December 9, 2020

Sales Gimmicks Don’t Work: Use These Successful Strategies to Increase B2B Sales

Finding new and effective ways to attract prospects is a top priority as a B2B sales manager. As a result, you’re always reviewing the latest trends to see what’s working for others in your industry.And it’s not just you — we find 34% of salespeople are having a harder time closing deals.

Some resort to hacks and tricks that may drive leads and sales one day, but then quickly dries up and goes stale the next. These fads come and go because of one simple fact: Sales gimmicks don’t work. If anything, they’ll hurt your reputation.

Today’s consumers are smart, savvy, and well-educated (thanks to Google). What they’re looking for from brands is a great customer experience. The only way to provide this is through genuine interactions. This is one of the reasons why corporate gifting works exceptionally well.

So if you’re looking for ways to improve the B2B SaaS sales strategy for, then continue reading.

What Does the B2B Selling Process Look Like?

Before building a well-crafted B2B sales strategy, it’s critical to get a thorough understanding of the selling process. These are the eight steps involved:

  1. Lead generation (getting the right attention can lead to sales)
  2. Discovery (to know if your product/service is right for the lead)
  3. Qualification (a phone call will determine a lead qualifies)
  4. Pitch (selling your product based on the needs of the lead)
  5. Objection handling (because leads aren’t ready to buy yet)
  6. Closing (you successfully convinced the lead to become a customer)
  7. Follow up (if not, then you’ll have to follow up)
  8. Check in (you successfully won over the hesitant client)

The key to having a successful B2B sales process is having the right team. So let’s take a look at how to build one.

How to Create a Successful B2B Sales Training Program

You already have a sales team ready to help drive revenue for your SaaS business. They’re a significant factor in your B2B SaaS sales strategy.

But if they’re not adequately trained in modern B2B sales strategies, then they’ll fail to fill demand and reach quotas.

This is where a B2B sales training program comes into play. But before you create one, you need to have several things in place:

  • A well-crafted B2B sales process for efficiency
  • A CRM platform to manage leads and accounts
  • A winning story your salespeople can learn and repeat

As for your B2B sales training program, you’ll need to ensure you’re educating your team, so they know:

  • How to effectively use the CRM
  • In-depth knowledge of each one of your customers
  • In-depth knowledge about the market you’re in (competitors included)
  • In-depth knowledge about your product or service (benefits, features, use cases)
  • All about your customers’ problems, so they’re seen as experts
  • Detailed answers to various questions customers ask
  • How the follow-up process works
  • Great storytelling to effectively captivate prospects

The key is creating a sales team with expertise in all aspects of your industry and the sales process.

How to Plan for Hiring in a B2B Sales Strategy After Raising Funds

So your SaaS is fully funded and ready to launch. This means you’re lacking all sorts of personnel needed to ensure your startup doesn’t flop.

You’ll learn quickly that the people behind your business are vital to your success. This is why you want to focus on hiring in areas that propel your company forward — for example, salespeople.

Without them, you’ll have no way of turning leads into customers. It doesn’t matter how great your marketing strategy is — you need a sales team to drive deals home. Sure, the founder can do this on day one. But over time, they’ll become busy and won’t be as efficient.

So in the startup stage, you should start with two to three salespeople. This will create healthy competition and will ensure no one is stretched thin. You can start by hiring people you know or tapping into your network.

Then you can move up to folks with experience (but not the expensive sales vets). Stick with the young and hungry salespeople who can do a great job without hurting your bottom line too much.

How to Incorporate Gift-Giving in the B2B Sales Process

Remember the genuine interactions and great customer experiences we discussed earlier? This is where you can finally incorporate both into your B2B sales strategy.

Gift-giving is one of the underused SaaS selling techniques — not because it’s ineffective, but because it’s overlooked.

So now that it has your attention, how do you put it to use in your B2B SaaS sales strategy?

There are several occasions where you can use gifts to improve relationships with prospects (and customers). Here are several ways to use corporate gifts:

  • Send to a customer after reaching a milestone (i.e., being a customer for one year or completing a business goal)
  • Use gifts as a marketing tool to connect with leads (i.e., thank-you for attending an event, as part of a swag bag, referral gift, etc.)
  • Improve sales prospecting outcomes by sending a free gift (i.e., a gift card for a coffee or lunch, thank-you gift for making a connection, branded welcome package after the sale closes)
  • Remind customers it’s almost time to renew their subscription (i.e., a coffee mug, plant, or sweets)

And these are just some of the ideas — surely, you can come up with more. The idea is to make the gift personalized, so it doesn’t feel like a gimmick.

