A lot of aspects are important for your overall B2B sales strategy. It starts with an Ideal Customer Profile. Before you start selling, you've got to know what kind of companies are most likely to benefit from your solution and buy from you.
Next you've got to define your approach to find leads (contact data to people with authority to buy from you). You can go with inbound marketing strategies, and leave an online trail of SEO-backed content for leads to come to you. There are also outbound b2b marketing strategies, these meaning typically cold outreach via email or social media.
The next aspect is how you phrase your messaging, meaning what kind of pains you can fix for your customers, and in turn what kind of Unique Value Propositions you will use to appeal to your target group.
Once someone contacts you (or responds to your cold outreach), the most crucial thing you need to do is to qualify the lead. Lead qualification means gauging someone's interest in buying, in order not to waste time chasing leads that will never convert to sales. That's where most salespeople lose a lot of time and ultimately sacrifice their performance for leads that were never meant to convert – find more tips about generating leads.
After lead qualification comes time to nurture the lead and ultimately go for the close. Nurturing and closing are both aspects you could write huge books about, but in general nurturing means convincing someone by adding value (email newsletters, consultations, content) to their professional life. Closing is a term everyone knows – it means getting a deal signed and paid for. That's not where b2b sales strategy ends. There's much more you can do after closing the deal, like improving customers' experience and satisfaction to make sure they don't churn and are willing to referr you to their colleagues.
If you need more information please read our articles (you find these below) or schedule a call with our specialists who look forward to helping you.
“… Nobody said it was easy…” I wonder if Coldplay had in mind salespeople’s job when they were composing this song 😉 … Indeed, converting leads into deals is a real hot potato and it’s always quite challenging, as you can get concrete results only if you nurture and stalk those potential customers.
If you’re struggling to stay on top of your startup sales, you’re probably thinking about outsourcing at least a part of your sales process.
And why wouldn’t you? Sales outsourcing costs are low, so it’s an easy solution that takes care of your problem. Besides, there are so many people around you who rely on outsourced sales for startups.
But before you outsource sales, hold on for a moment. Here are a couple of reasons why outsourcing sales isn’t the smartest idea for your business.
Learning new methods for sales can be tempting. But I’ve always preferred simple things. Like cooking at home instead of going to restaurants. Or using simple principles in sales. Because the best principles never change.
Christmas is around the corner. Regardless of whether we celebrate it or not, founders have one thing in common at the end of the year. We’re trying to improve sales performance as much as possible before 2016 is nothing but the past.
These days if all is good in your company and you’re not worrying about new customers, you’re probably running a unicorn startup. Otherwise it might just be a short moment of silence before another storm of customer issues and growing demands that fuel the fear of competition taking them away. To avoid storms, you might consider organizing a cold email campaign to satisfy your need for new customers.
There are a lot of products with no customers created every year in the global markets. But your product isn’t always the problem. Do you believe in its value, but have a hard time selling it? You might be talking to the wrong customers.
Last year has been quite transformational for RightHello. Change is good, and for the Sales Team, one of the most impactful changes came in October. You may have seen the results on our Facebook page – over $100.000 in newly signed deals and a new team record in the number of qualified sales leads.
Without a long-term perspective, you might be tempted to cut your marketing budget too early. But making this decision too fast might block your marketing from ever bringing predictable results.
Your closest network helped jump-start your business, as did mine. For most founders, first customers come from their circle of friends and colleagues. But founders that could never find customers among friends might have been luckier after all.
No matter how great your lead generation process is, a majority of your leads always go to trash. Together with your cash, unfortunately…
An average lead conversion rate varies from 3% to 10%. Meaning – 97% of all the leads – bring no value in the end (but take your money and time to be generated).
But what if I tell you that it’s possible to close 16% of those lost leads from trash with little efforts – by “recycling” them?
While Elon Musk is talking about colonizing Mars, many companies still struggle to spread their business on Earth. No wonder – there are lots of obstacles for doing business internationally. But what if these obstacles are just in your head?…
I like big cuts and I cannot lie. And money that companies spend on face-to-face sales is a big tasty piece that can be cut with no harm for B2B sales results. The alternative is right next to you. Like literally. Heroes of today’s blog post are the laptop and the Internet. Kudos to them, because they’re your cost cutters.
One of RightHello’s newsletter subscribers suggested that I write about finding new business for advertising agencies. So I did!
