How to sell to large companies: 16 tips. Part 2

Original author: Tim Nguyen
  • Transfer
In the United States, about 6 million small companies are registered, each selling an average of $ 1.6 million per year. There are only 11 thousand large companies, and the average sales volume of each of them is $ 2.7 billion a year. Obviously, selling to large companies is clearly more profitable. But how to find an approach to them? We at Alconost continue to translate Tim Nguyen’s article about this (read here for a start)

) At one time, Nguyen started from the beginnings, being the one and only sales manager in a startup. He hired and supervised the heads of the “sales” department, and controlled sales with the help of only monthly reports. Now, being the CEO and co-founder of his own company, he shares his experience and tells how you can apply it to your business.

9. Use email newsletters

Nowadays, email newsletters are still relevant, remaining one of the best methods for attracting the target audience in the development of their own business. If you do not have your own database of email addresses, you can buy it, for example, from companies operating in your industry. You will have to pay a certain amount, but you will be sure that it is those people with whom you need to make contact who will make decisions who will make decisions.

We will not go into the details of the organization of the email newsletter, but we will note several important principles, the effectiveness of which I can confirm based on personal experience. Here you can read a great article about email campaigns in the B2B sector.

Refrain from the standard description of your product and its features. Instead, use the principle of a direct approach, in which you identify a company’s problem and immediately propose a solution. Contact a potential customer to solve the problem and make sure that the buyer can easily contact you. Enter a phone number or offer a simple contact form.

Another approach is to do regular newsletters with the latest news and industry data. This will help you convince users that you are a specialist in your field who can solve their problems and give the expected result. If potential buyers learn something new from your materials, they will perceive your company as a way to solve their problems.

10. Use cold calls and emails

I'm ready to bet that you have arguments against using these methods, but let me say this: it still works! You should not waste time on this if you make sales of $ 100 per month. But when the transaction amount can reach tens of thousands or millions of dollars a year, this old way cannot be ignored.

Do not get me wrong: I strongly believe in the power of inbound marketing, I’m just trying to convey that cold calls are still effective and therefore deserve your attention.

While all of your competitors, and indeed the whole world, are focused on inbound marketing methods, you will be one of the few who still make “cold calling”. But after all, the one who first tries to establish business relations with the company is always the most likely to make a deal. Add to this a consultative approach, and you will be ahead of the whole planet!

But first do the “homework”, do the research. Examine the client’s problem, find out how they solve it now. Think about how your product will help them achieve their goals, and how to implement your decision. For example, before making a “cold call” or sending a similar email message, I already understand how the current system of the company works. Therefore, when drawing up a business proposal, I try to direct all my efforts to explain to the client how I can solve their problem and what it will take to implement the proposed solution in their current infrastructure.

Here's a great article on cold calls and emails.

11. Publish a newsletter

The newsletter, or “white paper”, is a reliable way to present your product, demonstrate industry knowledge and tell you about individual cases in which you have already helped your customers. This document helps you gain customer confidence and increase their quantity.

Imagine that the “white paper” is an exorbitantly developed blog, a kind of accelerated resource. Usually this is an influential collection of information of a somewhat technical nature, supported by the results of various studies and analysis of specific situations. The newsletter should not call for the purchase of your product. You should make sure that this document helps readers identify their own problems and indicate a way to solve them.

Who will read your white paper? Many companies hire a person whose responsibilities include market analysis, finding new channels and solutions, presenting a product, and making recommendations for a team or senior manager. Therefore, be prepared for the fact that ordinary employees will read your “white papers”, but it is the latter who can tell many of their colleagues from the right company about your business.

Here you can find good examples of successful white papers.

12. Advertise on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Advertising is a great promotional channel for B2B companies. One of the benefits of selling services to businesses is the availability of demographic information for your target group. Use LinkedIn to target your region, company, job title, and group.

When it comes to the cost of acquiring customers in different sales cycles (from 6 to 24 months), LinkedIn can be called a budget solution. If the hundreds and even thousands of dollars spent on attracting potential buyers will ultimately bring you big profits, then you have a good return on investment (ROI).

The LinkedIn platform has powerful tools for collecting and analyzing data that will allow you to experiment with a promotional campaign and achieve the effectiveness of your messages and calls to action (call-to-action). There is no other course of events - LinkedIn will disable your campaign if it does not reach the minimum conversion threshold. Logical, right? What is the point for the largest business network to show your brand on your pages if it does not generate revenue?

