Navigating B2B sales with interim executives is a skill easily acquired if you keep some key points in mind.
Compared to traditional consumer markets, businesses that cater to other business have smaller and more profitable markets. However, despite the higher returns, B2B sales is like walking a tightrope. Interim executives need to find the balance between sticking to a scalable model and satisfying the limited number of customers they have.
Don’t become a consultancy
In the early days as your product or service is developing, potential customers will demand features more customized to their needs. As a business that’s looking to scale beyond the first few customers, they need to be able to recognize which features have a value worth pursuing.
“You never want to be truly doing things that are one-off. You want to say, ‘Is this going to be useful for the next 20 customers?'” says Jason Kelly, co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, about his company’s initial experience in B2B sales. Stressing the emphasis on when to be flexible, he says, “If you’re selling $100k enterprise deals, you’re going to bend a little bit more to make sure it works for Oracle or some huge company, versus Bob’s Pizza Shop.”
Research potential clients
A simple Google search can give you a lot of information on potential customers. If you’ve got a lead, use social media, their website, and customer reviews to understand how their business works, what their needs are, and how your product or service can help them increase revenue or users. Furthermore, once you establish contact, ask questions about their needs and then sell them solutions that are best suited.
Research also helps you filter out clients that are worth your time. Not every business that asks for a meeting is a good fit for your service. So rather than wasting the time of your sales team and company, determine whether or not it’s worth the effort.
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