B2B Sales techniques to increase your bottom line.
Sales Intelligence

10 B2B Sales Techniques That Work

by Sarah Mehlman , Sr. Marketing Intelligence Specialist 11 Min.
April 13, 2022 | Updated July 6, 2022

B2B sales techniques are methods that salespeople use to nurture and convert leads into paying customers.

Sales techniques are the “how” that enable sales teams to achieve their goals of closing more deals and increasing revenue. They include proven and practiced tactics for engaging with prospects and motivating them to start using a product or service.

It’s important to distinguish B2B sales techniques from common traits of successful salespeople.

Charisma, enthusiasm, confidence, and experience – all valuable personality traits in the realm of B2B sales – are not sales techniques. Neither are connections, although they may help you get a foot in the door.

If you want to thrive in sales, you need a robust toolkit of techniques to draw from so you can maximize every interaction with prospects.

In this article, we’ll cover 10 B2B sales techniques that are proven to get results.

Why B2B sales techniques are so important

Unlike B2C sales, in which you need to convince individual buyers to purchase your product or service, B2B sales are usually far more complex.

Often, converting a lead involves proving your company’s value to multiple stakeholders. And decision-makers, often executives, are driven by business metrics like value, ROI, and cost savings.

In short, there are many barriers to break through to close a deal. Depending on the complexity of your offering, price, maturity in the market, and various other factors, you could be staring down a long sales funnel.

The question of how to do B2B sales and succeed is a question of sales strategy.

Sales strategy definition

Fortunately, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. There are dozens of B2B sales tips and lead generation techniques that have been proven to work for thousands of sales folks around the world.

The question is simply deciding which B2B sales techniques to put into practice, and how to make them work in your company.

10 B2B sales techniques that will get you results

Here’s an overview of 10 sales techniques in B2B marketing and sales.

list of 10 B2B sales techniques that work

1. Learn about your prospects before making contact

You should know several basic points about your prospects before you reach out and ask for their time. At a minimum, you should know:

  • What their company does
  • Who their customers are
  • What regions they serve
  • The individual prospect’s current role and career history
  • Their key responsibilities

Simple research on the company’s website and LinkedIn should quickly answer these questions. As you start digging, you’ll also want to uncover answers to more complex questions – those that could provide meaningful talking points and help inform how you should position your product or service.

  • What are the company’s top challenges today?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their business goals and threats?
  • What does their current tech stack consist of?
  • What emerging trends in their market offer opportunities?

The answers to these questions will likely be found in different places, such as interviews with company executives, social media posts, industry news and reports, and more. With that in mind, here are four ways to uncover valuable information about your prospects so you’re well-prepared to talk to them.

Subscribe to their email newsletter

By subscribing to your prospects’ email newsletters, you’ll gain a condensed, curated view of the topics, achievements, and updates that are most important to them.

You’ll also learn the vocabulary they use to describe their offering, receive content that highlights their values, and get a sense of who their target customer personas are.

Moreover, reading your prospects’ marketing content will help paint a picture of how they position their product or service in their industry. This will allow you to contextualize how to approach them as a potential customer and determine the right use case.

Read their blog

Most companies’ blog posts focus on two things: the challenges their prospects face, and how their product or service solves pain points.

By reading through some blog posts, you’ll gain a very clear idea of your prospects’ offering and how they provide value to other companies. With this knowledge, you’ll understand what elements of your product or service can be used to empower and support them in this pursuit, and play those up during your outreach.

Mine social media

Who is the person you wish to contact within the prospect company, and are they on Twitter? LinkedIn? Facebook?

More likely than not, you’ll find your leads and prospects on social media. If they post about business-related topics, you can gain a super authentic and personal view of what’s top of mind.

Usually it’s the good news or the scary news that get real estate on social profiles. Both offer a wealth of insight.

Rely on sales intelligence

Sales technology like Similarweb Sales Intelligence is one of the most effective prospecting tools on the market. It makes researching your prospects easy and fast. While it’s always a good practice to check out your prospects’ websites, blogs, and LinkedIn, sales intelligence allows you to dramatically reduce the time and effort required to answer the above questions and uncover great talking points.

Similarweb Sales Intelligence prospecting tool.

Similarweb’s unique website traffic and engagement data provides useful insights on prospects, such as traffic trends and sources, audience demographics, and technologies used to deliver a multi-dimensional look at their digital performance.

You can even set alerts and get notified of certain sales triggers, such as when a prospect enters a new market, increasing digital revenue, expanding to different marketing channels, or increasing marketing spend.

