When you have finished designing the basic content and format of your new contract training course, your focus shifts to selling it. You, as an organization, will sell directly to a company–this is referred to as “business to business” (B2B) sales. Today we’ll explain the basics of B2B sales.
We won’t dive into marketing just yet. In fact, now is an excellent time to explain the difference between sales and marketing. Marketing is about educating the consumer and promoting the product or service. Marketing generates interest and thus, leads. Sales is about converting those leads in to transactions. Sales first researches the leads to see which are “qualified leads,” i.e., people are most likely to complete a transaction. Sales convinces qualified leads to purchase the product or service. In short, a marketing expert spreads the word; a sales expert closes the deal.
B2B is when Business A sells a product to Business B. You should understand that B2B sales are different from business to consumer (B2C) sales. B2B sales typically take more time because the proposal must first be considered by everyone on the decision-making team. It is true that some companies allow one employee to unilaterally make purchasing decisions, but even then, that employee would need to do research regarding the product or service. Business to business sales also entail long-term relationships between the seller and the buyer.
Your ideal qualified lead is a decision-maker who has a defined budget and is ready to purchase your contract training course. A company that needs training for a seasonal need or future project might still be a qualified lead. A major factor for successful B2B sales is the ability to effectively build relationships. You want these companies to use your course repeatedly, after all. Don’t be hesitant to contact your schools marketing department, by the way! These marketing professionals could give your valuable advice.
After you have a list of qualified leads, you should be ready to start reaching out to the prospects. Remember: B2B selling is about filling needs and cultivating relationships. A good starting place for research is the company website’s Frequently Asked Questions page: you can learn about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. Figure out where your training course could help them. Before you contact them, brainstorm possible objections they might have–you’ll be better prepared and feel more confident!
When you contact these leads, focus on connecting instead of selling. Listen to their objections, concerns, and questions. Don’t be aggressive–nobody likes a pushy sales rep! Instead, you should talk about the value of your training course. Explain how the course would benefit them specifically. You want to position your course as a solution to one of their problems.
Sales of any kind can seem intimidating to a non-professional. If you boil down the sales process, though, all you are doing is offering a service to a company that needs that service. These sales should not evoke flashbacks of Glengarry Glen Ross. Remember to lean on your network and your internal resources. With this advice, your team can master the art of business to business sales!
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