B2B Sales

Mastering B2B Sales: Effective Strategies for Performance Improvement and Lead Generation

Is your sales team feeling frustrated with lead generation? They don’t know where things are going wrong and you don’t know how to help. You can’t solve a problem that you don’t understand.

Many sales teams monitor metrics for part of the sales process and work off those incomplete numbers. When you cannot see the big picture, you miss critical insights. 

Without a unified communication process, you have disjointed interactions with prospects who get a poor impression of your brand. It’s difficult to engage buyers if they receive inconsistent or erratic messaging. 

Imagine how it looks if a prospect sees one message on LinkedIn but receives an entirely different one via email. These inconsistencies stem from ineffective, incomplete analytics and poor communication. You need a cohesive view of all communication methods and the ability to collaborate on content to ensure consistent messaging. 

Forward’s digital sales room solves all of your problems on how to improve your sales team. The collaborative workspace provides a centralised platform for monitoring everything. Sales teams can streamline their communication process, improve engagement with prospects, and ultimately, close more deals.

How To Improve Performance of Your Sales Team in the Current B2B Landscape

Though it can feel like you are the only sales team struggling to adapt to the modern B2B sales environment, you’re not alone. There’s a list of common hurdles because many sales teams report difficulties in the same areas. 

While technology has opened new doors for many B2B companies, it has also created an ultra-competitive market. You need to find ways to differentiate your product from others in your industry on top of a range of other struggles to improve sales performance. Key factors include:

  • Finding qualified leads remains a top priority and a struggle for many sales teams. Even if you have a massive prospect pool to work from, it’s not easy to translate those leads into buyers. Teams need the information and tools to identify the prospects most likely to convert.
  • Engaging buyers is another hurdle in a largely digital sales world. There are more ways to communicate with leads, including social media. You have to diversify, but juggling multiple platforms is challenging. 
  • Long sales cycles make it even more difficult to hold a prospect’s attention. Finding ways to create engaging materials and shorten the cycle can have a massive impact on conversion rates. 
  • B2B buyers typically have multiple decision-makers involved in the process. Sales teams need to convince everyone involved before they can close a deal. To succeed, you must understand every decision-maker involved and address all pain points.
  • Collaboration in a largely remote environment presents many challenges for sales reps. You need to be able to reach your prospects on several platforms and work with other teams in your company to succeed. 
  • Social media presents a new avenue for selling but also creates more work for B2B sales teams. Content needs to be catchier and often more visual than ever before.

It feels overwhelming and impossible if you take this list as a set of unique challenges to overcome one by one. However, if you dig a little deeper, it’s easy to see that they all revolve around two key issues. Communication and buyer engagement are the root of most B2B sales struggles. Addressing these two core problems will help your sales team overcome the above concerns and succeed.

Implementing a Unified Sales Process

Determining how to improve your sales team may seem complex, but breaking things down into actionable steps is a game-changer. It might take some restructuring, but a well-defined and unified sales process supports your goals by:

  • Create consistency. Every rep knows what’s expected and follows the same steps for every deal. This approach allows your team to identify areas that work and where there’s room for improvement while providing a better buyer experience.
  • Locate bottlenecks in the pipeline. A clearly defined sales funnel is easier to monitor to identify problem areas that hold up deals. Having oversight on the entire funnel helps sales teams be more proactive to avoid delays.
  • Increase efficiency. Crafting a sales journey helps sales reps focus on the right tasks at each stage to use their time more effectively.
  • More reliable forecasting. It’s easier to track a structured sales pipeline and monitor progress. You get more accurate metrics to make better predictions and identify high-quality leads more likely to convert. 

A digital sales room supports teams in building a structured, streamlined sales process. Combining everything in one centralised hub creates a more efficient, successful system. 

For example, Forward’s multi-media embed features ensure you keep all sales materials in one place. All necessary teams can view the same materials and work together to refine them. Open collaboration between teams ensures better content and consistent messaging for every buyer. 

Teams can also track progress and make updates to enhance buyer engagement. This unified, controlled approach makes teams more flexible and allows them to update information in real-time. It’s easier to address buyer concerns, hit key performance indicators, and close deals faster.

How To Improve Performance of Your Sales Team in the Current B2B Landscape

Improving Sales Team Performance

Establishing a unified sales process is only one part of knowing how to improve the performance of your sales team. Another key step involves embracing technology to reduce the amount of time your team spends on administrative tasks. 

Face it: rewriting the same emails and adding the same links to sales materials is time-consuming and not the best way to improve your sales team's performance. Automating routine, mundane tasks can save your own sales rep and team valuable time for high-level activities for sales growth, like prospecting, follow-ups, qualifying leads, and closing deals.

Digital sales rooms help with this critical step in streamlining your sales processes. For example, it’s easy to create customisable templates with critical information, like links and contact information. When your team can reuse these templates for every buyer, it saves time and reinforces a consistent experience.

When your sales leaders have the tools they need to collaborate in real time, it makes them faster and more efficient. They can use their time more wisely, work to their strengths, and focus on closing deals.