CTA: Send your customers personalized gifts using Sendoso’s sending platform.

What Are the Current Trends in B2B Sales?

Staying ahead of the latest B2B sales trends is vital if you want to maintain an edge over competitors. So we put together a list of the top sales trends we’re seeing in B2B and SaaS for 2021:

  • Resorting to a digital customer journey (remote sales is booming thanks to COVID-19)
  • Applying multi-channel, personalized experiences to buyers
  • Adopting customer data platforms for a unified (and unique) customer view
  • Implementing a customer-centric sales pipeline (i.e., tracking customer actions/behaviors vs. actions of the salesperson—lead qualifying, booking meetings, etc.)
  • Using marketing attribution modeling to track where revenue comes from (used by 41% of companies)
  • Utilize a solution for sending gifts to attract and retain leads and accounts

Adopting these trends into your own B2B sales strategy can potentially improve retention rates and boost revenue.

So How Do You Succeed in B2B Sales?

We covered what the B2B selling process looks like and the latest trends in B2B sales. Now, it’s time to look at what makes a successful B2B sales strategy.

The best thing to do is look at what’s already working in the B2B sector. So here’s a look at some of the best sales techniques for B2B businesses:

  • Research your prospect’s company before reaching out.
  • Read their website, blog, and email newsletters to learn their values and operations.
  • Use cold calling intelligently (bring relevant information to the conversation).
  • Send personal emails vs. generic email blasts.
  • Work together with prospects throughout the buying process (collaborate vs. sell).
  • Answer all the tough questions at the start (to avoid wasting each other’s time).
  • Share stories of past customers’ successes and case studies.
  • Be a product/service expert.
  • Create ideal customer profiles (ICPs) so you’re targeting the right prospects.
  • Sell solutions, not your product.
  • Use corporate gifting to stand out and show genuine interest in a prospect.

How Do You Create Urgency in a B2B Sales Process?

If you’re serious about learning how to increase B2B sales, then you must know how to create urgency. Most B2B sales cycles are slow, which can mean months pass before a buying decision is made.

The problem is many things can go wrong along the way — for instance, the prospect being wooed by a competitor. So to reduce the odds of this happening, you can give prospects a sense of urgency to close quickly.

So here are several techniques you can use:

  • Offer an alpha version of your product and have limited seats
  • As your SaaS product becomes more advanced, announcing future price increases will affect new customers, not existing customers (to promote sign-ups sooner rather than later).
  • Make an enticing offer (discount, free upgrade, special services, BOGO free).
  • Add countdown timers to your website and/or email promotions (one brand increased sales by 332% using timers).
  • Focus on addressing a prospect’s problems so they can see the value in your product/service.
  • Educate the prospect about their problem and how your product resolves it.

What Are Some Effective B2B SaaS Sales Strategies?

When developing a B2B SaaS sales strategy, focus on techniques that are effective for your industry. What works for B2Bs in finance may not work for SaaS.

So we’re going to compare three B2B sales techniques commonly used in SaaS.

Pros and Cons of Phone Demos

Setting up a phone call with a prospect is a sweet spot for salespeople. It’s where they shine the best — but getting there can be tough. Missed calls and unread emails can make this difficult.

But once you schedule a meeting for a phone demo, you can finally showcase what you have to offer. The prospect’s already showing interest, so all you have to do is nail your presentation.

Phone demos can work well because:

  • You can control the flow of the demonstration
  • You’re there to answer any questions prospects have
  • If you’re using Zoom, you can showcase the product in real-time
  • It’s pre-planned, so neither of your time is wasted
  • It helps push qualified leads to the next stage of the sales funnel
  • The call is short and sweet, making it easier to get prospects to agree to a phone demo.

The downside of phone demos is:

  • It can be challenging to demonstrate services and complex products over the phone
  • Sometimes prospects miss your call
  • The calls are shorter (which can hurt your demo if it requires more time to break down the product/service).
  • It’s harder to build trust.

Pros and Cons of Face-to-Face Demos

This is an old-school tactic, but it’s still common to set up face-to-face meetings with prospects. This can work if you deal with many local businesses and want to add a personal touch to your demo.

