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How to improve your B2B sales technique

By Dan Teuton
26 April 2017

Nicola Hartland, CEO of Xcel Sales, has spent over a decade advising clients on how to improve their sales strategies. Over the years, she’s refined her style to gain maximum impact and she shares her top 10 tips to immediately boost your B2B sales results. 

Xcel Sales - Nicola Hartland

Nicola Hartland

Don’t make it about you

When you’re absorbed by targets and tasks, sometimes you can lose focus on the most important aspect of sales – the prospect. It’s never about you or how wonderful you think a product is, it’s always about them. Value their time and find creative ways to meet their specific needs.

Ask questions

70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve a problem. Try to discover a prospect’s current frustrations and relate them in real terms to how much these challenges are currently costing their business.

Know your product – it breeds confidence

You really need to believe in what you’re selling to sound convincing and you can’t believe in something that you don’t understand. Make sure that you appreciate the nuances of your product or service, as this allows you to confidently offer specific recommendations.

Don’t negotiate on price

There’s a reason why SpaceX CEO Elon Musk never discounts a product. When you lower your prices, you also lower the perceived value. If you stick by your pricing, you’ll earn trust, which is always more beneficial in the long run.

Listen to the customer

Have you ever been on a date where the other person is just talking at you the whole time? Don’t be that kind of sales professional as each of us have our own set of circumstances that can only be unearthed by listening. The tone we adopt on the phone is more than four times as important as the actual words we use.

Offer more than one option

The Goldilocks Effect is a well known psychological principle that relates back to the famous story of Goldilocks and the three bears. Most of us tend to opt for the metaphorical porridge that’s “just right”. With this in mind, you should always propose at least three options – low cost (but reduced spec), overly high cost and one that you’d actually like them to take.

Take the initiative

You absolutely need to listen and let prospects lead any dialogue, but you also need to be the one that leads the actual process. Make it clear that you’ll be following up on a certain date and stick to it. 80% of prospects require five follow-up calls before committing, but only 56% of sales professionals make more than one.

Follow up quickly

According to the Harvard Business Review, you’re 60 times more likely to convert a web lead if you reply within an hour – compared to waiting 24 hours. This says it all, you need to follow up while someone is still in the right frame of mind for a discussion.

Remember to close the sale

Whether you’re on a call or face-to-face, there’s no shame in asking someone if they’re happy to proceed – as long as you’re not being pushy.

Value those around you

Avoid any temptation to do everything yourself, as you’ll lower your overall success rate. Create an efficient sales process that fully utilises the skills around you and trust your colleagues. According to Qvidian, 88% of lost opportunities are due to sales teams not being able to leverage internal resources.

Xcel Sales has created over £100 million of sales opportunities in under four years. Recent expansion has included the appointment of leading technology investor Kevin Gaskell as chairman, two new directors Craig Williams and Gavin Davis, and a state-of-the-art office at Chineham Park, Basingstoke.

To start generating high-value qualified leads today, contact Xcel Sales on the details below.

[email protected]

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