March 26, 2021
0 min read
Online B2B Sales in a Crisis: Complete Guide
by Taras Prystatsky

Covid-19 has left irrevocable impact on humanity. Even those lucky ones whose health was not affected, will feel its economic impact. Although we cannot be sure whether our current state will remain the same, the economic aspect of today’s situation will prove challenging for all.

Online B2B Sales will never be the same.

McKinsey & Co. conducted a survey of B2B companies across 11 countries to research what the most prominent changes are that they are currently facing. Among other things, we can be 100% sure that Covid-19 became an unprecedented stimulus of digital transformation.

“…B2B companies see digital interactions as two to three times more important to their customers than traditional sales interactions.” – McKinsey

source: McKinsey

The rules have changed.

With the overall shift to digital and remote selling, Business Devs who relied on offline interaction are being left behind. Roadshows, Big Expos, Seminars, Networking Events– all of those are gone for now.
To maintain cashflow, B2B companies have to adapt their Sales Departments to the new normal conditions. This article is going to cover all of the crucial aspects to consider when building an efficient online B2B sales process.
You are reading 3rd, final part of our #LeadAwayFromCovid series. Buckle up, we’re talking sales today!

Authentic voice is a must for online B2B sales.

You need to build initial trust before even moving to the offer. Those of you who have spoken with prospects, trying to land a sale already know that. While interpersonal communication has a lot of subtle aspects, it’s good to know all of them apply to online sales as much (or even more) than they do offline. 
  • Body language still matters. Don’t let numerous memes of people running business calls wearing jacket and underwear fool you. Despite the fact prospects only sees part of you, our unconscious perceives non-verbal signals through video as well.The way you position yourself, the gestures you use, the tonality of your voice – all of those are still noticed and still impacting how you are perceived.You want prospect to have the same level of confidence you have. And that can’t be done without a proper set of nonverbal signals
  • Hear what they say. At the core of every sales call, there is one need. The need to be heard and understood. Your prospect has a certain problem and is looking for a way to solve it. Without this need, they wouldn’t even be on a call with you.By hearing what your prospect says, you become able to evoke genuine feeling of understanding, which is the first step to building that initial trust.
  • Agree instead of arguing. While offline interaction using a power frame might be a viable strategy to fight prospect’s uncertainties, every interruption during an online call will come much less organically.Instead of pushing your arguments, make sure you address prospect’s concerns. Paraphrasing their words might allow you to reframe the statement to your benefit while repeating your agenda will bring nothing except irritation.Internalizing what a person said and sharing your genuine reactions is the key to building authentic dialogue.
  • There’s no authentic voice for a company. There’s consistent brand strategy and respective brand message. Authenticity comes from people and their values.Make sure your Business Devs value a proper-balanced dialogue that includes listening. Salespeople who use aggressive tactics should be left in pre-covid reality.

Proper gear multiplies sales efficiency.

While the conversational rules remain pretty much the same, the technical side of sales process is going to change a lot. Digital transformation obviously requires extra investment in your sales toolkit. Here are the most crucial aspects to be covered:

  • Audio. There is nothing more pitiful than seeing your deal being broken because of bad sound quality. For you to deliver important messages, you have to make sure that prospect has certain level of comfort listening to you.
Professional call-center headset or separate office microphone should secure your sound quality, doesn’t matter what room will you conduct call from.
  •  Video. While sound being the most crucial aspect of a call, all of those inverbal messages can only be sent when you have a proper video quality. Most probably, the device you are using already has enough hardware to produce HQ videos, so the only thing you have to care about is to find a nice background. Look for a nice balance of eyes-pleasing yet not too distracting.
  • HQ presentations. If you still don’t have proper digital sales content – you’re probably 10 years behind the competition. Make sure that you have at least 1 material that covers:

– context of the client’s problem you solve;

– your Value Proposition;

– detailed product/service description;

– your Unique Sales Proposition;

– Case Study (preferably in prospect’s industry).

  • CRMs.This one is about proper data management. Using CRM will allow you to keep track of all the prospect, while having access to more detailed and aggregated analytics, allowing you to see the bigger picture and take the right actions. 
  • Messenger. At this point, you should adapt to prospect. Use the messenger they prefer or the messenger you have reached them with initially. Anyway, you have to make sure that doesn’t matter which app you choose – all of them represent you well. Your account has to be connected with corporate email, having professional profile photo and for God’s sake, avoid silly nicknames. (Our teammate earned “Lego Hulk” nickname because of the avatar on his Google Meet account).
  • Calendar. This might sound basic, but having convenient way to arrange meetings is something that will come in handy dozens time a day, so you shouldn’t neglect this one.

Online B2B Sales: Tips & tricks from an expert.

As soon as you have developed and authentic voice, that is powered with proper method and equipment – you are pretty much all set to start making online B2B sales.
Because you’ve read so far – we have a special bonus for you. Our Director of Growth, Jeremy – agreed to share a couple of professional tips and tricks on how to make sales process more smooth:
    1. Proper Lead Gen system. Make sure all the leads are pre-qualified and all the TOF communication is optimized in terms of time expenses to make it scalable. As soon as it’s optimized – you can just hire more salespeople, invest in lead gen and the sales will grow exponentially.
    1. Integration of calendar, booking discovery, and CRM system. Helps you held the information in one place, you can focus more time on building personal relationships (establishing trust, qualifying leads, etc.).
  1. Better focus. Prioritize those deals that are 100% qualified instead of filling the pipeline with the deals that “might work”.

LinkedIn Lead Generation done right.

When it comes to Lead Generation – our award-winning team acclaimed by DesignRush has been delivering impressive results via LinkedIn despite the Covid-19 crisis. To build a sustainable LeadGen process on LinkedIn – you would need to consider 3 core aspects:
  • Targeting configurations. This is one-third of your success. This is what defines whether you are going to reach the right people or not.
  • Profile optimization. The way your LinkedIn profile showcases you as a professional directly influences probability of your invite being accepted. Even if you have ton of experience and a killer-offer – nobody will even start a conversation with you unless your profile radiates credibility.
  • Message script. As soon as you have added prospects to your network – it’s high time to engage with them. You are looking for a good balance of personalized messages (in order to stand out of automated spammy profiles) and a templated sequence (in order to save your time spent on the Top-of-the-funnel prospects).
To see how those three blend together to generate 40 sales-qualified leads, read our latest Case Study.
Well done! You have just finished the last part of out #LeadAwayFromCovid series! Make sure to follow us on social media for more useful information!
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