(This is a guest post from our friend Matt Osborn over at Apruve, which automates B2B credit programs so you can drive sales and increase profits. )
Generating B2B sales is quite different from getting B2C customers to make a single purchase.
In order to increase profits, you need to cultivate relationships that make customers buy again and again — so they’d spend more while you invest less to make a sale.
Your sales and marketing strategies should create “sticky” customers in a way that doesn’t risk future profitability (e.g., by offering a steep discount.) Play the long game by focusing on the customer experience rather than scrambling for a quick buck with one-off discounts and offers.
The most effective B2B promotion strategies not only generate sales but also increase customer loyalty, customer lifetime value, and sales funnel speed.
1. Focus On the Most Profitable Accounts and Their Decision Makers
If you look at your sales figures, you’d probably find that over 80% of the profit comes from just 20% of your customers who have bought from you frequently, made a purchase recently, and placed orders with high transaction values.
You can generate more sales from these accounts by leveraging Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategies to cultivate relationships with these customers. Make an effort to understand the individual buyers’ challenges so you can deliver a personalized sales experience.
In addition, do your homework and find out who the decisions makers are. It may take some efforts to get in touch with them, but they’re the ones who have the budget and power actually to approve a purchase.
2. Increase Spending With Extended Line of Credit
Did you know that less than 10% of B2B purchases are made with credit or debit cards? B2B customers want different ways to make payments so they can reduce financing cost and facilitate cash flow.
Offering flexible payment terms can help you increase the conversion rate of qualified leads, improve customer retention, and stay competitive in the marketplace.
Extending credit to your buyers adds values in and of itself. The ability to buy now and pay later offers the kind of convenience and flexibility many businesses consider important.
When you automate this process and get your customers to sign onto the program, you can drastically increase the customer lifetime value of the accounts.
3. Articulate Your Value Proposition and Sell Business Results
When you’re selling to B2B decision-makers, you need to speak their language — tangible, bottom-line business results they can take to the bank.
In addition, many products and services can sound very similar to buyers. To stand out from your competition, you need to be crystal clear about your value proposition.
Articulate the unique values you bring to the table and what sets your brand apart. Do your homework and position your products or services in relation to each individual prospect’s challenges so choosing to do business with you becomes a no-brainer.
4. Build Trust With Pre-Sales Interactions
B2B purchases often have a long sales cycle. Buyers and decision makers are likely to be interacting with your brand at various touch points before making a purchase.
At the early stage of the customer journey, buyers are likely to be evaluating different vendors before they get in touch with your sales team. They may interact with your brand through a variety of channels or contact your customer service department with some preliminary questions.
These pre-sales activities play an essential role in cultivating relationships with prospects that will lead to more sales. According to Harvard Business Review, pre-sales activities have two to three times more impact on revenue generation than generating leads.
In addition, focusing on pre-sales activities can yield a five-point improvement in conversion rates, a 6–13% improvement in revenue, and a 10–20% improvement in the speed of moving prospects through the sales process.
5. Listen To Your Customers
Making enhancements based on customer feedback is the key to delighting and retaining your customers.
Not to mention, customers are more likely to buy when your products or services meet their needs. What better way to find out what they want than asking them?
Making the first sale is just the beginning of the relationship with a customer. Establishing an on-going conversation and collecting feedback helps you build a profitable and long-lasting relationship.
You can use a variety of methods to collect feedback — surveys are great for getting a broad sense of how products are performing while personal interactions such as emails or phone calls give you an in-depth understanding of each customer’s perspectives.
6. Inspire Purchase With Case Studies
Case studies are great vehicles to demonstrate business results to B2B decision makers. In fact, 73% of B2B buyers use case studies to aid in their decision-making process.
Well-crafted case studies tap into the emotions of the audience, connect them with their pain points, boost the credibility of your brand, and give you the opportunity to tell the story in different channels to increase exposure.
Not to mention, when prospects see that other successful businesses in their industries are buying from you, they’re more likely to make a purchase as well.
What strategies do you use to get your customers buy more from you?
Learn new strategies that make your customers spend more and cost less. Download the guide by clicking the link below.