A B2B company can’t succeed without making sales. Are your employees utilizing the skills it takes to sell your company’s products and services to other businesses? Let’s take a look at seven B2B sales skills your salespeople should master to start making more sales.
7 important B2B sales skills to master
Almost every business owner spends time wondering how to make more sales happen, especially those in the growing B2B industry. To solve this problem, you need to equip your sales team with certain skills. Let’s look at seven of the most important skills to master to begin making more B2B sales.
Source: Wright Solutions
1. Great with people
Whether it’s through in-person meetings, video conferences, or phone calls, your salespeople spend a lot of time helping your company’s customers. Considering that, it’s essential to find B2B salespeople who love interacting with others.
You’ll get a general sense of how well someone does around people and converses throughout the hiring process. Most salespeople exhibit positive attitudes and are great at showing enthusiasm. Why are these factors so important? One recent study found that 86% of phone-based communication focuses on how you’re communicating (voice/tone/attitude) instead of what you’re saying.
It’s easy to find someone who can remember features of a product or service. Finding someone who interacts with customers positively and helpfully isn’t as easy to find. The good part about this skill is that it’s easy for most people to spot. The bad part is that it’s also the hardest one to “teach.”
2. Skilled negotiator
Negotiations are essential aspects of many salespeople’s lives. This doesn’t always mean negotiating the price of a product or service. Salespeople often negotiate how many services/products/add-ons customers buy. They might also use these skills to help extend how long a customer signs up with a business. So, being able to negotiate is one of several essential B2B sales skills.
Regardless of what a salesperson is negotiating, it’s good to have someone persuasive (without being pushy) on your team. Negotiation is something most people either love or hate to do. But, it’s also a skill that can be learned over time.
3. Active listener
Source: The Balance
Most people understandably assume they’re good listeners. But, it’s important to make the distinction between listening to someone and being an active listener. It’s easy to hear everything your clients say. Active listeners take in this information and use it as the basis for their sales pitch. Therefore, being an active listener is one of the best B2B sales skills you can develop.
For instance, a recent study found that most successful sales discovery calls uncover 3-4 problems clients face. Active listening allows you to uncover and start solving your client’s problems. You’ll achieve even more success by using your active listening skills as part of a customer-centric business strategy.
4. Avid researcher
A typical salesperson spends most of their day talking to customers or giving presentations. In between these times, most people don’t realize how much effort sales employees put into researching B2B leads and customers. Considering that, being an avid researcher is an important B2B sales skill.
Being a thorough researcher helps you learn more about:
- Industry updates
- Products and services your company sells
- Information about leads and clients (pain points, company news, goals, etc.)
The time and effort you spend on sales-based research pays off in a major way as it makes all the other aspects of your job as a salesperson much easier.
5. Good at giving presentations
Another essential sales skill involves giving presentations. Unfortunately, this is also something that sends shivers down many people’s spines. This isn’t always a skill your salespeople are born with, but it’s one they can develop.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to memorize every word or slide in your presentation. The information should be all there. This is more about having good presentation skills. Here are a few important tips to remember before you give your next B2B sales presentation:
- Avoid dry presentations that only present the facts. Your audience wants a story.
- Start your presentation by focusing on the problem(s) your audience faces. Follow that up with how your product/service will solve them.
- People want social proof. Deliver it by showing your audience that others in their industry are working with your business. This also helps elicit their fear of missing out on a good thing.
- Your audience can’t listen to you and read your presentation at the same time. Therefore, it’s a good idea to create a mix of slides that focus on visuals instead of slides filled with text. Also, make sure to avoid saying too much during slides where your audience needs to do a lot of reading.
6. Team player
Confidence is an essential aspect of being a good salesperson. As a company can’t succeed without salespeople, a sales team needs strong team players to support them. By finding team players, salespeople can share their tips and strategies, as well as help each other through challenging situations.
Having someone who is only in it for themselves might bring in more sales, but at what cost? This type of attitude doesn’t create an inviting environment for your employees. Plus, it’s hard to be happy at work when it feels like everyone’s out to get each other. If you’re looking for someone with excellent B2B sales skills, make sure they’re coachable.
Not having a team environment is also costly for business owners. Research shows that 86% of employees cite a lack of collaboration or communication as the top two reasons for company failures. Employees that know the value of a strong team are there to build others up and help them instead of being overly negative or putting others down.
Source: The Geek Pub
It’s impossible for most people (and companies) to grow without receiving feedback. As an example, most companies use reviews as a way to generate more leads. By receiving constructive criticism, your employees become better at what they do. However, you need coachable employees who are open to receiving constructive criticism.
No one wants to hear about what they’re doing wrong or what needs improvement. But, constructive criticism teaches and helps make everyone into a better and stronger team.
Coachable employees are confident in their abilities, but also understand they’re going to make mistakes and be willing to learn from them. These types of employees are always striving for better results, something that’s extremely valuable.
To summarize, developing several important B2B sales skills can bring about lots of growth for your company. Researchers have spent lots of time studying what skills make great salespeople. Focusing on building and improving these skills among your sales team leads to amazing results.