B2B sales reps must know how to sell. To do it, they have the right sales skills. If they lack these skills, they'll find it hard to sell your products or services, and your company will lose ground to the competition.
So even though 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first, your sales reps will still need to do their fair share of persuading customers in order to close the sale. In other words, when it comes to B2B sales, you need to hire sales reps with the right persuasive skills,
But what are the right persuasive skills? The guide below discusses the five key persuasive skills your sales reps must have to excel in B2B sales and how these skills help turn customers into buyers.
Below are the five top persuasive skills B2B sales rep need, if they want to succeed in today's hotly contested environments:
- Being helpful
B2B customers don't want to be pitched. They want to be helped. When someone buys, they usually do it because they know they’re getting something that will change their businesses. Being helpful is the key to how you get your leads interested in your offerings. It’s the key to making a B2B sale. So hire sales reps that put a premium on being helpful.
Why? Because being helpful adds value to what you bring to the table. Giving your B2B customers a free eBook, for example, is extremely valuable. It also extremely helpful. It's you making the first move to connect.
That's a powerful gesture. It’s one reason why giving things out to people before they buy is so popular. It's a critical step in building up your online reputation.
- Assesses a lead's needs first
B2B leads have specific needs. To excel In the world of B2B, you must know the needs of your target audience. Jeff Bullas says that, “A good content strategy always starts with our readers.”
The only way you’re going learn leads' needs is to ask them. You’re going to be speaking to your leads on multiple occasions, so it makes sense to start by asking them about their problems right now.
Remember that B2B firms are in the position of solving problems. The only way you can solve a problem in B2B sales is by knowing what those problems are in the first place.
Asking about a customer's needs creates a strong platform for you to persuade your leads to buy from you.
- Knows your products and competitors
You need to hit your leads in their minds not their hearts. Help them make intelligent decisions by demonstrating a deep knowledge of your products and the other options on the market. Your B2B sales prospects are doing a lot of research before they commit to any purchase.
Sales reps need to speak with authority and with a degree of intelligence. Avoid trying to exaggerate anything and never lie—even if you have similar products. B2B influencer Heidi Cohen always recommends asking: “How do you distinguish your company from the competition?”
What’s just as important is knowing about your competitors. You need to explain to your B2B leads why they should buy from you and not your competitors.
You’ll never have to name any of your competitors when you’re pitching, but you should aim your points at nullifying their advantages and promoting your own. So spend some time teaching your B2B sales reps about what else is on the market.
- Uses a personalized approach
Chances are good your B2B leads are looking to achieve similar things. That’s why they're looking at your products in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you should give them the same sales pitch. Reading from a script will only make it difficult for you to appeal to specific people. It’s obvious when a message isn’t meant specifically for them.
So look for sales reps that use a personalized approach. It tells every B2B customer why they matter and that you care about what they say and think. They’ll feel important and they’ll feel special.
So find sales reps that aren't afraid to move away from your usual pitch and are willing to engage customers in conversation.
- Focus on completing an objective
Persuasion is a powerful tool. But you have to remember why you’re persuading people in the first place. So look for sales people that think about what they persuading people to do and makes sure they're moving every conversation towards an objective.
B2B customers want to speak to your sales reps, but if they're not directing the conversation anywhere they're never going to achieve anything.
The objective could be anything from booking a product demonstration to a face-to-face meeting. They don’t have to force it, but they should always be moving towards a B2B goal.
Conclusion – The Art of Persuasion
Do you know what the art of persuasion really is? It’s about speaking to the right people in the first place. You can follow all these steps and still never persuade someone to buy purely because you’re not speaking to the right people.
Sales lead qualification is absolutely crucial if you’re going to accomplish anything. Ensure that your team is supplying the right leads in the first place.
What do you think is the most important part of persuading people to buy your B2B products?