The B2B sales world has evolved significantly over the years, transitioning from the traditional transactional exchanges to a focus on forming & nurturing long-term relationships. However, with the current developments in technology, and rising competition – B2B businesses need something more.
That being said, around 34% of all salespeople have admitted to actively facing challenges when closing a B2B lead. This is where a proper B2B sales strategy framework helps – enabling businesses to target potential customers more effectively and close better deals.
If you’re a B2B business looking to streamline your pipeline with high-quality, intent-based leads; it’s crucial to follow a B2B sales strategy framework to the ‘T’.
This article explores the stepwise process of fine-tuning your SaaS sales strategy as per the changing consumer demands.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.
What is a B2B Sales Plan?
A B2B sales plan is an action plan that outlines key steps and strategies a business intends to use to sell products or services to other businesses. It’s a roadmap that aligns the sales team’s efforts with the overarching business objectives.
Incorporating such a plan is vital in today’s market because, as found in a study by the Harvard Business Review, companies with a dynamic sales plan & increased brand loyalty grew revenue 2.5 times faster than their peers.
Alternatively, a B2B sales strategy framework is more than a plan; it’s a comprehensive approach that aligns marketing, sales, and product development with the unique needs of B2B buyers, with a particular focus on relationship-building.
By bringing them together, you can effortlessly align the goals for both marketing and sales departments at your organization.
Crafting a B2B Sales Strategy Framework: A 5-Step Process
A solid B2B sales strategy framework is the backbone of any successful SaaS sales operation. When used properly, it facilitates the creation of consistent demand and contributes to a thriving revenue stream.
Here’s a five-step guide to developing a formidable framework:
Step 1: Build an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Your business isn’t selling to just anyone – it’s extremely important to know who your target customer is, and what their preferences are, if you’re serious about building a long-term, sustainable business for yourself.
This is where an ‘Ideal Customer Profile’ (ICP) comes into play. A proper ICP helps sales teams identify accounts which are the right fit for your business.
You can start by asking the following questions:
– What are the current demographics of your ideal customer? (age, location, industry, level of seniority etc.)
– What are the challenges & pain points they’re looking to solve?
– How can your product or service help them solve those pain points?
– What does the buying cycle look like for my ICP?
– Who are the stakeholders involved?
Step 2: Define your USP & Perform Market Research
Once you’ve clearly defined your ICP, the next step in your B2B sales strategy framework is to conduct in-depth market research. This helps you gain a clear understanding of your industry and the competitor’s strategies.
This will help you identify the gap in your own strategy and develop a unique USP.
To get started, you need to ask the following questions:
– Who are my competitors?
– How competitive is the market?
– In total, how many competitors are there offering something similar to you?
– What is the USP of your competitors?
– What segment of customers are they targeting within your ICP?
– What’s the growth potential of your industry?
– How scalable is the business when operating in your specific market?
Once you’ve got enough information about your competitors, you can use this information to craft a unique selling proposition (USP) for your product or service.
Based on this, you can then decide how you want the market to perceive it and focus on the specific benefits being offered.
Step 3: Create a Market-Driven Sales Process
Having a tailored sales process is the most important aspect of any B2B sales strategy framework. It’s important for sales teams to document the steps an SDR needs to follow to convert a lead into a customer.
A well-defined B2B sales process usually includes the following:
– Figuring out the right set of prospects
– Reaching out to these prospects
– Nurturing strategy
– Proper market research
– Well-defined USP & sales pitch
– Detailed objection handling strategy
– Strategies & tactics for losing the deal
If you’re keen to dive deeper, do check out our stepwise guide to crafting your own outbound sales strategy from scratch.
Step 4: Map the Lead to Customer Conversion Process
Mapping the lead to customer conversion process is a critical component of any sales strategy because it provides a blueprint of the customer’s journey from initial awareness to the final purchase.
Doing this also helps sales teams repurpose the same template over and over, creating a repeatable process.
That being said, the customer conversion map will include the following:
– The targeted business challenge/problem statement
– The ICP you’re looking to target
– The awareness stage
The process involves detailing every point of interaction or engagement with a lead, such as marketing touchpoints, sales calls, follow-ups, and product demonstrations.
For each problem identified, the SDR has to guide the prospect towards a solution.
Here’s how they can do this:
– Start validating the given business challenge & identifying pain points
– Identify a solution & possible approaches to do so
– Map each pain point to an ideal solution
– Perform value analysis to understand the long-term impact of the solution
– Collecting & presenting proof to prospects when showcasing social proof
Once you’ve done this, you should be good to move onto the next step.