I started digging into the subject and it got really interesting – and broad! Hoping that I can tackle a problem that more people probably experience, I decided to write this article – as an introduction into the subject, tackling only a few important aspects first.
Here’s what came up as a result of previously acquired knowledge and about 8 hours of solid research.
Inbound marketing (content + SEO) is like baking a company-sized pizza with open windows to encourage customers to come to you.
But that’s not the only way to seduce customers with savvy pizza marketing.
And chances are that baking and opening the windows won’t suffice as the marketing strategy that keeps your business alive.
Here’s another thing you can do to get clients.
3 years ago I had a pretty simple SaaS business idea for RightHello.
With time and feedback coming from our growing client-base, it evolved into a lead generation service with a B2B infobase at it’s core.
You founded a software development company and it’s been going pretty good. Now you’re thinking about the next step – building SaaS products. You’re one of many, and it’s probably because you wish to scale your software company, increase cash-flow or simply prove to customers that you have insane dev skills. Or… you just need a new challenge, right?
Are you sure it’s the right time for this challenge? Are you sure you have all that you need to succeed?
Quick wins in marketing and sales won’t keep your company alive. Long-term and returning clients are the core of every company’s cashflow.
If you’re not sure it’s true – I just recently bought an iPhone to pair up with my Macbook. Ever since I started buying Apple products, I don’t want anything else. You can call it the “Apple effect” or whatever – it simply means they know how to retain customers, and everyone I know that bought Apple products experiences the same thing.
B2B founders are often mistakenly convinced that online marketing is effective immediately after you start doing it.
Our minds have been kind of depraved from watching huge corporation’s viral online campaigns and the enormous wins they achieve along with the biggest online marketing agencies.
Then we have one-person side-projects that turn to few-hundred people companies within months, that prove online marketing provides an endless pool of leads for startups.
Somewhere in between are B2B service companies whose founders for instance do software, websites, UX, graphics or SEM. A lot of them are scratching their heads right now – thinking they should be able to quickly achieve the same effects as businesses above. But everything takes time.
Maybe you fit the story: you were born a Jedi developer and you’d been doing freelancer gigs ever since, so at some point you brought in your BFF Han Solo to help you out. You have a stable business position, are booked for the rest of the year and your mind is set on one thing: developing – better and faster.
Software development company owners are developers at heart, so I can understand if selling or even hiring more people is the last thing on your mind.
When your development team is full of work and not available to new clients, we say they are running at full capacity.
So if you have enough clients, why think about new ones? Simple: because when the big deal is finished, or the big clients leaves – that’s about 40% – 70% of your revenue stream gone.
Hey there, fellow founder! I know that marketing strategy is often a big obstacle in starting a company.
You start looking for first clients in all the wrong places. A few ads on google and social media won’t do the trick though.
The early-stage game is fast validation and direct contact with your customers – you need to be smart, fast, agile, and all those fancy buzzwords. And a hustler. Don’t forget to be a hustler.
Having trouble getting from zero to gradually growing a B2B clients base? Here’s a few solid ideas to get you going.
Can your B2B clients buy your services easily? Or does messaging, calling, meeting, negotiating and signing take too long? Sometimes it can even take months to get paid for projects that you and your team are constantly working on.
I’ve discussed this with Matt Tarczyński – unstoppable entrepreneur, who’s founded or worked on over 10 businesses, and personal friend and mentor of mine. A few years ago Matt came up with a great solution to enable efficient sales of web dev services and easily collect payments upfront to keep cash flowing.
It involves productization – which means packaging your services as an easy-to-buy product, and can help you achieve 1100% growth in your first year.
As all founders, you work late nights to make sure that new clients keep coming in. You invest in both inbound (content that encourages to buy) and outbound (collecting contacts and messaging directly) marketing strategies. But is all this really helping you achieve your goals?
I know how hard it is, but a lead is basically someone willing to discuss your offer with you – getting leads is just the beginning of your work!
Which potential clients should you spend your time talking to? Leads have to get qualified – so you know whether to continue convincing someone or say “bye”. Every lead that you don’t research, qualify, label and group means lost money.
All founders think their companies are the bomb – but sometimes harsh reality hits home, and hits hard. You’ve created something great, but no eager clients are knocking at your door to buy!
I’ve been talking to a lot of entrepreneurs lately – and even when we don’t intentionally do it, we always end up talking about sales. Scratch that – problems with sales, to be precise.