Consult B2B buyer personas

Once you’ve gathered all of the relevant information, compare your findings to your most relevant B2B buyer persona. Buyer personas allow you to more quickly understand the behavioral tendencies and communication preferences of your prospects, so you can tailor your outreach accordingly.

Combined with your unique insights on individual leads, buyer personas empower you to reach out with confidence, and the knowledge of a greater likelihood that you’ll get a response. Buyer personas are powerful additions to your B2B marketing strategy.

2. Address difficult questions

Once you do make contact with prospects and begin to establish a correspondence, difficult questions are sure to arise.

For example, a prospect might ask if your product or service could do something it’s not able to do. Or, they might inquire about a former customer that churned. They might ask for special services or support beyond what you offer, or compare you to a competitor that provides a certain capability you lack.

Don’t panic. It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the best B2B sales techniques is to be honest. Don’t lie about your product’s limitations, or promise additional services your CSMs can’t provide.

Instead, answer difficult questions honestly, and do what you can to turn them into a positive.

For example, you can explain that your product doesn’t currently offer the functionality that a prospect asked about, but mention that you plan to speak to R&D about building it. After all, end-users often generate the most valuable ideas for new features.

If a well-known company ended their contract with you, focus on what did work well, and where that company did benefit from your product. Then, send them case studies that highlight just how much value your company has provided other customers.

And, if difficult questions lead prospects to cut ties, it’s better to scrap a deal earlier in the game than later on, after you’ve already invested significant time and resources nurturing them.

3. Share case studies and customer success stories

Having said that, you don’t need to wait for a prospect to mention a churned customer before you share success stories.

Sharing case studies and customer success stories is a top technique in B2B marketing and sales because it provides concrete examples of the many ways you provide value and help customers achieve their business goals.

Examples of prior customer success also provide social proof. When a prospect sees that other reputable brands – or even a competitor – improved business metrics after becoming your customer, it will be much easier to prove that you can offer them the same.

The key is to share relevant case studies and customer success stories.

Similarweb Sales Intelligence success story.

If your product or service has multiple use cases, first identify which use case is most relevant for your prospect. Then, choose case studies and customer success stories to share with your prospects that focus on that use case.

If you don’t have many case studies available, get in contact with your CSMs and marketing colleagues to start developing them. Like a gift that continues to give, case studies and customer success stories can be used to support a wide range of marketing and sales activities – they’re definitely worth creating.

4. Take a consultative approach

One of the best B2B sales tips is to engage in consultative selling. In this selling approach, you, the salesperson, assume the role of a trusted advisor or consultant. Instead of aggressively pushing your product or focusing on your company, your main objective is to be a source of information and valuable insights for your prospect.

Consultative selling helps your prospects:

  • Simplify their work or make their life easier
  • Make a greater impact or exceed their business goals
  • Better understand the competition and gain an edge
  • Improve their product or service for their customers
  • Improve their reputation, credibility, or standing in their market
  • Foster trust and confidence in an official customer relationship with your company

Consultative selling is a long game technique. Eventually, after you’ve provided prospects with some value, you’ll have demonstrated that you understand the prospect’s pain points, goals, and needs, and can deliver the appropriate solution.

The key to utilizing this B2B sales technique is information. After all, if you don’t have access to meaningful data and insights, it’ll be difficult to offer any value.

Just as we mentioned in the first tip, you must start by getting to know your prospect. Once you understand their perspective, you’ll know what kinds of information would be useful to them.

For example, you could use the Similarweb Insights Generator to identify robust, up-to-date information on a broad range of metrics, such as:

  • How much revenue they stand to gain if they expand to new service areas
  • Which technologies are being used by competitors
  • Bounce rate and possible causes
  • Main drivers of traffic for both the prospect and its competitors
  • Market interest in an emerging trend

Similarweb Insights Generator in action.

With a sales engagement tool that allows you to identify relevant and useful information, you can share it with prospects, along with interesting articles, blog posts, or podcasts, that you believe could offer value.

5. Connect with the head decision-maker

Sometimes, the individual you correspond with in an organization isn’t the person who ultimately has the authority to approve a purchase.

These leads, known as influencers, may be individual contributors within a team, team leads and managers, or would-be end users of your product or service. Although nurturing them is definitely worthwhile, you’ll want to also get in contact with the person who can make purchasing decisions.

There are a few ways you can do this. One way to connect with the head decision-maker is by locating their contact details and reaching out via phone or email. Easy, right?

Another way is to simply ask the lead you’re corresponding with to connect you to the appropriate decision-maker. This is usually the fastest and most effective method because you already have an “in” in the company who, at this point, presumably believes in the value of your product or service.