By mapping the entire lead to customer conversion, you’re making sure their pain points are being addressed, thereby increasing the chances of conversion.
Step 5: Craft a Repeatable Framework for Coaching Sales Teams
Consistency leads to predictability, which is crucial for scaling sales operations. According to Harvard Business Review, businesses with a standardized sales process experience a 28% increase in revenue compared to those who don’t.
This is exactly why having a repeatable process is crucial – since it helps you fine-tune your B2B sales strategy framework. Sales teams should also engage in regular upskilling & training, since it helps them:
– Learn new strategies
– Improve their skills
– Close more deals
Doing so also helps them personalize their sales approach, a skill set that’s crucial to crafting a proper B2B sales strategy framework.
Why Do You Need a B2B Sales Strategy Framework?
As is clear, without a coherent B2B sales strategy framework, sales teams might find themselves working hard, but not necessarily smart.
A well-defined B2B sales strategy framework offers numerous benefits, including:
- Clarity and Focus: A robust B2B sales strategy framework imparts a clear structure for achieving sales objectives, much like a roadmap. This clarity is crucial for sales teams to concentrate on their goals without being sidetracked.
In addition, a clear B2B sales strategy also aids your lead research process – helping you identify the exact type of leads who fit into your ICP & are more likely to buy from you.
- Alignment: Alignment between sales efforts and the overall business strategy is integral to organizational success. A B2B sales strategy framework that is in harmony with the company’s vision facilitates a more cohesive approach to market penetration and customer engagement.
As reported by the Sales Benchmark Index, companies with aligned sales and marketing teams achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth.
This synergy ensures that sales initiatives complement broader business goals, such as entering new markets or promoting specific product lines.
- Consistency: Consistency in sales processes and practices is fundamental for scalability and predictability. When a sales team adheres to a consistent B2B sales strategy framework, their actions become measurable and, thus, improvable.
By doing this, sales managers can also identify high-performing strategies that scale & offer them enhanced results.
- Efficiency: Greater efficiency within the sales process is often a direct consequence of a streamlined B2B sales strategy framework. It enables the identification and elimination of redundancies and bottlenecks, leading to a leaner, more agile sales operation.
McKinsey research suggests that companies that streamline their customer journey can see a 10-15% increase in revenue and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction.
By trimming the unwanted bits and focusing on the important parts, companies can drive faster conversions and a higher rate of customer acquisition.
- Measuring Success: Without a framework, it’s challenging to measure success accurately. A B2B sales strategy framework establishes clear KPIs that reflect the organization’s objectives.
According to CSO Insights, companies with dynamic, adaptable sales processes report 15% more sales revenue than those with static processes.
These KPIs serve as milestones and guideposts, offering real-time feedback on the effectiveness of sales strategies and allowing for rapid, data-driven adjustments to enhance performance.
5 Common B2B Sales Strategy Examples
Once you’ve created your B2B sales strategy framework, it’s time to implement them in your own sales process.
Here are some common examples of B2B sales strategies for 2023 based on the framework:
Account-based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to B2B marketing in which sales and marketing teams collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually identified set of high-value accounts.
As per ITSMA, nearly 85% of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments. This high efficacy rate stems from ABM’s precision targeting, where resources are focused on a smaller number of accounts with the highest potential for revenue.
Social selling leverages social media platforms to interact directly with prospects by providing value through thoughtful content and answering questions until the prospect is ready to buy.
In today’s age, buyers are increasingly self-directed; Forrester Research indicates that B2B buyers go through 70-90% of the buyer journey before contacting a sales representative.
Social selling through platforms like LinkedIn allows you to meet buyers exactly where they are in their journey, helping you build relationships early on.
That being said, the key to success in social selling is consistency and providing genuine value, establishing the seller as a trusted advisor rather than just another salesperson.
Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively. The foundation of sales enablement is to ensure that salespeople are equipped to have valuable conversations with the right set of stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle.
These tools empower sales reps by streamlining access to content and information, thereby reducing the sales cycle and increasing the conversion rates.
Strategic partnerships in B2B sales involve aligning with other businesses that offer complementary products or services to expand market reach and capitalize on joint capabilities.
Such collaborations can open up new customer bases, enhance product offerings, and share the burdens of marketing and sales efforts.