13. Hire Sales

Be sure to hire sales agents! In this way, you will benefit from the huge list of contacts that they have developed over the years, and many doors will open to you much faster.

Make sure you understand the difference between a seeker and a getter .

The finder is one who can find the right company and turn it into a partner. It is they who shake hands with potential clients and drink champagne with them during business meetings. Almost from birth, they belong to a special group of people with special ties. Searchers usually ask for a ton of money, and it’s hard to manage. Attentiveness to details, to put it mildly, cannot be attributed to their strengths, so they need to provide proper support.

Miner(miner) is the antipode of the seeker; he knows how to “develop” the resources of existing customers and advertising campaigns. Usually they make excellent domestic sales specialists and personal managers. They build close relationships with customers brick by brick on the basis of daily communication. Unlike searchers, miners are more “tech savvy” and focused on the study of details.

Develop a wise strategy for collaboration between seekers and miners, and you get an amazing win-win combination.

14. Look for a miracle worker

The best managers usually do not need to look for a new job, but if you find one, then you are in luck - use this chance! If the "wizard" you are interested in is busy, hire a "bounty hunter", let him prepare a really good offer for the "sales".

Remember that you cannot lure real top managers with money alone, they have already earned a bunch of banknotes. It is necessary to help them in their further development. Define their personal and professional goals and try to contribute in every way to making them come true. It can be anything, from the purchase of a share of a company’s capital or even the need to own a business through the purchase of shares, ending with new responsibilities or finding the right balance between work and personal life .

15. Buy a competitor or work with him

Remember tip 3 from the previous part about the need to be a link? You also need to connect with competitors.

There are two scenarios that you should strive for: partnership or the acquisition of a competing company.
For example, you sell a separate software platform that perfectly serves a small number of customers without complex integration into the company's global system. At the same time, your competitor, with whom you are well acquainted, focuses on the implementation of such a solution for medium-sized businesses, but in this case, the implementation of the program in the infrastructure of the enterprise is required. Bingo! You have a great opportunity to help each other.

Regarding the purchase of the company, the main problem arises when you realize that you do not have enough money or the ability to attract additional investment to complete the transaction. What then? In fact, everything is simple! Be creative.

Working in my last company at the moment, I participated in a transaction to acquire two enterprises, and we did this without paying any initial amount. Everything turned out thanks to a creative approach to payroll using premiums for sales, various bonuses and a labor agreement with a "golden parachute", according to which the employee is paid a large monetary compensation in case of dismissal. I also advised the company to pay a small amount in cash, in addition to the already agreed dividend payments. Since the purchase of competitors, my company has done this eight times, eventually reaching a payout ratio of one million dollars per month.

Such a chance does not fall from heaven like manna from heaven. To deserve it, you need to constantly develop close relationships with competitors, and if you succeed in this, sooner or later the moment will come when your rivals themselves will ask you for help - for example, if you are on the verge of bankruptcy.

16. Prepare a response to the request for proposal

Request for proposals (RFP) is a special document that is published by an enterprise in order to request current prices from potential sellers. In fact, this is an advertising offer of the company to organize a sale of services for them. You, as a seller, must draw up a formal package of documents (and it will be quite rather big) according to the preferences of the customer.

I highly recommend compiling a standard RFP package in advance and updating it every quarter. As a result, when you receive the next request for proposal, you can easily change the existing version, bringing it in line with the requirements of the customer.

The entire RFP submission process is aimed at creating a single structure that sellers use when drawing up official packages, and then demonstrate transparency in the decision-making process. Requests for proposals usually come from the government. Representatives of large and corporate sectors also send RFP requests to a greater or lesser extent, with the only difference being that they do not have to publicly announce the project.

Your contacts and contacts in the industry will help you to open the right doors and be one of the first to find out about the new opportunities that a new request from the company presents.

In conclusion

As you can see, there are many different methods for achieving success in B2B sales, but they all come down to a few simple rules. The most important thing is relationships with people. Be a reliable, confident partner that you can always rely on, and they will certainly love you!

What techniques did you use?

About the translator

Translation of the article was done in Alconost.

Alconost localizes applications, games and sites in 60 languages. Native translators, linguistic testing, cloud platform with API, continuous localization, project managers 24/7, any format of string resources.

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