Tried and true B2B sales techniques

Posted October 17, 2023

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By Serena Miller

Editor, Sales Best Practices at Outreach

B2B (Business-to-Business) sales refers to a sales model or a transaction between businesses, such as wholesaler to retailer or manufacturer to distributor. With the primary intention to generate revenue, B2B sales strategies are essential in the commercial space. 

Compared to B2C sales that target end users, B2B sales are geared toward selling products or services to other businesses. As a result, the methods and tactics used are customized to cater to the specific requirements and challenges of B2B. Due to changes in technology, consumer preferences, and market trends, B2B sales strategies have evolved over time. Traditional, outbound techniques have shifted towards more inbound, digital, and personalized strategies. 

A 2022 commissioned B2B buyer survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Outreach revealed 63% of buyers don’t want to interact with a salesperson in the Discovery phase — rather, they prefer to engage at the Explore and Buy stages after meticulously checking testimonials and getting internal buy-in on whom to interact with. 

Despite the constant evolution, some tried-and-true B2B sales techniques remain effective. These enduring strategies provide a strong foundation, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of B2B sales. They are time-tested methods that have consistently produced successful, profitable long-term relationships. 

Here, we’ll explore those significant B2B sales strategy examples that have stood and can stand the test of time. 

What are the latest B2B sales challenges? 

B2B sales professionals face numerous challenges in today's constantly changing business landscape. Some of the most common difficulties include meeting the demands of modern, well-informed, and skeptical buyers. Below are some examples of the latest B2B sales challenges: 

1. Modern buyers are more skeptical 

The rise of digital tech has brought relevant information to consumers' fingertips, making them cautious and research-focused when buying. They are less likely to be swayed by traditional B2B sales tactics and often require more substantial evidence to trust a product or service.

Traditional tactics often rely on aggressive approaches, such as high-pressure sales pitches and focusing on the features of a product or service rather than its actual value to the customer. They might also involve limited availability offers, discounts, and promises of unrealistic benefits.

Instead of being swayed by pressure, modern buyers prefer a consultative approach where their questions are answered and their concerns are addressed genuinely. This skepticism also includes a preference for references, case studies, and genuine experiences shared by other customers. In fact, 78% of sales leaders surveyed said they are more likely to purchase a product/service if the sales experience is consultative.

2. Modern buyers look into reviews and testimonials 

Rather than just relying on the salesperson's word, potential buyers today are keen to gauge other customers' experiences as a deciding factor in their purchase decisions. Online platforms make it easier for them to access and scrutinize reviews and testimonials left by past clients. 

50% of B2B sales leaders reported that they evaluate providers on peer review sites before accepting an in-person or remote sales meeting. This adds another vital layer of customer trust and authenticity to B2B sales. Negative reviews and a lack of positive testimonials can prove to be a significant barrier to closing deals successfully. 

3. Modern buyers are more aware of the risks of purchase 

With plenty of alternatives and access to abundant information, today's buyers are more mindful of the risks associated with their buying decisions. When investing in products or services, they are more attentive to factors such as: 

  • Data security 
  • Return on investment (ROI) 
  • Potential losses 
  • Contingencies 
  • Legal implications 

This heightened awareness demands greater transparency and concrete assurances from the sales reps. It also means that more buyers are simply saying "no" when they aren't in a position to make a confident buying decision.

While addressing these challenges can be an uphill battle, adapting and embracing new sales techniques can lead to success in B2B sales. Sales professionals need to adopt a highly transparent, value-based, and consultative approach to address these modern buyer concerns. Ultimately, this would help build trust and long-term client relationships. 

The path to winning more customers 

Success in the B2B sales arena can be attributed to several factors. But one of the most crucial is the effective application of sales techniques. The right techniques can enable a business to understand customers' needs better, showcase the value proposition compellingly, and build lasting client relationships. Let's delve into some B2B sales growth strategies: 

Look to technology to learn more about your buyers’ behaviors, keep deals moving forward, and improve over time.
B2b sales techniques cover
A successful partnership can result in more consistent messaging, shared insights, and improved lead quality.
Establish trust, rapport, and a long-term connection with your buyers.
Look to technology to learn more about your buyers’ behaviors, keep deals moving forward, and improve over time.
B2b sales techniques cover

1. Aligning sales and marketing teams 

Sales and marketing teams act as two sides of the same coin. A disconnect between the two often leads to misaligned goals and inconsistent messaging, which can damage customer relations and impair sales. 