Strategies for B2B Lead Generation

Whenever you address your processes, it’s impossible to avoid one critical question: how to generate leads in B2B sales. Developing a solid lead generation strategy remains one of the biggest hurdles for sales and marketing teams because it can go wrong in so many ways.

From targeting the wrong audience to using ineffective strategies, sales teams can make dozens of errors that cost sales. Refining your approach can save time, boost efficiency, and deliver more targeted campaigns that resonate with buyers.

  • Develop a buyer persona. Establishing a detailed profile for your ideal customer helps the sales team direct content that resonates. B2B sales teams need to create multiple buyer personas to cover all potential decision-makers.
  • Recruit loyal buyers to help. Reviews and testimonials are powerful tools for attracting new leads. People like to know that others have found success with your product. You can also survey loyal customers to discover areas for improvement.
  • Build engaging, interactive landing pages. Grab attention and hold it with catchy content and stunning visuals. Don’t underestimate the power of pop-up boxes to capture attention and contact information.
  • Personalisation is crucial. Make your leads feel seen, heard, and understood by segmenting leads and tailoring sales materials to each persona.
  • Get into social media. Tapping into social media lets you reach more people quickly. LinkedIn is the tool of choice for 55% of decision-makers exploring new brands. 
  • Make everything mobile responsive. Many B2B buyers work from mobile devices more than their desktops or laptops. You’re missing out on sales if your site and campaign landing pages don’t function well on mobile devices.

You don’t have to enact all of these strategies at once to find your sales success either. Instead, a gradual shift that addresses one or two at a time can help your sales team gain traction. Eventually, you’ll wonder how you ever worked without these tactics.

Inbound vs. Outbound Lead Generation 

Perhaps the most critical consideration for lead generation is building a multi-layered strategy. Focusing too much on one facet of lead generation makes your strategy too shallow and misses out on potential sales. 

Inbound lead generation covers anything that gets prospects to contact you. The most common methods of attracting leads revolve around your content. Some of the best options for B2B sales teams include:

  • Sharing relevant and valuable content to your prospects, like eBooks, webinars, and blog posts.
  • Personalised landing pages designed to attract leads, like offering an eBook in exchange for their contact information.
  • Email and social media marketing campaigns that attract relevant leads and help build trust with prospects.

Conversely, outbound lead generation involves your sales team actively contacting prospects. These approaches echo traditional methods for attracting leads and remain viable options for B2B teams.

  • Paid advertising, like pay-per-click campaigns, commercials, and online banners, get your product in front of prospects.
  • Cold calls take a little effort but can translate to qualified leads. Focus on people who have already shown interest in your product.
  • Cold emails are the modern version of cold calls, but they are often easier on the sales team. Many people freely provide their email address before their phone number, making it a preferred method for buyers. Plus, your team can automate email campaigns and use customisable templates. 

Building a cohesive sales strategy strikes a balance between inbound and outbound lead generation. For example, you could offer an ebook through a personalised landing page. Once you capture the lead’s email, your sales team can add them to a mailing list.

Strategies for B2B Lead Generation

How Sales Development Representatives Can Boost Conversion Rates

If you don’t already have sales development representatives (SDR), it’s time to reconsider your hiring practices. Sales Development Representatives are versatile team players who qualify leads and nurture relationships during the early stages of your sales funnel. 

SDRs streamline your sales process by doing the heavy lifting at the front end of the pipeline. 

For example, an SDR works the outbound lead generation channels to find high-quality and sales-qualified leads and draw them into your sales funnel. They lay the groundwork for what’s to come and hook the lead into your process. Then, the SDR hands off the leads to other sales team members to close the deal.

This approach results in more qualified leads that are increasingly likely to convert. It also gives sales reps more time to focus on closing deals. Plus, your buyers have a better overall experience.

SDRs require sales development tools to be successful, like prospecting tools, buyer insight analytics, and CRM to track details for each lead. A digital sales room provides everything your SDRs need in one centralised hub while making it easier to complete timely, seamless handoffs to the sales reps.

Leveraging Sales Rooms for Lead Generation

You have SDRs who know how to generate B2B sales leads and sales reps who can close deals, but it means nothing without a lead routing strategy. How long do your SDRs nurture leads? How do they hand off to sales reps? Which sales reps get which leads? What information do your sales reps need to close the deal?

Part of your sales strategy involves providing your sales managers and teams with the necessary tools and information to succeed. Creating a functional environment that ensures everyone is on the same page is the key to a seamless process.

Digital sales rooms establish a centralised space for each lead, creating room for cross-team collaboration and seamless handoffs. 

  • Establish personalised micro-sites for each prospect to maintain all relevant sales materials in one place. Add valuable information that’s relevant for each buyer.
  • Create mutual action plans to structure the sales process. These interactive plans establish actionable steps, hold every party accountable, and allow greater oversight over the entire funnel.
  • Track buyer engagement to determine the most effective content and time follow-ups for maximum impact.

