Forging your winning B2B sales offer is not that difficult task if you know what are the pitfalls. You need to focus on few key areas when your customer asked you to craft and offer for their business.
A well-written business proposal can often mean the difference between winning or losing a prospective client. And in today’s tough times, with contracts dwindling, it’s more important than ever to have a standout proposal.
But, what are business proposals? How do you make them? What do you include in a winning B2B sales offer? How long should a business proposal be?
We answer all of these questions and more in this in-depth guide to creating business proposals that will help you close more deals!
Now it is time to think about how your business operates. Is this your ideal buyer. How they arrived at your door steps and many more.
There are 5 areas you need to focus when building your sales offer:
- Identify Your Customer – Where Did They Come From
- Understand Your Buyer Needs
- Communicate Clearly How You Can Help Customer
- Follow Up
Identify Your Customer – Where Did They Come from?
When forming your B2B sales offer you should adjust the offering strategy according to how the lead arrived at your lead list. Each of them will have a slight different place in the sales process. All of them will require the following sales process and selecting the proper sales methodology. No matter which you will follow (SPIN, N.E.A.T., Conceptual, SNAP, The Challenger, The Sandler System, MEDDIC or Solution Selling). All of them require additional steps to identify if this is the right moment to place YOUR offer. Not any offer – but yours. Unlike a sales process, a selling methodology usually doesn’t apply to the entire sales cycle. It’s usually relevant to one specific part — qualification, discovery, demo, and so on. So you will have to use one to move to the next stage. Use our Appropriate Person cheat sheet.
But how the lead arrives at your doorstep does influence your sales process.
I have defined 3 ways your leads arrive at your lead list:
- Referenced Lead – one of your customers referred the lead directly to you.
- Inbound Lead – Your marketing team efforts brought this lead at your door steps.
- Outbound Lead – active outreach made by your team.
Usually leads that are pouched by your BDR’s are the most suitable candidates. That means they will match your customer persona and a target persona. Referred leads are really well warmed up. This means you will not have to spend a lot of time on establishing trust (You already gained their authority). Inbound leads come in volumes but their quality often leaves something to be desired.
Your leads behaviour also does match their short term gain a quick win.
They want to jump on board really quickly, they want to see the results really quickly. Customers like that already already know what kind of quality you bring to the table.
They want to know more about your company and your pricing lists. What is your product value propositions and how in general your business can help theirs. There will be few additional stages before you can create the winning offer. You will have to also define if this is the right customer for your business.
They are my personal favourites. You and your team will spend a lot of time on bringing them to your doorsteps. But I must ensure you – it is worth it! This type of customer knows you and your business. This customer is also matching your target persona. That means their size, potential and the person you are talking to are the right fit!
You need to take into consideration which channel they have arrived. Based on that you need to select the best way to showcase your business proposition.
Understand Your Buyer Needs
When building your winning B2B sales offer take into consideration that customer needs can be broken out into many different varieties and categories. For example, a customer might need a solution that has specific functionality, falls within a set budget, or provides a certain level of reliability.
According to Harvard Business School all customer needs can be categorised into three main types: functional, social, and emotional needs. More on value proposition in this video.
1. B2B Sales Offer – Functional Needs
Functional needs are the most tangible and obvious of the three main types of customer needs. Customers typically evaluate potential solutions based on whether they’ll help them achieve a particular task or function. The product or service that best addresses their functional need is likely to be the one they purchase, or hire.
Functional needs can be broad or extremely specific, depending on the customer’s buying criteria.
For example, a customer who’s planting a garden for the first time might say, “I need a garden hose.” Meanwhile, an experienced gardener might tailor their criteria by saying, “I need a hose that’s long enough to reach my vegetable garden from my backyard spigot.” Another customer who’s dealt with the frustration of using a low-quality product might tailor their need differently by saying, “I need a high-quality garden hose that won’t tear or kink from regular use.”
With this kind of insight into customers’ functional needs, a company that manufactures garden hoses might develop new products, such as hoses that come in a range of lengths and don’t kink.