One method to rectify this situation is through a good strategy known as "smarketing", where the sales and marketing teams work toward shared goals. By aligning sales and marketing efforts, the teams can ensure consistent messaging, share valuable insights, and optimize lead quality. 

Think of a SaaS company launching a product. When the marketing team finds preferred features via market research and tells the sales team, sales reps can emphasize them when pitching. This teamwork leads to a customer-focused and successful sales process

According to a recent LinkedIn study, 87% of sales and marketing industry leaders agree that teamwork between sales and marketing boosts business growth. Think of it as a sports team — marketing is the playmaker and sales is the goalscorer. They rely on each other for successful outcomes. 

2. Emphasizing personal relationship building with clients 

Building personal relationships with clients is a timeless, effective B2B sales technique. It goes beyond just making a sale. Instead, it focuses on establishing trust, rapport, and a long-term connection with the client. 

Consider the classic business idiom, "People buy from people." Clients are likely to invest in brands they trust and feel connected with. This bond is often formed through shared values, attentive listening, and personalized engagement. A strong business-client relationship can lead to: 

  • Repeat purchases 
  • Higher sales win rates 
  • Upselling opportunities 
  • Shorter sales cycles 
  • Valuable referrals 
  • Easier deal closings 
  • Faster revenue growth 

For example, a B2B furniture supplier could send personalized thank-you notes to clients after closing a deal. Or, they could provide tailored recommendations based on the client's past purchases. This personal touch can help in building stronger relationships and increasing customer loyalty. 

3. Utilizing data and analytics 

In today's digital age, leveraging data and analytics is an indispensable technique in B2B sales. The power of data and analytics is clear when businesses can: 

  • Understand customer behavior 
  • Identify potential B2B leads 
  • Predict future trends 
  • Enhance customer service 
  • Make data-driven decisions 

For instance, predictive analytics can help a company forecast which leads will likely convert into customers based on historical data. Sales representatives can then prioritize these new leads, using their time and resources effectively. 

CRM systems and AI-powered analytics tools are instrumental in delivering actionable insights that help enhance the sales process and close deals efficiently. If you're not using data and analytics in 2023 every single day, you're leaving the greatest sales opportunity on the table. 

In addition to the above B2B sales techniques, be sure to: 

  • Prepare adequately and embrace sales enablement 
  • Sell solutions and not just products 
  • Create a follow-up plan 
  • Conduct follow-ups 
  • Develop a plan to nurture leads 
  • Leverage the power of social media 
  • Identify opportunities for repeat business 
  • Ask for referrals 

Generally, these best sales strategies for B2B can win you more customers in the B2B space. Blending these effective strategies with evolving trends can give you the competitive edge to build meaningful, profitable customer relationships. 

These are the benchmarks your teams *should* be measuring

Tap into the metrics that stand between you and your revenue goals. Get our checklist of basic and advanced KPIs that best-in-class sales organizations use to measure success. Use these slides as the framework to anchor your sales team meetings, training sessions, strategic planning, forecast calls, or executive briefings.

Understanding digital strategies 

In B2B sales, embracing digital strategies is crucial to success. Digital strategies involve utilizing digital platforms, tools, and methodologies to address customers' needs, build relationships, and promote products/services. 

In the modern landscape, businesses heavily depend on the Internet for research, collaboration, and networking. Thus, digital strategies are vital for customer acquisition and competitiveness. Without further ado, let's take a closer look into the key elements of digital strategies in B2B sales.  

Importance of a strong online presence 

A strong online presence helps a company establish credibility and engage with its customer base. It encompasses a well-crafted professional website, strategically managed social media platforms, and high-quality leadership content that effectively highlights your industry expertise. 

