Closing sales in the Q4 is notoriously difficult. The pipeline is often going dry and targets can be adding pressure to closing those last few tricky deals. So how do you attract new leads and secure business in the Q4 when most agents are ready to secure the year’s work and start looking towards the next year?
Increasing your B2B sales isn’t as difficult as you might think, if you use the right strategies.
10 Ways to Increase B2B Sales
Leverage Social Selling
Even in the world of B2B, people research products and brands using social media.
- Seventy-seven percent of people will choose a brand over a competitor after a positive social media experience.
- Fifty-four percent of social media users research products on different platforms.
- Seventy-one percent of users will make a purchase based on social media referrals.
Social selling is the term for people finding and purchasing using social media as a primary tool.
Whenever a social media user shares a link to a product or likes content or in any other way endorses a business or brand in social media channels, they are providing value and social selling. Social selling is a great way to use networking to soft sell on your behalf. People endorsing your business on social media is the same as giving a customer review. The established relationships between social media users mean that you are given a warm introduction. Leveraging these relationships is an easy way to secure connections.
Using Your Leverage
- Social proof is a driving factor for online purchases. Develop a clear know, like, and trust factor with your audience to prove you’re the best.
- Share the results people can expect using your products, especially transformations. People want to know how your product or service can change their business.
- Use content marketing to position your brand as the industry expert. Use your content to answer questions and guide leads down your marketing funnel.
- Engage with your audience by responding to comments, tweets, and DMs.
Support Your Sales Team
Your sales team needs to stay focused and on task to secure leads and close sales. The best way you can prepare your sales team is with training and incentives. Your team needs to know that they are trusted, valued, and respected.
You also need to ensure that your sales team has the tools that they need to close deals. They need to have the software, information, and training to support their work, as well as the figures and any new information that might influence the position of the person. Your sales rep needs to be trusted by your potential partners, so they need the information that makes them an expert in your business, products, and or services.
Make sure your sales training includes:
- Scripts so sales reps always know the answers and can be consistent.
- Strategies for finding leads and moving each one along the buyer’s journey.
Cash in on the Holidays
Many businesses are looking to spend money at the end of the year. They might have surplus petty cash or other funds that are better spent than returned to ‘head office’. As a B2B provider, you can help cleats divest themselves of this added burden by engaging with leads and offering them irresistible holiday deals.
- Take advantage of expiring bonuses, such as sales for holidays and end-of-year budgets.
- Add free offers, like shipping or free use of services for a limited-term, to sweeten a deal.
- Create exclusive offers by bundling new products or services for the holiday season. Add a sense of urgency by limiting the offer to the holiday period.
Ask Existing Clients for Referrals
You need to ask clients to give you testimonials, refer your services or products and share their experiences of working with you because people trust their peers more than your marketing and advertising.
Recommendations come with trust already established. It eases the pressure of cold pitching on your behalf. Through networks and referrals, you have an established base with contacts who are often harder to reach in B2B circles. It’s the original influencer marketing. However, businesses who choose to elevate the power of influencers on social media will also see effects in B2B because of how close such circles tend to be.
Don’t Neglect Cold Calling or Emailing
Your sales team should have a list of potential clients that they have neglected to contact through the year, or who have not been contacted in your segmentation lists. Now is the time to recess the Rolodex and start contacting outside leads.
Use Paid Ads to Increase Leads
Paid ads are a wise investment if you do it right. Using keywords spreads your brand to a larger audience around the world, and operates 24/7. Simply having a Google AdWords account can:
- Improve your ROI rate by 200 percent.
- Increase brand awareness by 80 percent.
- Yield 50 percent more conversions than organic advertising with PPC.
SEM is the most lucrative of the choices of paid advertising when using social media, and LinkedIn remains the best channel for B2B advertising.
Create a List of Potential Clients
Knowing who you want to target is part of your basic marketing strategy at any time. You should revise this targeting for the end-of-year period and refine it to those clients who show true potential to respond in the final quarter.
Knowing the basics of your preferred customer is the best way to find your target.
- How many employees does your preferred client have?
- How much annual revenue does the business generate?
- What problem do they have that only you can solve?
Knowing the answers to these questions is always vital to your sales strategy, but in the Q4, reassessing the details can help you narrow your focus and really boost sales for the year.
Develop a Strong Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and professional marketing tools your business can utilize. Your sales team should be using email to connect with leads and help guide them through the funnel at pain points. During the final quarter, your email strategy can be amped up to really secure those leads that have been floating around, but not making decisions.
Emails are more personal and social media, and it gives you a space to share far more information on a private platform. This adds the feeling of security and personalization for your B2B clients, who are often wanting to keep details of their shopping for a provider quiet.
To secure your email leads, consider what you can offer potential leads that you might not offer so freely on other platforms, such as:
- White papers
- Industry reports
Prioritize Video Content
Video marketing is applicable to your B2B market. Sales teams who see that closing on a B2B client is similar in many ways to closing on a B2C client are more likely to succeed than those who separate the human from the transaction. If your product or service can be shown, the best way to connect is with a demo video that is concise and to the point.
- Viewers retain 95 percent of a video message.
- Online shoppers are 1.8x more likely to convert after watching a demo video.
- Seventy-eight percent of marketers say video content increases sales.
- Video increases site traffic and dwell time on pages.
Competing platforms can make it difficult to know where to post your B2B content, but stick with what is already working. Use the platforms that are successful for your marketing such as LinkedIn, and be certain to post anything to your own website as well. Use the correct tags, links and micro descriptors and traffic will start to connect your B2B with an easy-to-access message.
Use Case Studies to Increase B2B Sales
Case studies help to prove the value of your product or service to a very difficult customer. As a B2B seller, it is important that you can prove to leads why your brand is the best choice to answer their questions, and case studies help add to the value of your product or service.
About 80 percent of people trust friends or family over a business, and therefore a case study provides an independent view of your business and how it has worked in the ‘real’ world.
This social proof can often lead to closing sales, which in the Q4 means using all the leverage you have at your disposal.
Increase B2B Sales Conclusion
While many of the strategies that you can use in the Q4 to close a deal are used throughout the year, it is important to remember that as the year draws to a close, people are often tired, frustrated, and ready for a break, so your brand giving a big push to prove your value to customers during this time can often close deals.