These problems usually come from bad decisions, and those stem from a lack of clear direction. You focus on everything else and in the meantime you forget that sales should be your main concern.
Looking for markets with low competition doesn’t make sense – if only a chosen few can make money there, then why bother? Looking for a holy Graal type of nitche that you’ll win over is pointless because having competitors can only benefit you.
The thing is that it’s nerve-wracking to watch your competitors’ wonderful ads and marketing campaigns when you’re not doing much of that and focusing on delivering quality results.
That’s awesome – and it might mean that you don’t need to increase your marketing budget to sell more. You just need to learn to highlight the specific benefits customers will get from working with you.
I’ve been running sales at RightHello for over 2 years now. I finally found some time to share the story of building our startup sales process from the ground up. It’s a typical blood, sweat and hustle story (hustlers don’t cry). It seems like a good time to write about it, since we’ve just had 5 record-performance months in a row.
Let me give you a bit of context, and I’ll move on to describe how we set-up a sales process that has generated 80k $ of new revenue last month only (this month prognosis is 87.5k $). I know, to some folks in the SF bay area that’s pocket money, nevertheless it’s a huge success.
Emerging markets are the best places to follow Paul Graham’s rule and do things that don’t scale first. You want to reach your first clients without using up a ton of resources and start gaining traction on the market. You’ll get to scalable marketing tactics when you start generating revenue.
Being a first-time startup founder is confusing. You don’t have the experience to know what a startup needs to grow nicely and start printing cash – at least I know I didn’t. But since my first startup I’ve learned how to lay the groundwork for future success in an early stage startup.
The most important thing early-on is selling before you’re ready to sell.
After coming up with my first “golden” startup idea, I did what most first-time founders do. I spent a lot of time daydreaming and planning a perfect product that I “had to” build, and calculating how much money I’d have to spend – obviously coming up with amounts beyond my budget.
Just like the moon shines only because it reflects the sun’s light, your brand image has to reflect the awesomeness of your team to shine on the market. That, in essence, is what B2B IT service sales is about.
Without a specific product to sell it might be hard to define how you should market your company. Fortunately I’ve got a few ideas to power up your messaging and boost your sales of B2B services. This will be helpful for graphic designers, developers, UX specialists, online freelancers and other service providers in and around the IT industry.
Getting into sales can be hard when you’re a start-up founder with a programming background – suddenly you have to get acquainted with management, marketing and sales which, I know, seems very demanding at first. But with the right mindset and resources, it doesn’t have to be hard.
There is no right “path of the founder” that you have to follow. You define your own path based on the skillset you have and the people you invite to work with you. But the main issue that every founder has to tackle is sales, to succeed you’ll have to understand and practice sales – and here’s where I can help.
I’ve noticed some patterns in what roadblocks programmers have to deal with at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. I want to jump-start your progress with some key insights about sales.
Starting sales at RightHello cost me many sleepless nights, but with hard work I managed to push my company forward. Let me tell you how I closed our first deals and started building an outbound sales process.
How do you start building a sales process without the resources needed to hire and train representatives? You do the first bits of legwork yourself, slowly and carefully.
It’s not as demanding as you might think – you don’t need extensive sales training or unique skills. As the founder, you’re already in possesion of a powerful toolset to use when acquiring your company’s first clients.
And signed deals aren’t the only benefit from this. Kickstarting sales yourself will generate:
Besides paying the bills, well organised sales keep you up to date with customer feedback. Don’t lose sight of your sales early-on – how will you know what your clients need if you don’t want to talk to them yourself?
If you’d given me a dime for all the times I heard start-up people say “I don’t want to do sales, it’s not for me” – you guessed it, I would have been rich.
I know doing sales is hard, but I also know that talking to your customers means experiencing live feedback and objections. Which is invaluable for product development.
And yet I still see founders who, right when their companies are about to take off, start avoiding sales themselves – delegating, hiring endless well-paid reps, automating.
That’s not the way to go though if you want your clients to be happy! They miss out on many benefits of doing sales – because generating new clients is only one of them.
Your company is growing and you’re facing new sales challenges everyday – I know what it’s like! Don’t let your workflow get messed-up and deal with problems as they arise – check out my 11 solutions to common pains of start-up salespeople.
If you’re in sales, I bet you could list tens of things you have to get better at (even based on what you did just today). That’s just the way we are – always pushing to be better.
