help them explore your products. They  might even call upon your salespeople to help them contextualize the content and help them understand how your products can solve  their unique problems.

 Use a CRM to keep track of how your customers prefer to consume content so you can provide them information in a way they truly  understand. This will help you close more deals.

Once your sales people have got to grips with these new beliefs, the team will find itself on stronger footing when it comes to managing and closing on B2B sales opportunities. There are some other challenges that might be plaguing your team’s performance, which you might have read about in my previous blogpost Seven Reasons Why Companies Struggle with B2B Sales.Also, if you’d like to learn how you can fine-tune your B2B sales performance and make the most of your customer relationship management (CRM) systems, read my article The Seven Deadly Myths of Today’s B2B Sell, in the latest edition of Perspectives, our management journal.

Lisa Hager is an ex TCSer and was the Global Head of the Salesforce Practice for Tata Consultancy Services. She was responsible for the core practice operations including business development, delivery, alliance management and offerings, and solution development for TCS’ mature and emerging markets.


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