A digital sales room supports sales teams at each stage and allows for controlled presentations. And your buyers will appreciate the structured, streamlined experience. 

Increasing Sales Leads From Your B2B Website

Maybe you’re thinking, “That all sounds great, but I need to know how to increase sales leads from my B2B website.” It’s easy to see your website as a waste of time, energy, and money, but that would be a mistake. B2B websites represent a powerful inside sales tool when appropriately handled.

Utilising inbound sales strategies, like pay-per-click campaigns, to drive traffic to your website can effectively generate quality leads. 

Maybe you offer access to an eBook or webinar that provides valuable tips and tricks for the industry. When the prospect clicks on the link, they go to a unique landing page and supply their contact information. This process captures contact information, and you can set the campaign to deliver the promised content via email automatically. 

Prospects receive valuable, branded content. You gain information for a new lead and can track their engagement with your content and subsequent emails. Based on the prospect’s engagement with your content, your SDRs can determine how to nurture the lead for maximum impact.

Of course, this whole buying process only works if you deliver the personalised experience and valuable content buyers want. You can’t use the same tired landing page for everything. You need unique landing pages for different campaigns, sectors, and personas. Remember, you have to appeal to multiple decision-makers to close a deal; they all have different pain points.

Digital sales rooms make it easy for teams to deliver unique landing pages and personalised experiences for every prospect. When you can customise every deal and use templates to build new campaigns, it’s easier to maintain consistency throughout the sales funnel.

Utilising Client Testimonials in B2B Sales

As mentioned before, prospects love to hear from other customers about their experiences with your product. Client testimonials, case studies, and customer success backstories can be some of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

Did you know? 97% of B2B buyers find reviews from other consumers to be the most credible content. Delivering user-generated content should be a critical part of your sales strategy.

Showcasing feedback from paying customers is an excellent way to establish credibility for your brand. It’s easier to showcase how your product solves a buyer’s problems. Feedback from real, satisfied users can reinforce your brand’s values, mission, and message. 

Customer testimonials should be a priority, but it’s not the only option for B2B sales teams. Reviews from reputable third-party sites, like G2 or Capterra, can be extremely helpful for building respect and authority in the marketplace. These platforms carry weight because they are independent and typically feature critical feedback with customer reviews.

Improve Your Sales Performance With Forward

How To Use Client Testimonials in B2B Sales

One of the best parts about using client testimonials is their versatility for sales teams. You can use them to attract new leads or convince sceptical decision-makers. Use videos or quotes with pictures, share case studies, or post reviews.

B2B sales teams can control the visibility to maximise the impact. Consider some of these techniques for your customer testimonials:

  • Incorporate testimonials in explainer videos and presentations.
  • Add snippets from satisfied buyers to your brand videos, like those on social media.
  • Include some highlights on landing pages for campaigns to encourage subscriptions, registrations, and purchases.
  • Highlight case studies on social media, especially LinkedIn, where other businesses can see success stories. 
  • Share a quote or highlight a positive customer experience in an email campaign.

Client testimonials represent another way that digital sales rooms support sales teams. Your teams can create a bank of testimonials in various forms, including videos. It’s easy to pull from the library to embed and share in any content they need. 

For example, an SDR may have a lead that’s excited about your product except for one of the decision-makers. The SDR can go to your archive and select the piece that’s most likely to resonate with the holdout. They can work that bit into a presentation or email to help convince that single decision-maker to move forward with the deal.

Improve Your Sales Performance With Forward

There’s no question that the B2B sales landscape has changed drastically over the past few decades. While the transition created new opportunities, it also brought new challenges for sales teams. 

You need to be more flexible and adaptable than ever, but your buyer also desires structure and a personalised experience. Sales teams need to work more efficiently to meet all of these demands. 

  • Automating administrative tasks, customisable templates, and cross-team collaboration can all increase operating efficiency. 
  • Hiring Sales Development Representatives to focus on lead generation can also boost efficiency and free up Sales Executives to close those deals.
  • Leveraging customer testimonials can attract more quality leads and boost conversions.

You need the right tools and software to understand how to improve your sales team successfully. Using even a few different tools can create extra work and frustrations for your team unless you bring everything together into a centralised hub. That’s what digital sales rooms offer. 

Forward’s digital sales rooms provide the structure and support your sales team needs to master B2B sales and deliver the outstanding buyer experience your prospects crave. 

Access a range of tools to personalise each buyer’s sales journey and streamline the sales funnel to shorten the cycle. 

  • Personalised workspaces for each deal make buyers feel valued while creating an exceptional experience.
  • Answer questions and provide support with live chat and comments to create a seamless experience for buyers while maintaining engagement.
  • Create transparency and structure while boosting buyer engagement with interactive mutual action plans.

Your sales team will appreciate the centralised location for all sales materials and the valuable insights into buyer engagement. With more information about each buyer, they can send the right content at the ideal time to maximise the chances of conversion.

Discover how Forward’s digital sales room can empower your sales team and improve their sales performance metrics. Try it free today!

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