Rory Angold, Former Zurich Finance & Insurance Executive, Reveals How to Build a Killer B2B Sales Team: 10 Hard Truths Sales Department Should Know

According to data from Ascend2 Research, 77% of those surveyed want to improve the quality of their leads ( Whether you are selling in the B2B or B2C space, the quality of your leads is just one of many factors influencing your overall success rate. From a team’s time management skills to the methodologies used to create customer relationships, each aspect of the sales funnel needs to be optimized for success. One cannot hope to capitalize on improved leads if their sales team isn’t prepared for accelerated sales. To o ensure each member of a company’s B2B sales force achieves all they are capable of, follow these 10 tips from results-driven manager and team leader, Rory Angold to maximize sales opportunities.

Research Sales Leads Prior to Contacting

Sales lead quantification is critical for increased B2B sales conversions. Cold calls and emails to unqualified leads can significantly reduce conversion rates. From approaching individuals with no purchasing authority to connecting with companies in the midst of a takeover, numerous factors can influence your ability to close a sale. Spend just as much time on lead research as on reaching out to prospects.

Base The Sales Pitch Upon Buyer Needs

Not every sales prospect has the same motivation for needing a product or service. By listening carefully to buyer responses, once can be in a better position to offer the appropriate information. Too many sales reps get caught up in their own response templates that they forget to truly listen to what is being said (and not said). Fine-tuning listening skills is one of the savviest moves one can make as a salesperson. By understanding where leads are in the sales funnel, it is possible to adapt outreach to suit their individual needs.

Review Progress

Progress analysis is an essential skill for sales reps who succeed. The better informed on what is or is not working, the better the sales pitches will be. When looking at conversion rates as a whole, it is possible to pinpoint outreach tactics that have higher rates of success. What works for one salesperson does not necessarily work for another. By reviewing progress on an ongoing basis, it is easier to understand weak spots and double-down on what works. Make a concerted effort to improve weak areas, so the entire sales process improves.

Nurture Leads over Time/Build Relationships

Not every sales lead is going to be ready to convert immediately. Some leads can take months to make a purchasing decision.When building relationships with qualified prospects, trust is earned and their willingness to purchase increases. Unlike B2C conversions, where it is often a “one-and-done” sale, B2B conversions take time and require ongoing nurturing. When thinking of B2B lead nurturing as building a long-term relationship, the success rate will skyrocket.

Use Multiple Outreach Opportunities

Just as every relationship partner is unique, so is every sales lead. Some might convert better when nurtured with email outreach. Some might prefer content marketing posts delivered via social media interactions. Integrating multiple outreach components into the sales strategy increases the odds of conversions. From phone conversations to direct mail, there is a multitude of available tools. The more tools utilized to reach leads, the likelier a company is to reach buyers via their preferred format. Not every prospect wants to give up their time for a sales call over the phone; allow them the freedom to investigate their needs on their terms. This will make it more likely to build a relationship that lasts.

Understand The Sales Personality

Just as every sales prospect has an outreach preference, so too do salespeople have selling preferences. By understanding sales personality, company is in a better position to make the most of their sales people’s talents. Some are problem solvers, some may prefer the showmanship of sales, some are motivated by the art of the deal. By diving into sales personality and truly understanding competencies and motivations, it is possible to structure sales outreach efforts in a way that resonates with a salesperson’s persona. The more comfortable when selling, the greater the odds to close each sale.

Understand How Administrative Tasks are Influencing Sales Success

Successful salespeople do not spend every hour of their workday closing deals. Customer research, social media networking, data input, and sales team meetings are just some of the tasks salespeople must deal with on a daily or weekly basis. By understanding the impact administrative tasks have on productivity, it is possible to structure each day in a way that sets up for success.

Lead Management is Crucial for Success

Lead management is also a crucial skill for success. Without a lead management plan in place, it is possible to become overwhelmed by too many leads and too little time. Track everything including voicemails sent and the follow-up emails. Understand where leads are coming from, which referral plans are working, and how long leads are taking to convert. Salespeople who manage their leads effectively are better positioned to close more deals and acquire more happy customers.

Use All Available Resources

Resource management is another essential skill for accelerated B2B sales. Utilize the resources the marketing department is creating. Dive into data provided by the mobile touch-points created from the mobile application (native/iOS/Android). Build relationships with team members in the customer service department to understand common questions customers have and how those queries are handled. By integrating multiple resources into the sales strategy, build a framework of success.

Measure Success

Salespeople who measure customer satisfaction are destined to earn more referrals and close more deals. By tracking successes as a salesperson, doesn’t it make sense to track the successes of customers too? By building a rapport with clients, it is easier to understand where they might be having problems with the product or service, and offer solutions to alleviate their concerns. Not only does this strengthen the relationship with existing customers, but it also helps tweak the sales outreach to new customers.

B2B sales are completely different than B2C sales. Understanding what it takes to be successful when selling to business customers can influence conversion rates. By bearing these 10 tips for B2B salespeople in mind, the odds of business success significantly increase. Why not use these business development tips to nail sales targets and land more customers?

About: Rory Angold is the leader, the manager, the financial expert, and the insurance advisor all car dealers would want to have on their team. He has a knack for risk management, sales, and finance, all paired with a leadership mentality that makes him the ideal strategic consultant. He will help you devise and execute a detailed strategic plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.