This strategy works because it leverages the strength of each party, thereby allowing for pooled resources & shared risk – potentially increasing sales without the associated sales & marketing costs.
Drip Nurturing Campaigns
Drip nurturing campaigns are one of the most popular B2B sales strategies for 2023. It is a form of automated communication where a set of hyper-targeted messages and content are sent to prospective leads to move them further in the sales funnel.
In contrast to single-shot sales tactics, drip campaigns focus on delivering the right information at the right time, based on the lead’s actions and stage in the sales cycle.
Top 5 B2B Sales Strategy Templates
In order to effectively create a B2B sales strategy, you need to leverage B2B sales strategy templates. These templates not only save time, but can also help you streamline your B2B sales strategy framework down to the ‘T’.
Here are our 5 recommendations:
This set of B2B sales strategy templates by Nutshell CRM is a helpful resource for sales teams across major B2B sales functions – be it outbound sales, ABM or even inbound and relationship-based selling.
The 28-page, downloadable PDF resource covers a variety of sales models, which can help you document your entire sales process, evaluate and refine them and even track them when you want.
Organizing the sales strategies and goals in a single place is one of the key use cases for any B2B sales strategy template. It allows you to keep track of what needs to be done, and the targets you’ve set.
The sample B2B sales strategy templates are 9 pages long, and give you a readymade resource to start planning your sales function.
One of the standout features here is the ‘Goals’ section, which further divides into more specific sections such as demand generation, measurement, evaluation and implementation.
When used well, these templates are a great starting point to create a solid B2B sales strategy framework for your SaaS.
The 5-page sales plan template offered by ReferralRock is a great stepping stone for crafting a B2B sales strategy framework for your sales team. The downloadable sales strategy template is easy-to-access, and covers areas like ‘Market Positioning/Industry’, ‘Challenges’, ‘Finances’ and so on.
You don’t have to fill out endless online forms or give your email to the company, as they make the template readily available on their website itself.
The 32 sales plan templates by TemplateLab are an extremely useful resource for sales teams, since they give you a bunch of options, right from a chart-based sales plan to a text-based one.
You can not only use it to track your monthly sales targets, but also to track leads and devise a workable roadmap for training other sales reps – as and when they come.
Unlike enterprise-level businesses, small businesses don’t usually have fully-stacked sales teams – with the founder and employees often taking up multiple roles. As a result, it’s important for them to establish a strong sales strategy to grow their business to the next level.
The collection of B2B sales strategy templates by FitSmallBusiness is an ideal solution – with their templates (made in MS Word, Google Docs etc.) offering a great headstart for SMB sales functions.
If you’re a SMB owner, we definitely recommend using their samples for your business.
Give Your B2B Sales Strategy Framework A Boost With Personalized, Scalable Cold Outreach
Once a formidable B2B sales strategy framework is established, you can channel outbound efforts with precision. You can not only get a hang of who to target, but can use those insights to align both of your sales and marketing efforts.
You can also use it to create tailored cold outreach campaigns. Doing this allows you to save time, create better sales enablement assets and even reach the right decision-maker with the right message.
Once you have your B2B sales strategy framework dialed in, you can either do it yourself, or trust an expert to handhold you through this process.
This is exactly where Cleverviral’s cold outreach solutions help – enabling you to create campaigns aligned with your B2B sales strategy.
Our campaigns are personalized to resonate and compel action, which helps you turn cold leads into warm conversations right inside the prospect’s inbox.
(P.S. – If you’re looking for a growth partner to implement your B2B sales strategy framework in your cold outreach campaigns at scale (and grow your business), feel free to drop us a line at [email protected] & we’ll get in touch with you at the earliest.)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you develop a B2B sales strategy?
Developing a B2B sales strategy involves identifying your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), understanding the unique challenges and pain points of these customers, and tailoring your sales process to address their specific needs.
It requires aligning your sales objectives with your overall business goals, leveraging data-driven insights to refine your approach, and ensuring your sales team is equipped with the right tools and training to execute the strategy effectively.
Why do you need a B2B sales strategy framework?
B2B companies have to adopt a customer-first approach so as to create highly-personalized, intuitive buying journeys that attract, inform, convert and retain customers.
What are the 4 most common B2B sales strategies?
Some of the most common B2B sales strategies for 2023 are as follows:
– Account-based marketing (ABM)
– Inbound Sales
– Strategic partnerships
– Social selling