In the world of B2B sales, time is money, and a long sales cycle can be a significant drain on resources. Unfortunately, it is all too common for potential clients to be left waiting for a response from sales teams, resulting in lost opportunities and revenue.
In fact, a study by Harvard Business Review found that about 50% of inbound leads receive no response or only receive a response after 24 hours.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem: instant messaging. By leveraging the power of messaging apps, B2B sales teams can shorten their sales cycle and close deals more quickly.
In this blog post, we will explore:
- What is B2B sales?
- What is a B2B sales funnel?
- Importance of speed in B2B sales
- How to accelerate the sales cycle in B2B business?
Whether you're a sales representative looking to close more deals, or a business owner looking to improve your sales team's productivity, this post is for you.
What is B2B sales?
The term "B2B" refers to businesses that primarily operate in an environment where they do not directly interact with the general public, also known as direct consumers. Instead, these businesses sell their products and/or services to other businesses in the value-creation process.
In the B2B world, building relationships between people is critical to success, as it is ultimately the people involved in the buying and selling process who drive the process forward. Typically, this involves the relationship between a salesperson and a buyer, budget holder, or another business, who must navigate through the B2B sales funnel.
Now, that brings us to the next section, what a B2B sales funnel is and how is it different from a B2C sales funnel.
B2B Vs B2C sales funnel
Before we get to the “Sales funnel” of B2B and B2C, let us first understand the differences between B2B and B2C sales. Here is a quick glance.
Now that you have understood B2B vs B2C sales, let’s analyse the difference between B2B and B2C the sales funnel.
A sales funnel refers to a series of stages that potential customers typically pass through to complete a sales cycle. Its primary goal is to convert business prospects (leads) into clients. Although the basic structure and the sales funnel stages can be the same for both, B2B and B2C businesses, the level of complexity and the linear progression may differ.
While in the B2C sales funnel, the progression is often linearly, in the B2B sales process, prospects will go up and down in the funnel, linearly or non-linearly. Compared to B2C funnels, B2B funnels are generally more intricate due to the lengthier sales cycle involved in B2B transactions. With more time and evaluation required for buyers to assess the suitability of a product or service, B2B funnels often feature additional mid-funnel stages to facilitate this process.
Importance of speed in B2B sales
As previously mentioned, the sales cycle for B2B businesses is typically longer than that of B2C businesses. This may be because B2C customers tend to be transactional and more likely to make an immediate purchase. In contrast, potential clients in the B2B market are less likely to make a purchase right away and prefer to have meaningful conversations with companies they are considering doing business with.
Buyers in the B2B market are interested in evaluating the effectiveness, speed, cost, competence, and past experiences of potential service providers. At the same time, service providers must assess inbound leads to ensure they are qualified prospects. Overall, the B2B sales cycle can be lengthy, and businesses that fail to understand this may face even longer sales cycles.
How to accelerate the sales cycle in B2B business?
Considering the fact that the B2B sales process can be lengthier, B2B businesses need to do everything in their power to shorten the cycle. One of the easiest ways to do it is with the help of business instant messaging solutions.
In other words, you need to be available to your potential customers over instant messaging apps when they would like to converse with you.
Below are some ways to enhance your engagement with sales leads and accelerate the sales cycle by utilising instant messaging.
Chat with leads over instant messaging apps
Imagine you are a sales representative for a B2B company. You have been in contact with a potential customer who has shown some interest in your product. You have already sent some follow-up emails, but you have not received a response yet. In this case, you can use instant messaging to engage with the customer.
Using apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, you can quickly and easily send a message to a potential customer. Real-time responses are more efficient at addressing any questions or concerns the prospects may have, and you can guide them toward making a purchase. Even better, you can also create your own enterprise messaging apps for business with your name and logo, to have your dedicated communication space for customer/user secure calls and messaging.
By using messenger apps, you can increase your chances of qualifying and converting the lead. It is a more modern and customer-friendly way of interacting compared to emails or calls. Messenger apps allow the customer to respond at their convenience, without feeling rushed or pressured. This can help establish a new business relationship on natural terms and at the same time, assist in shortening the sales cycle.
Automate repetitive tasks
As a growing business, it's likely that you frequently communicate with clients and prospects. Personalized communication is important for building strong relationships, but writing the same types of messages repeatedly on instant messaging apps can be time-consuming. This is where message templates can be useful.
Message templates are pre-written messages that you can use as a starting point for your communication. They can be customised to fit the specific needs of each client or prospect, saving you time and reducing repetitive tasks while still maintaining a personal touch. Furthermore, message templates also help ensure consistency in your communication with clients and prospects.
Effective communication plays a crucial role in strengthening credibility and reducing conflicts between B2B businesses. However, messaging channels may result in misunderstandings and require extensive explanations, which can hinder the B2B sales process. To overcome this, it is essential to ensure that messages are clear and concise to minimise the probability of miscommunication and speed up the sales cycle.
One way to achieve this is by using a sales CRM that integrates with instant messaging channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Instagram, and others. For instance, Pepper Cloud CRM provides an AI tool called "AssistAI" that helps in rephrasing, modifying, and summarising messages, while also allowing users to adjust the tone to match that of their clients. With such features, businesses can communicate more effectively and efficiently, ultimately improving their chances of closing deals quickly.
Ability to send media files
Imagine you are a sales representative for a B2B business, and you have just finished a meeting with a potential client. The client is interested in your product, but they require a detailed quotation before making a final decision. Traditional methods of sending quotations via email could be time-consuming and delay the sales process as clients may take days or even weeks to respond with changes or questions. However, with the option to send digital quotations and other documents over instant messaging, you can significantly reduce the waiting time for the client. Within a few clicks, you can send all the necessary information for the client to make an informed decision, thereby shortening the sales process.
Instant demo videos
In the sales process, timing is everything. When a prospect is interested in a product or service and eager to learn more, delays in the sales process can lead to frustration and missed opportunities. This is especially true when a prospect is keen to have a demo and doesn't want to wait. In such situations, instant messaging can be an ideal solution.
Instant messaging apps or a WhatsApp-integrated sales tool, provide an efficient and convenient way to share demo videos with prospects. With just a few clicks, a sales representative can send a demo video showcasing the features and benefits of the product or service. The video can be accompanied by a message that clarifies any details or answers any questions the prospect may have.
In addition, instant messaging allows for real-time communication between the sales representative and the prospect. This means that any queries or concerns can be addressed immediately, either through messaging or by arranging a call. This can help build trust and rapport with the prospect, which is essential in any successful sales process.
In summary, the B2B sales cycle usually takes longer than B2C sales, so it's crucial for businesses to streamline their sales process and reduce the time required to finalize deals. One effective approach is to utilize instant messaging applications to communicate with potential clients in real-time. This enables sales representatives to provide prompt responses and information, resulting in faster sales cycles and increased revenue. By implementing this tactic, companies can distinguish themselves from rivals and gain a significant edge in the market. Therefore, it's imperative for businesses to recognise the significance of speed in B2B sales and utilize instant messaging to accelerate the closing of deals, while also ensuring that their content is original and free of plagiarism.