Striving for perfection can be a huge asset for salespeople – as well as our toughest enemy. Improvement is awesome, but I don’t approve of working yourself into the ground. Work smarter, not harder!
Start optimising your workflow today, with 11 quick solutions for common problems. Applying these ideas takes relatively little time (minutes, hours) and will quickly generate big ROI – you’ll save time, have less to deal with, and clean your mind of distractions to focus on your main priorities.
Becoming a monk takes years of disciplined work. Mastering sales isn’t much different, except you train at an office instead of a monastery. Clear guidelines allow monks to reach ultimate performance – you can approach improving your hustle in the same way by following these proven strategies.
I had just a bit of experience in B2B sales at the beginning of Righthello, but I still managed to close our first 10 deals. That made me think I had a rare natural talent. It took me a while to find the real reason why I was able to convince clients.
Many companies are separating Sales into a team that regularly finds prospective clients, and one that closes deals. Those that succeed can benefit from a steady stream of prospective clients to talk to. How do they achieve it? How should you manage a sales team?
Salespeople in smaller companies face huge pressure on a daily basis. Your team needs you to close deals because sales pay the bills. Why add more stress to your (already full) plate by losing your integrity?
Who was Frank Sinatra? Rhetorical, I know – but what you probably didn’t know is that there’s a principle related to one of his songs. This principle is the foundation of a simple sales hack that will help you close more deals. Don’t believe me? Let me surprise you.
Your potential client hangs up the phone, your first sales call with her is over. You made a good impression, and believe the customer is truly interested. Are you going to let her enthusiasm burn out, or take action to keep her interested?
We noticed a 71% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2015. Among many reasons for that, optimising our sales cycle played the biggest part in the increase.
A prospecting team (Sales Development Reps) is becoming a must-have in B2B companies. If you plan to actively approach your customers at scale, regular salespeople won’t cut it. Who should you hire for a SDR position to find your clients?
One of the readers asked me about a frequent inside sales problem – clients wanting to meet before they close the deal. Inside sales teams work using phone, e-mail and social media first and do very little of anything else. So what should they do? Meet their clients? Hide from them?
The first time you call potential clients is always interesting. It’s impossible to know what questions or objections you’re going to have to deal with in your efforts to qualify the lead. It’s probably why calls are easily my favorite part of sales. I’ve made (and still am making) tons of calls, and want to give you a few pointers for being better at connecting with future customers. I’ll start with something pretty obvious, the importance of focus, and as you read on there will be a lot of actionable advice for improving your first call with new clients.
Arranging a deal when it comes to software development can be tricky. I’ve seen a lot of software dev deals that went wrong because of poorly defined responsibilities and scope of negotiations. Developers often don’t know what their area of negotiation is, or just assume that you don’t exactly need to define it.
If you have any experience in sales, you must know that calls are a big part of this job. From all the daily activities a salesperson tends to, I’m always eager to run a call. I keep trying to master this art to perfection, since I believe it’s key if I want to succeed as a salesman.
So you’ve decided that it’s time to build an SDR (Sales Development Representative) team in your company. You could be the only salesperson at a company, and you realized that prospecting all by yourself is a road to nowhere. Or you could be the head of sales that realized how much time your team spends on prospecting. Maybe you just want to drive change for your company?
Wrongly distributed responsibilities can mess your team up, especially in sales. That’s why it’s important to limit your sales team’s responsibilities. It’s tricky – with hundreds of available models to base your decisions on, add to it growth-related issues that force constant change and you get lost thinking about what your closers should be doing.
Working in Technology business (SaaS or services), you encounter clients that want to modify your offer. They need a feature you don’t have, lower pricing, a longer trial, additional training, etc.. Sometimes that’s okay, but too much of it leads straight to a Death by a Thousand Cuts. Been there, done that – I’m going to tell you how to decide whether you should make an exception or not, and what to do when you have to stand your ground.
I got rejected by 93.51% of the prospects I contacted over 6 months. Some didn’t answer at all, some were really kind, some were mean as hell. It’s not easy to handle several rejections each day, but I’ve got some thoughts about making it easier for yourself.
Thanks for reading our blog where you can find a lot of articles about sales, cold emails, lead generation! Just want to let you know that you can now subscribe to RightHello’s first ever, 4-day email course –Hacking Business Growth.