2. B2B Sales Offer – Social Needs
A social need is a customer need that relates to how a person wants to be perceived by others when using a product or service. While social needs aren’t typically a customer’s primary concern when considering a purchase, they can influence their final decision.
Social needs are often more difficult for a company to identify, and vary substantially from customer to customer. By understanding various social needs, you can look for patterns among your users. If enough of your customers share a particular need, consider how it can inform your product development, sales, and marketing processes.
Returning to the garden hose example, imagine the customer is a member of a gardening association. Members of this association have an affinity for high-tech gardening tools and regularly discuss new products they’ve tried. The customer may decide, either consciously or unconsciously, to purchase a hose with advanced features—for example, one that connects to a smart water controller—to bond with other association members.
If, on the other hand, the customer is an environmentalist who’s active in various communities, they might be more concerned about whether a hose is made from sustainable materials that their fellow environmentalists use.
3. B2B Sales Offer – Emotional Needs
Emotional needs are similar to social needs in that they’re typically secondary to functional needs. Whereas social needs refer to how a customer wants to be perceived by others when using a product, emotional needs refer to how a customer wants to feel.
Returning once more to the garden hose example, consider the reasons why the customer gardens. If they find gardening to be a relaxing hobby, they may be more likely to choose a basic hose over a high-tech option. Alternatively, if gardening triggers memories of the customer’s grandparents, they might opt for a brand that evokes that nostalgia.
While emotional needs can be difficult to pinpoint, companies that identify those of their customers can use the information to tailor and optimize their product messaging.
Communicate Clearly How You Can Help Customer
The key to almost all sales processes is to understand that your priority isn’t selling — it’s solving. The point of the whole process is to understand a specific situation for an individual customer and offer a fitting solution. If you can do that, a solid relationship should follow. But, simply building that relationship can’t be your main priority.
While crafting your B2B sales offer focus on how your product is used and what specific problems it can consistently solve. It’s less about the product’s features and more about what day-to-day use of it looks like. That kind of approach is tailored towards the people that can make vendor selections and free up funds for a full company as opposed to individual users who might be more interested in fancy bells and whistles.
Your pitch needs to revolve around how using the product you’re selling will help achieve your prospect goals. Instead of discussing a product’s features and assuming your potential customer will figure out how to apply them on their own, show what the product can do and demonstrate how it can solve their specific problems.
While creating a winning B2B sales offer focus on economic impact. Don’t simply present your solution’s ROI — help the buyer understand the economic impact they’re currently on track to realise versus the impact they’ll see if they make a change. Cover authority. You probably won’t get to speak with the CxO, but can your champion speak to the CxO on your behalf. Do not underestimate timeline. It can make or break your sales process. If there aren’t negative consequences to missing that specified date, it’s not a true deadline.
Your leads often don’t reply to the initial messages or your B2B sales offer that you send them but that doesn’t make them a lost cause. Leads can go dark for a variety of reasons. Maybe you caught them at a bad time, maybe they’re out on vacation or sick, maybe they saw your message but forgot to reply, or maybe they just have a huge workload which is keeping them from getting back to you. It’s also entirely possible that they’re actually not interested but even then, you can turn the situation around with a great follow-up. So don’t be afraid of the silence and give up too soon. Check out the video on following up with your leads.
I always follow up with prospects – and many, many times – and that practice alone has made me more successful than 90% of my competition.
Here Are A Few Other Shocking Sales Statistics:
- 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect
- 25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop
- 12% of salespeople only make three contacts and stop
- ONLY 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% of sales are made on the second contact
- 5% of sales are made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
The fundamental reason for every B2B sales offer is simple — the customer has a problem. Your job, as a salesperson, is to empower them in their effort to solve it. You’re not selling a product so much as you’re selling a solution. Your priority should be to show how your product fits that solution — not how awesome your product happens to be in general. You’re selling to them for them. Be sure to keep that in mind.
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