7 Crucial Steps in the B2B Sales Cycle

Sales professionals only spend 30% of their time selling. The rest is spent on administrative tasks. Despite this, talking to prospects and building relationships is critical.

To get more B2B sales, it’s important to understand the B2B sales cycle. Understanding the stage that you’re in with a customer will help you always know what to do next and prepare yourself for setbacks along the way. 

Here are the 7 crucial steps that you need to follow in the B2B sales cycle.

1. Generate Leads

The B2B sales cycle starts with lead generation and prospecting. During this step, your business will use various marketing and outreach strategies to reach potential customers and generate leads. 

There are many ways to generate leads, including cold calling, cold emailing, social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, and other digital marketing strategies. It can also include attending professional networking events and interacting with business owners and other professionals face-to-face. You may also want to get help from a dedicated lead generation agency

Customers in this stage are in the evaluation stage of the buyer’s journey and will be somewhat interested in your offer. However, they’ll still need more information and nurturing to go further into the sales cycle.

2. Research

Another crucial step in the B2B sales funnel is the research stage. During this stage, you’ll need to get quality data and find out everything you can about a prospect’s unique challenges. 

It’s typically best to start at a prospect’s website. Scroll through their website and get more information about them by viewing service pages, blog posts, white papers, and other content. It can also help to look for news articles on the prospect.

You should also talk to some of the prospect’s key decision-makers. Ask them questions to better ascertain what their needs are. 

Finally, make sure that you’re well-versed in their industry as well. Read through industry blogs and newsletters to learn about trends and common pain points. 

With all of this information combined, you’ll be able to get a good sense of what a customer’s needs are and what you can do for them. 

3. Qualify Leads

Next, is lead qualification. Once you’ve identified the needs of your prospect, you need to determine whether your products can help them and whether they’re a good fit for working with you.

Be sure that you’re a match and that you can help them and they can help you. Asking qualifying questions about the challenges they face, what they’re looking for, what their budget is, and what their goals are can help you determine whether they’ll be a good fit for your business.

Qualifying leads is an essential part of the B2B sales process. It will help ensure that you’re staying productive and that you aren’t wasting each other’s time. 

4. Create a Sales Pitch

Once you have successfully qualified a lead, put together a sales pitch that is custom-tailored for their needs and challenges. Your pitch should be short but also very informative and should include solid insights you have found through research. 

Remember that during the sales pitch, you’ll want to focus more on the customer’s needs rather than all of the different available features of your product. Focus on expressing how you can solve their problems and how using your product or service is the right way to do it. Leave some room for curiosity and be ready for your prospect to ask questions. 

The sales pitch is an important part of the sales cycle and will help determine your future relationship with a prospect. Be sure that you give it the proper care and attention.

5. Handle Objections

In many cases, there will be objections to your sales presentation and what you propose in it. It’s best to prepare for this ahead of time. Have an idea of how you’ll handle various objections that may come up.

Prospects will commonly object to various parts of your pitch including the budget, the contract terms, the risk involved, and more. Be prepared to highlight the benefits of your offer and focus on the positive. Addressing the objections and listening to the concerns of your prospects will be essential to win them over and resolve the issues that they raise.

Be sure that you’re patient with your prospect. Also, be prepared to hear more about their objections not only in this stage but during later stages as well.

6. Close the Deal

Next, it’s time to close the deal. While this part of the process is exciting, it doesn’t always go according to plan. Many customers fail to close the deal when all is said and done. 

After discussing the prospect’s objections, you can then directly ask them whether they’re interested in purchasing your product or service. If they simply agree, then you can move on to helping them complete the purchase. 

In some cases, however, more negotiations will be needed. You may need to continue to offer more value, such as a free trial, to fully close the deal.

7. Follow Up

After you’ve successfully closed the deal, you should plan to follow up. You may want to send an email to communicate the next steps in your relationship or provide additional value to your customer in some way. Doing so will make a good impression on your customers and will help them feel more appreciated by your business.

Staying in regular communication will give you some more opportunities to sell additional items or upsell. It will also help increase loyalty and raise the chance of them referring you to others later on. 

Mastering the B2B Sales Cycle

Understanding the B2B sales cycle will give you a much better chance of converting a lead into a customer. By knowing which step you’re in, you’ll always have a good idea of what your next action should be and will win more sales.

If you need help generating sales leads, consider getting help from SalesPro Leads. Our fantastic team has a combined 100 years of experience in generating high-quality sales opportunities.

Ready to learn more? Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help take your business to the next level.

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