This is a guest post from Eric Raszewski, Account Director at Sawdust Creative Agency.
I’ve spent the better part of my sales career looking to connect and sell to other businesses.
In most cases, those conversations are with an owner, founder, or C-suite executive. In my mind, there was always a different ‘business’ language used in B2B sales and marketing that could not (and should not) be used for B2C. I thought that the way B2C handles sales should not be used by the B2B sales crowd.
I was wrong, plain and simple.
Here are three lessons I learned from the B2C world that can help a B2B sales professional sell more today.
Test your messaging, then test again and again
Unlike the largely automated world of B2C sales and marketing, B2B sales professionals tend to be very stagnant in their approach.
Think about the standard B2B approach for the majority of companies currently. There is some version of a cold email campaign that has sprinkles of cold calling within it (or vice versa).
Even with more innovative approaches, like social selling, sales reps are simply running 12-13 touchpoint campaigns and hoping that their leadership and marketing teams maintain consistent messaging.
But we’re able to do much more, these days.
Sales reps should think of their outbound approach as a constant series of testing aimed at finding the best result.
By creating two or three different campaigns, sales reps can easily track which one is performing the best.
In the B2C world, once the best ad placement has been identified through testing, the company will then pour their marketing budget into the ad that should net them the best results. This is when the game of CAC starts to come into play.
Why should that mentality be any different for B2B? Instead of pouring money on ads like their B2C counterparts, money and time should be invested in the best outreach approaches based on actual data.
Take advantage of social selling with a personal brand
In the world of B2C sales, influencer marketing has become one of the staples for widespread adoption of a product.
The idea is simple: the company uses the influence of someone with a personal brand to push that product to a particular demographic.
So why not do this in the B2B space?
If you have spent even 10 minutes on LinkedIn over the past year, you have seen these ‘influencers’ working in the B2B space. They have created large followings of business professionals who get value from their posts.
This is distinct from thought leadership — social selling is open to anyone and everyone. The role of a B2B influencer on Linkedin ranges from founders all the way ‘down’ to SDRs. I have seen both roles create large followings. In the same amount of time it would take to make 20 cold calls, that same rep could have 10,000 sets of eyes on that same message.
The B2C world has always been fixated on getting as many eyes on their product offering as possible. A B2B sales professional can think of Linkedin as their own personal landing page, billboard, and magazine ad. Sounds like a ‘work smarter, not harder’ scenario to me.
Use segmentation like a B2C ad
The average B2B sales rep will usually start prospecting with simple filters: business type, city, and title.
Then he or she will start the campaign and just hope for the best. I know a few B2B pros who have gone deeper on their filters — but not many.
First things, first: change the framework for creating your targeted list.
In contrast, B2C marketers will look at every data point and metric they can get their hands on.
What are the buyers interests, lifestyle, age, gender, geographic location, demographic, psychographic, and behavior?
While these data sets are harder to get from a smaller sample size, that data still exists. Take time as a rep or with your team to look at every current customer and find data points that tie them together.
What types of customers do you have? What can you learn from your current customer base using data?
Remember that time equals money — and you can transfer the amount of time you spend on unqualified leads to time spent crafting highly targeted lead lists. Spend time to segment a list properly first. The more time you can spend on that process, the higher likelihood your time spent on the outbound approach will be worth it.
Gone are the sales days of sitting down and dialing until your fingers bleed and eyes bulge. Sales teams are becoming smarter, more intuitive, data driven, and more calculated. It is time for you to get outside your comfort zone and experiment with one (or all) of the ideas above.
What’s stopping you?
Eric Raszewski is the Account Director at Sawdust Creative Agency where he sources clientele through outreach. Eric has excelled in outbound sales positions. He became the first ever Sales Manager of Evergreen (FKA TapHunter) and built the team’s first full SDR team. Eric was instrumental in increasing HempMeds revenue by over 50% from 2017-2018. Eric also was Head of Sales at Nutralife Wellness where he lead the company to its first million in revenue through all cold outreach. Eric is a former United States Marine where he was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Service Medal before he honorably discharged in 2012.