What’s great about face-to-face meetings is:

  • The encounter is more personal, allowing your personality and genuine concern to shine through (and build trust).
  • You can get more information from the prospect (meetings tend to last longer).
  • The demonstration is more engaging (you can set up a trial account so the prospect to test out your product).
  • It’s harder for prospects to say no to your face (but don’t pressure them).

On the flip side, you may find these issues bothersome:

  • It can be tough getting prospects to agree to an in-person meeting.
  • Works best if the sales rep is an SME about your product and the prospect to connect their needs to your product.
  • Meetings can be time-consuming for both parties (especially if it doesn’t lead to a sale).
  • It’s an outdated method (many are now doing virtual meetings).
  • Time and resources are spent on travel, entertainment, food, etc.

Pros and Cons of Cold Calling

Reaching out to prospects who’ve never heard of your brand or product (and who may not know they have an issue you can resolve) is challenging. The effectiveness of cold calls is borderline because there are various factors at play.

For example, you may contact the right prospect at the wrong time.

However, there are some good things about cold calling:

  • You can potentially find leads you never would have.
  • It doesn’t require travel.
  • You can meet new people and grow your network (if they’re not interested, they may know someone who is).
  • You can get instant feedback (and insight into objections).

What’s dreaded about cold calling is:

  • It takes more time to find qualified leads.
  • It can annoy prospects who would’ve been suitable candidates.
  • It can hurt your brand’s reputation.
  • It creates an uncomfortable experience for both parties.
  • Rejection is a lot higher.

What is a B2B Sales Strategy Plan?

A B2B sales strategy plan is a document that outlines the processes and systems used by the sales team. This is created once or on an annual basis (depending on how often strategies change).

In sales, simply winging your B2B sales strategy isn’t going to cut it. You need to build a plan around your strategy so your teams can be more efficient and productive.

When creating your B2B SaaS sales strategy, be sure to address major obstacles and how to overcome them.

But what challenges should be considered in a B2B sales strategy? Here are a few you may want to include:

  • How to retain your customers (selling to existing customers is easier)
  • Increasing sales-accepted leads (SALs) for higher response and faster closing
  • Preventing data overload (i.e., adopting platforms to centralize data)
  • Managing through a long sales cycle (and ways to shorten it)
  • Identifying and reaching out to decision-makers (and effectively winning buy-in from more than one)

So how do you write a B2B sales plan? Well, once you have all your ducks in a row (strategies, techniques, and obstacle dodging), it’s time to outline your process.

This will include the following:

  • Account segmentation and scoring
  • Sales quota planning
  • Sales capacity planning
  • Territory planning
  • Wooing prospects and accounts using gift-giving

Make sure to pore over any data and analytics you’ve collected to ensure your B2B sales plan is effective.

Why Gifting Platforms Are An Unconventional B2B Sales Strategy

You don’t want to rely on conventional methods for your B2B sales strategy. This is why we recommend using unconventional techniques that work optimally.

One unconventional method salespeople tend to overlook is using gifting platforms. It’s an effective way to stay relevant in the eyes of both leads and accounts.

Here’s a look at how gifting platforms boost B2B sales:

  • Send personalized gifts to the C-suite to stand apart (beats competing with the hundreds of emails they get daily)
  • Congratulate a lead or prospect for a promotion or new job (keep an eye out for LinkedIn updates)
  • Boost attendance for a webinar or event with an eGift
  • Nurture leads who are on the line about your product
  • Welcome new customers with a gift (and potentially earn their loyalty)

When you adopt Sendoso’s sending platform, you can take your gifting to the next level by:

  • Analyzing metrics to see how well your gift-giving is doing
  • Building a sending strategy that integrates with your existing campaigns and programs
  • Selecting gifts from an assortment of options (swag bags, custom boxes, eGifts, food and wine, and more)
  • Integrating Sendoso with existing tools like Salesforce and Marketo
  • Attributing gift-giving directly to your ROI

How Are Others Succeeding with Sendoso?

The use cases for corporate gifting are plentiful, but most importantly, it can help you retain customers, win-over decision-makers, and earn trust from your customers.

The proof is in the pudding:

And the list goes on. You, too, can become another satisfied Sendoso customer.

If you’re looking for ways to grow your sales opportunities and increase revenue, then sending gifts is an excellent method.

Want to learn how to increase B2B sales with Sendoso? Then request a demo today!

See how companies generate over 200% ROI on new revenue with the leading sending platform.

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