This builds trust, encouraging potential customers to invest in your offerings. For example, social proof like social media comments and feedback can convince prospective customers to purchase from you. 

Utilizing SEO in B2B sales 

SEO is crucial for the B2B sales process. It boosts visibility on search engines by optimizing web content, structure, and design. Through effective SEO, you can attract relevant, organic traffic, boosting the quality of your MQLs, conversion rates, and traffic quality.

Ranking higher on search results often equates to being seen as an authoritative source. It subsequently leads to organic leads and increased sales. Remember, content marketing and keyword analysis are essential for effective SEO strategies. 

E-commerce in B2B sales 

The global e-commerce industry has impacted the comprehensive sales ecosystem, including B2B sales. The convenience of purchasing products and services online, 24/7, adds significant value to the overall customer experience. Embracing e-commerce allows companies to: 

  • Streamline long sales cycles 
  • Gather crucial customer data 
  • Provide personalized, targeted offers 
  • Strengthen customer retention and repeat sales 
  • Extend their reach across geographic locations 

Together, these three digital approach pillars elevate a company's B2B sales success. 

Elevate your growth: Mastering B2B sales strategies

In the increasingly competitive B2B sales environment, it's a challenge to acquire customers. To turn prospective buyers and new customers into loyal customers, you should master the right B2B sales strategies and tactics. 

Additionally, you must embrace modern digital strategies, streamline processes, and empower your sales team with the right tools and technology. For instance, everyday organizations increasingly adopt sales AI to elevate their growth and thrive in the marketplace. 

Discover how Outreach can transform your B2B sales. Utilize our Al-powered sales execution platform to create new pipeline, collaborate on deals, and drive more revenue. Request a demo today and begin your journey to sales success.

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What are the four types of B2B selling? 

The four types of B2B selling are: 

  1. Transactional selling: Transactional selling centers on quick sales, with little post-transaction interaction between the target customers and B seller. 
  2. Consultative selling: Consultative selling builds lasting client relationships, comprehending their specific needs to offer customized solutions and provide ongoing support. 
  3. Complex selling: Involves longer sales cycles, negotiations, and multiple decision-makers, often seen in high-value purchases, like enterprise software and business solutions. 
  4. Customer-centric selling: Customer-centric selling focuses on the customer's needs. It emphasizes their issues and provides suitable solutions. 

How do you develop a B2B sales strategy? 

Here's how to develop a B2B sales strategy. First, define your target market and ideal customer profile, creating a buyer persona. Ensure that you also study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. 

Next, establish clear goals for your sales team and outline objectives for their success. Craft an effective value proposition that highlights your company's unique offerings. 

Then, you can select the most suitable sales channels for your products or services, taking into account your target audience and sales process. Implement sales methodologies tailored to your specific audience. 

Utilize technology and tools to enhance efficiency and streamline management. Ensure your sales team is well-trained and receives ongoing education to stay updated with market trends. 

Lastly, continually measure and analyze your sales performance. Make necessary refinements to your marketing strategies to stay competitive. 

What makes a good B2B salesperson? 

A good B2B salesperson possesses a range of qualities that contribute to their success. First and foremost, they excel in interpersonal and conversational skills. Demonstrating empathy and actively listening to the client's needs helps build rapport and trust. 

A successful B2B salesperson is also equipped with strong problem-solving abilities. This enables them to identify and address the pain points of potential clients, offering tailored solutions that resonate with their challenges. 

Product knowledge and industry expertise are also key attributes of an effective B2B salesperson. Being well-versed in the offerings they represent and having a deep understanding of the industry instills confidence in clients. 

A good salesperson is also well-versed in various sales methodologies and processes. This knowledge empowers them to navigate the complexities of the B2B sales journey with finesse. 

Furthermore, staying updated on the latest market trends and continuously honing their skills is a hallmark of a dedicated B2B salesperson. The business landscape is ever-evolving. Those who remain informed can better position themselves to seize emerging opportunities. 

Lastly, the ability to negotiate effectively and bring deals to a close is crucial. A skilled B2B salesperson can navigate negotiations with finesse, ensuring both parties feel satisfied with the outcome. 


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