We all know that not all bosses produce the same effect in your life. First due to their quality as managers, and second because some great ones come too late to our lives and we cannot even recognize their value. I was lucky enough to have the right boss at the right time.
In 2001 and after 10 years in consumer goods and automotive industry, the last two in China in the motorbike plant that my company started there, once back to Spain, with the learning of the fast speed of Chinese market, I made the decision to reinvent myself and start in a different industry.
So I started again from scratch by going into the world of technology, although with a deep knowledge of the industry, and there I had the fortune to have the trust and support of my first boss in a sales position, which now, with wider perspective, I see that he was my mentor in B2B Selling.
From him I learned many things, but perhaps these 5 ideas are the ones that helped me to really develop my career in a «Business to Business» environment.
Key Idea #1 – «B2B Selling is a Process», far from being an art and much more like a discipline. Being excellent in every stage of the sales process will help us to get better and more predictable results. Seeing Sales as a process will allow us to measure and better predict, as well will help to detect where we must improve to achieve better results. Being lacy and taking shortcuts in the process never work!
Key Idea #2 – «The fundamental asset of B2B Selling is to understand client’s context». Highlighting the value of having early information, as result of asking the appropriate questions to the client to understand their situation, allow the customer to speak, never interrupt and not consume their time talking about us, our company or our product, until it is not necessary, all that to understand their context as soon as possible. Understanding their «desert» will allow us provide the water or value that fits with their real needs.
Key Idea #3 – «We do not sell products, we solve problems». The client does not want to fall in love with our product, he does not care about the functionalities that our product includes, in many cases our customer will probably only buy something similar two or three times in their professional life, they want us to fall in love with their problems and look for solutions after having understood them perfectly.
Key Idea #4 – «For every client a different strategy has to be developed», In B2B Selling “copy-paste” from one customer to the next one doesn’t work, every company is different, with different problems, processes and decision criteria, as well with a distribution of power that not always fits with the title on the business card. Developing a strategy to anticipate the obstacles that we will have to overcome along the way will be key to be able to increase the success rate.
Key Idea #5 – «Having a good pipeline is key!» We cannot pretend to win all the accounts where we are involved, so somehow we will have to have enough in our hands to don’t have to rely too much on the result of a few accounts. Knowing how to fill the pipeline and create demand will make external factors, like fluctuations of the economy, more irrelevant. Pipeline brings freedom to the Sales Representatives and to their Management.