B2B sales cycles are a series of actions or steps that the buyer (i.e. the customer) and the seller (i.e. the supplier) take to complete a transaction. This article will cover everything you need to know about the Sales Cycle.
What is a B2B sales cycle?
B2B sales cycles are designed to ensure that both sides are happy with how things are going and that they come to an agreement on all aspects.
While there is no single way to create successful business relationships, there are some principles that you can use to ensure that your company receives the right customers.
1. Be proactive – By being proactive and reaching out to potential clients, you will be able to get the information that you need and establish a rapport with them.
2. Be Flexible – Make sure your sales strategy can adapt to changing circumstances so that it is not out of date with your customer’s changing needs.
Keep Customers Informed –Communicate with customers regularly via email or phone calls. Even if they aren’t asking for it, you can keep them informed. This will keep your customers satisfied and show them how much they are valued.
How long is a B2B sales cycle?
The type of product or service that you are selling will determine the length of your B2B sales cycle. Your sales process should take less than one week if it can be shipped quickly (software downloads, for instance).
If the process involves more complicated decisions and processes, such as buying machinery from an engineering company or building materials, then the timeframes could be extended over many months.
It is important to ensure that your customers feel valued no matter where they are in the customer journey.
Sales prospecting and lead generation in a sales cycle
Although they are often lumped together as one thing in the sales cycle, lead generation and prospecting are two different parts.
Prospecting is the process of finding customers for your product/service by looking online for information. This could include researching products already sold by companies you are familiar with, as well as looking for new ideas via forums, blogs, and social media sites such as LinkedIn.
Lead generation is more about creating a list of people who may be interested in purchasing your product or services. It’s important to not confuse these two concepts.
Sales prospecting is an important part of the sales cycle. It can be done for free on sites such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. You will then be able to follow up later in your sales process with leads generated by these sites.
This type of lead generation doesn’t only involve finding people who will buy from your company, but also discovering what industries your potential customers might be interested in. They might be interested in buying products related to their industry. This could make you more appealing as a prospect to sell the product than another person selling it.
Although lead generation is more costly than advertising, it can still generate leads.
The Discovery Phase of the B2B Sales Cycle
This is where you will get to know your customer and find out their needs. This can be done by emailing, calling, or meeting in person to discuss their needs and how your product/service might help.
It can happen before you even make a sales call. However, it is more common to see this happening if someone has been on the other side of an email from these types of businesses. There are often some questions that need to be answered first. This is known as “pre-sales”.
Once you know what your customers are looking for, it is possible to start looking at other ways you might be able to help them. This is called ‘post-sales’ and it is a great idea if you have multiple products/services as each product will solve different problems.
The Sales Phase of the B2B Sales Cycle
This part of the sales process, like any other type of business, requires many steps. Let’s take a look at some of these steps:
1. A sales funnel is a process that leads you from someone interested in your product/service to them purchasing it, and on to the next person.
2. After they make an offer, you can start to work out the amount they are willing to pay for your products/services and what their payment terms might be.
3. You should also ask them questions about themselves to get more information about their needs and where they would like them to go.
4. Ask them about the budget and what percentage they are willing to take.
5. Get some quotes from different suppliers to see if the prices are dropping while still making sure that everything is in order.
How do you deal with objection handling?
No matter which sales cycle you use, objection handling will be a part. There are some things you need to consider when handling objections.
1. The first thing to do is make sure you have a plan for handling objections. This will ensure that if there are objections, they don’t try to get out of the way.
2. You should also know the time it takes to complete each step of your pipeline before someone offers you anything. This will give you an idea of how long it will take.
3. You should have a procedure in place to deal with any objections. It can be as simple to make sure that they understand what is happening and why you are asking them questions. This will ensure that there is no confusion about what the next steps are.
4) Last but not least, ensure that everyone is aware of your objection handling plan. If they don’t, someone could try to get around the problem by acting without their knowledge. This would lead to problems later down the line.
Road-Mapping your Buyer’s Journey
No matter what sales cycle you are using, the road-mapping process will be a must. It is a useful tool that can be used to help you with many things. An example of this would be someone who bought from the middleman rather than directly from the manufacturer. This could lead to problems later on when they want to return an item, claim a warranty, etc.
1. It is essential that everyone involved (including customers) understands how it works so that there are no misunderstandings later.
2 . The last thing you want is for someone buying through a middleman and not directly from a manufacturer to be eligible to return or claim a warranty. This could lead to problems later on.
Tracking Long-Term Growth and Daily Inputs
It doesn’t matter what sales cycle you use, this is something you should do. It is essential to have a system in place for tracking your customers and their information.
1. It is important to make sure everyone knows this process. This will allow you to help later with issues such as who the buyer was from and not directly from the manufacturer.
2. The next step is to make sure that everyone (including buyers) understands how it works so there are no misunderstandings. You can do this by creating an information sheet or poster which you can put up in your shop or online.
3. A system for checking orders and verifying they are correct before you send them out will be helpful. This will ensure that all parties are satisfied when it comes to returns.
Building Brand Awareness
This is the most common type of sales cycle. It’s when someone hears about your product and then decides to buy it. Building brand awareness is the most important thing. This will allow you to build trust in potential customers and keep them returning for more information.
1. It is important to ensure that your website and social media channels are updated with the most recent information about the company, products, etc. You can do this by creating a blog or another type of page that updates customers on the latest news and reviews. This will help to build brand awareness.
2. You’ll need to have lots of content (blog posts and videos, etc.) Potential customers should have access to all information, including how the products work and what the different colors mean.
3. It’s also a good idea to set up an email marketing system so you can regularly send updates and information about the business. This will increase brand awareness and keep people coming back for more. While this is something I do for all my clients (especially if your products are already sold on Etsy or eBay), it is not always necessary.
After a person has made a decision to buy from you, and they feel confident about their purchase, the sales cycle begins. This is an important sales cycle because it’s when most people make their final decision on whether or not they want to purchase from you. You’ll need all the necessary items once they’ve made that choice.
First, you want to keep your website updated with new product information and blog posts. This helps build trust between potential customers and yourself. This gives customers confidence in the products you sell, as there aren’t any bogus products appearing out of nowhere (which could lead to bad news).
The After-Sales Follow-Up
The sales cycle is an important part of the process because it’s where you need to ensure that customers are satisfied with their purchases. This is what makes your company work. If you don’t do it, people won’t return for more, which can kill all your hard work.
It’s possible to think about how many cards, emails, or phone calls you should send after every sale. However, I recommend at least 2 to 3. As long as they aren’t automated, I would suggest sending at most 2-3 follow-up emails.
People feel more secure when they can talk to someone face-to-face. Send emails to other platforms if you sell on them. This will allow people to buy from you through all of your sales channels. It will also increase your conversion rate.
After each sale, I recommend sending customers an email to thank them for their purchase. Also, let them know how they can reach me if they have questions or concerns. It makes people feel that someone cares.