In training people how to sell, it is important to distinguish between business to business (corporate) sales and selling to consumers.
A successful B2C salesperson used to dealing with individuals on a transactional basis might experience a tremendous shock if they transition to a B2B sales environment. In fact, they might go broke. This is because B2B and B2C are wildly different animals.
Longer sales cycle
Due to the complexities that are expounded in the headings below, it takes much longer to close B2B sales than selling to consumers.
This means that salespeople must be supported through draws against commission, or they need to learn how to close smaller and faster deals to stay afloat until their bigger deals come through. Business sales training must address this longer sales cycle and set proper expectations.
Multiple decision makers
In B2B sales, there are often different levels of approval needed before you get the purchase order. So while you might successfully schmooze the office manager, the purchasing officer or a vice president might also need to be sold.
Business sales training should teach strategies to close multiple people, and how to save deals that are falling apart because one decision maker won’t agree with the rest.
Even getting to the primary decision maker in the first place might prove to be a challenge, thanks to gatekeepers — staff members whose sole function seems to be keeping you from talking to anyone with the authority to buy something from you.
This is usually an assistant or receptionist. A good business sales training program teaches you to win these people over and use them to help close the sale for you!
High price, higher stakes
B2B sales involve significant investments on the part of the customer, both in monetary terms and in placing a part of their business operation with an outside vendor in many cases.
This not only adds a lot of time, it also adds a lot of stress on both parties when compared with selling a microwave or a stereo. A bad decision on a business purchase can literally kill off a company.
Training must set expectations correctly and also teach sales people how to manage the higher stress levels in themselves and their prospects.
Many unspoken rules
The way you dress, speak, and even the type of watch you wear can affect your success in the corporate sales world. These judgements about appearance and other characteristics are often shallow, to be sure, but business sales training is about making money — not trying to cure human prejudices.
Business sales training and sales training seminars should teach the unspoken rules about the corporate world so new salespeople are not shut out.
It can be expensive to chase the business
Golf. Lunches. Private jets.
Okay, perhaps private jets aren’t necessary for all business sales — but there are entertainment and travel expenses involved in closing many B2B sales. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Business sales training should cover which expenses are typical and justified, and which ones are a waste, in order to maximize ROI.
Formal sales processes are a must
Finally, while many of B2C salespeople can fly by the seat of their pants, B2B requires formal sales processes to be most effective. This means researching prospects and their gatekeepers, recruiting internal coaches, researching the competition, identifying USPs — you name it.
Our business sales training teaches a 20 step process for approaching deals very effectively.
Would you like to know more? Call or email us. We would love to explore working with your firm.