A recent project I had included writing a sales strategy for a company that sold an outsourced business service to larger business clients.
In other words: B2B service sales.
The trick was: their target clients were companies who did not currently have this function in house. Hence their need to buy an outsourced solution.
Many businesses are in this situation. They are selling a service or product to a company that does not currently use that service or product. (As opposed to replacing a service or product).
On the one hand: that indicates a need.
On the other hand: it indicates a lack of need.
After all, if the client felt a need for the service, they would already have it.
Clients who aren’t looking
You will have to educate your clients as to the needs and benefits of using the service. It seems obvious to you, but they have gotten along without it for this long. Why should they start investing in this area now?
The best way to do this is start thinking several steps before the actual sale begins. Your primary interest is in sharing information about the advantageous outcomes of this service or product.
And in B2B sales, where you will be dealing with a decision by committee, it means educating the right people.
Think of your prospects on three levels:
- The Client
- The Buyer
- The End User
This means the organizational client.
Understand the correct industry with a need for your service, and then narrow down by size, geography (if relevant) and general profile. Consider how they work, with whom they partner, etc.
How can you identify businesses that spend resources in your key area?
They buyer is the person in the company who will make the decision. This person tends to either hold the purse strings, or directly influence the person who holds the purse strings.
With Enterprise clients you are selling to a group of people.
Your key influencer may not be the actual financial decision maker, and instead be a strong user who will take responsibility for this function internally. Identify the key driver and build a relationship with that person. Ask a lot of questions about the company’s strategic goals and his/her own responsibilities internally.
The End User
The buyer is usually utilizing your solution (or maintaining the relationship with your agency) for the benefit of their own internal client, the front office.
Know who your buyer is serving, and don’t neglect educating that audience as well. Within a business, each department exists to serve another. Know who your client – The Buyer – is serving.
Is really a misnomer, because it must be about education, rather than sales.
But as pointed out here before: if you do not insert yourself, you are merely advertising the competition.
Speak to all three audiences above, and let them know who it is doing the speaking.
This exercise is part of my Differentiator Training Program – What Makes You Stand Out. To book a 3-part training session, drop me a line.