Moreover, they should know exactly who you should talk to, so you won’t waste time reaching out to the wrong people.

6. Create FOMO

This B2B sales tip comes from the field of behavioral economics. When faced with a decision, people tend to be more driven by loss aversion than they are by potential gains. With this interesting fact in mind, you can be far more persuasive in your pitch by emphasizing what a prospect stands to miss by not doing business with you.

  • How much potential revenue would the prospect be missing out on if they don’t add your product or service to their arsenal?
  • What are the potential impacts of the workforce productivity gains they would be passing up?
  • How much more competitive could the prospect become in their market with the help of your product? How challenging would it be to achieve this without your product?

Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t talk about all of the benefits and advantages your product offers. You should. But at crucial moments – like when your lead is expressing doubts, or the head decision-maker is skeptical – playing up on their sense of loss aversion can help you build their confidence in your company, and increase B2B sales.

7. Focus on ROI instead of price

Deals that come with hefty price tags are sure to make decision-makers pause. For some prospects, cost might be an insurmountable barrier. For others, buyers simply want to be sure that they’ll gain more in benefits than they spend in cash.

When prospects ask about price, a great B2B sales technique is to always reframe the conversation to focus on ROI. Business-minded people understand price as the cost of an investment. If the investment can yield enough benefits, and can be scaled up over time, it’s easier to ease cost-related concerns.

For example, a software that costs a company $500,000 per year, but allows them to double their productivity and triple their revenue is surely worth it.

8. Join relevant LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world, and it’s the place where business influencers are most active – that’s why it’s one of the hottest B2B lead generation tools. LinkedIn groups that focus on certain topics, trends, or companies can be prime real estate for connecting with prospects and cultivating rapport.

The important thing to remember is to be active. Don’t just join a group and be invisible among its thousands of members. If you know your prospects are part of a certain LinkedIn group, interact with the content they share. Like and comment on their posts, and ask questions. Nowadays, LinkedIn is a great place to start a dialogue and foster connections.

You can also take the initiative and post your own content. For example, you can share relevant articles and videos from around the web or even share your company’s own blog posts. Pose a question to the group and ask for feedback, or create a poll. All of these can create engagement and even help position yourself as a knowledgeable resource in a given field.

9. Respond to prospects’ issues or concerns promptly

When a prospect expresses any type of concern or problem, you don’t want to keep them waiting for a response. If they’re having doubts about becoming a customer, a slow response could send the signal that your company isn’t attentive or doesn’t have the means to provide adequate customer support.

Of course, it’s not always possible to drop everything and resolve prospects’ issues – but there’s always time to acknowledge it.

For example, if a prospect sends you a long email outlining several key concerns or tough questions, it’s reasonable to reply, saying, “I’ve received your email and I’m working on answering all of your questions. I’m going to speak with my boss and our customer success managers to give you the most accurate information I can.”

This type of response shows the prospect that you’re on it. Even if it takes a few days to come up with a more comprehensive response, they won’t be wondering why you aren’t answering – or worse, come to their own negative conclusions.

10. Follow up

The final B2B sales technique in this article is a simple but crucial one: follow up.

Only 2% of deals are made after one contact, while 80% are made after five-twelve contacts. That means that by not following up – and following up consistently – it’ll be difficult to convert any customers.

Unfortunately, many salespeople don’t follow this important practice.

In sales, you’re tasked with juggling numerous conversations with different prospects at the same time, all of whom are at different points along the sales nurturing funnel. It’s understandably difficult to keep tabs on everyone, but it’s important to develop a system so you can follow up at the right times.

Put these B2B sales techniques into practice today

The amazing thing about these B2B sales tips is not just that they work – it’s that they’re incredibly easy to put into practice.

Simple tweaks to the way you interact with prospects, such as which points to emphasize, how to answer tough questions, and how to address their concerns, can have a dramatic impact on your sales success.

Other sales techniques, like conducting in-depth prospect research and consultative selling, help position you and your company as a domain expert, and make it easier to build trust. With Similarweb sales intelligence, accessing data and insights that can offer immediate value to your prospects is effortless.

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FAQ

What is a B2B sales technique?

B2B sales techniques are the “how” when it comes to converting leads into paying customers. They include a variety of tactics that are time-tested for attracting, engaging, and nurturing leads until they’re ready to close a deal.

Why is it important to learn B2B sales techniques?

Sales techniques provide structure and guidance to salespeople on how to communicate with prospects, nurture them through the sales funnel, identify sales triggers, and persuade them to become customers.

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