There's no denying that the informed and up-to-date B2B buyers of today have the power in their hands during the B2B purchase process.
This is why it is critical for B2B businesses to tap into this opportunity and work towards enhancing the user's sales experience by all means possible.
But first, let's understand what we mean by B2B sales.
What are B2B sales?
B2B sales - or business-to-business sales - refer to a sales model where the company sells products or services directly to other businesses (instead of individual customers).
B2B sales aspects
The main characteristics of B2B sales are:
- A higher price point than business-to-consumer (B2C) offerings
- Offered products and services are more niche in nature, and serve a specialized purpose
- Longer sales cycle, sometimes lasting months
- Multiple touchpoints to close the deal (including email, phone calls, meetings, and demos)
In addition, B2B transactions require rational decision-making from numerous stakeholders in an organization.
Finally, it is important to remember the ultimate goals of every B2B transaction:
- Increased sales
- Client happiness
Now that we've understood the basics of B2B sales, let's take a look at four time-tested strategies to boost your B2B sales experience.
Improving the B2B sales experience: 4 tips
The purpose of the following tips is to escape the noise that often accompanies the B2B sales process, in order to focus on what matters the most: attaining results.
1. Offer a delightful user onboarding experience
Some call the user onboarding process a “welcome experience”, and that’s exactly how it should feel like to your prospects.
Onboarding often works as the brand’s first immersive experience, creating a seamless program can pay off huge dividends by enhancing the user’s experience, and leave them wanting for more.
In order to create a stellar onboarding experience, efforts must be focused on making it:
Content also plays a central role in onboarding, and it’s always a good idea to develop pieces and channels that make sense to the product and users, including:
- Welcome emails
- Video tutorials
- Case studies
- Product documentation
Consider the following example by Userpilot for inspiration:
By clicking the "Free Trial" option, users get to connect with a chatbot, who immediately asks the customer for their email.
This helps accelerate the sign-up process.
Also, notice how the interaction is warm and conversational, helping build a stronger rapport with the user.
After the sign-up process is complete, the brand questions the user for its preferred choice of primary brand color. This is an important lesson in product personalization, which starts early on in the user's sales journey.
Once the user gets started, Userpilot will send a detailed email explaining the key benefits of the product, as well as the next steps to take (installing the Chrome extension).
Once the user downloads the extension, it will land on Userpilot’s dashboard, and this is where things get real.
Here, the user will learn how to create its first Userpilot experience. To do this, a simple slideout and a bold CTA that's hard to miss will show up on screen:
Users are also taken through an interactive tour to get a better understanding of the product.
The biggest lesson here is that every step of the onboarding process follows a logical and simplified sequence allowing first-time users to extract the maximum value and enjoy the product as seamlessly as possible.
As you probably guessed by now, these are instrumental steps that lead to conversions in the B2B sales process.
2. Leverage Live Chat Software to Deliver a Personalized Experience
If you think that live chat software is still optional, think again.
In terms of support, customers today value real-time support and instant query resolution, solutions that live chat software can provide from the get-go.
Live chat allows you to connect with your website visitors and qualify rich leads by collecting information 24/7 (usually, through web forms) all at the same time.
Furthermore, live chat comes power-packed with useful functionalities, allowing customers to:
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Get access to knowledge bases
- Get in touch with different types of customer support reps
In summary, live chat software can be used to effectively capture user information, allowing B2B brands to engage in predictive analytics that help vendors chart out the business plan in an informed, user-centric capacity.
3. Create user personas and user journeys
In order for your B22 sales experience to emerge as a competitive advantage, your marketing strategy will need to be user-focused and personalized to a greater extent.
The first thing to know here is that “one-size-fits-all” approaches - for your content, marketing, or sales initiatives - are no longer going to fly. What’s most, without accurate data in hand, you cannot hope to build an impactful B2B strategy.
This is where creating an in-depth buyer personas and mapping your user journey come into the limelight.
Let's look at the buyer persona first.
Every customer comes with a set of unique pain points, likes, dislikes, and goals. Hence, charting out an ideal buyer persona ensures that customers consume relevant and timely content. Here's an example of a good buyer persona:
Next comes mapping the user's journey.
It's common knowledge that every user journey takes on a different path during the B2B sales funnel: right from the initial engagement stages and all the way through to making a purchase.
Look at the example below:
While some users prefer going through multiple touchpoints (including digital and live interactions), others prefer having a first-hand experience with the company through the use of assets like:
- Free trials
Hence, it is critical that you map your user journey to understand how multiple touchpoints can be used to better engage with the customers.
4. Implementing retention strategies to enhance customer experience
Customer retention is a top priority in B2B sales.
After all, customer expectations are changing, and the number of user touchpoints is on the rise.
This makes it challenging for businesses to drive personalized offers that cater to every user need. So what are some of the most effective customer retention strategies? Let’s take a look:
- Encourage customers to provide honest feedback which makes them feel special, and their opinion valued
- Offer a rich database of educative content to your customers
- Provide round-the-clock support on the platforms where your customers are
- Thank your customers for being a vital part of the brand's journey and success
The beauty of having a powerful customer retention strategy in place is that it will make the product so much better, avoiding your customers a great deal of frustration.
Where to start?
You can brainstorm with your product, customer experience, marketing, and sales teams to see how to “wow” your existing customers by taking into account their expectations, and your business goals.
The bottom line: A strategic and personalized Sales experience is the need of the hour
There is no time to waste when it comes to B2B sales experiences.
Buyers are better informed today, intuitive technologies are disrupting the B2B selling space, and the sales funnel is becoming shorter and more dynamic. The time is now.
To wrap up, here are the top 4 B2B strategies to kickstart and redefine your sales as well as customer experience:
- Enable a great, data-led onboarding journey
- Leverage a robust live chat software to customize your sales experience
- Create a buyer persona and map your user journey to boost sales
- Implement foolproof customer retention strategies to increase revenues and user happiness
Try these useful tips and take your sales experience to the next level!