Today’s B2B buyers are more discerning and research-oriented in their buying process. They don’t make decisions in a rush by simply looking at prices and reviews.

Instead, your buyers rely on rigorous research and organic relationships to make an informed decision about buying anything.

What does this shift in buying behavior mean for B2B sales teams? Moving away from pushy sales tactics and embracing a more customer-centric and product-led approach to growth.

If you want to change your sales strategy, this guide will give you seven crucial B2B sales tactics to drive conversions and one-up your competition.

What does the B2B sales process look like?

Before we get to my tactics, it’s important to take a closer look at the B2B sales process. Here are the main stages of the sales process.

  •  Prospecting: to collect prospects from multiple channels—like your website, social media, and email—and create a database of leads.
  •  First contact: to approach prospects with a personalized pitch, whether through the content you send, a social media message, email, or call.
  • Discovery call: to present your product/service and highlight the main value propositions that align with prospects’ pain points.
  • Closing: to finalize the deal and sign the paperwork to formally onboard them as customers.
  • Relationship management: to ensure customers are satisfied and retained for the long term.

While these stages give you an overview of the sales process, remember that your buyers might not move in linear journeys from one stage to another. So, prepare your workflows and teams to deal with buyers at different stages.

7 key tactics to master B2B sales in 2023

Now that we’ve covered the main stages of the sales process, let’s dive deeper into my seven key tactics for mastering it.

1. Use data and analytics to make informed decisions

If you want to create a robust sales strategy, you have to use data strategically. Your ability to collect and analyze data about your customers and the market can directly impact your sales performance.

B2B sellers can use data for –

  • Identifying new opportunities
  • Tracking sales reps’ performance
  • Setting the right qualification parameters
  • Eliminating bottlenecks in the process

Content engagement data helps with each of these points. Content, such as blogs, podcasts, and webinars, is great for inbound lead generation and can even identify new market opportunities. Once you have attracted people to your brand, you can then begin to work out who is most interested in what you offer by nurturing them. You can identify engaged leads, score leads more precisely, drill into what they find most interesting, and pass this information to Sales. These all help remove silos between Marketing and Sales, in turn smoothing out operations and handovers.

Today, online documents have analytics displaying individual behavior with your content. This means you can prioritize lead follow-up because these dashboards show exactly who is ready to buy and who needs more nurturing.

We produced a record level of sales opportunities while also learning that we have incredibly engaged prospects in geographical regions we have yet to even focus on! Information like this is invaluable across our sales function.

Headshot of Liam McGrory from Willis Tower Watson

Liam McGrory

Marketing Director, Willis Towers Watson

At the end of the day, data improves your decision-making and steers you in the best direction. Let’s look at a few key data points you should analyze for your sales strategy.

Lead segmentation
Not all leads are created equal. One way to separate good leads from bad ones is by identifying the right parameters for segmentation. Use data to accurately define your ideal customer profile and set criteria for lead segmentation. This can significantly reduce wasted efforts through email nurturing programs and increase your win rate.

Competitive analysis
Benchmark your business against the competition and use this data to define your positioning. Improve your pitch for prospects and position your brand as a better alternative using the insights you find in your benchmarking analysis.

Sales funnel analysis
Identify gaps in your sales strategy and the scope for improvement to optimize your sales pipeline. Closely look at the sales funnel to see where prospects drop off and research more about potential causes for this. Then introduce changes to make your sales funnel as airtight as possible.

Performance metrics for teams and content
Assess your team’s efficiency and effectiveness by measuring KPIs like deal size, sales cycle, customer acquisition cost, etc. This data will tell you where you can improve and help differentiate your team’s top and low performers. For content, you can use performance metrics to create future content workflows and refine your ICP alongside your content strategy. These metrics tell you more about your audience and can help form the creation of highly relevant content, such as thought leadership campaigns, which in turn help inform your lead generation strategy.

Always pay close attention to the quality of your data. You have to constantly update your database to prevent bloating it with information that gives inaccurate overall results. Opt for first-party data from content wherever possible to gain the closest audience insights.

2. Invest in sales enablement to increase team efficiency

Sales enablement is a critical piece of the sales puzzle for many B2B players in today’s market. It’s a separate function within your sales team built to support your frontline sales reps in different ways.

With interactive sales enablement content in place, you can empower your sales reps to sell more efficiently, build buyer confidence, and maximize their success. And know precisely what is, and isn’t working.

Make a note of these best practices for building your sales enablement setup.

  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration: Enablement is a team effort. It’s all about aligning your sales, marketing, and customer success teams. This collective effort can result in more conversions and long-term relationships.
  • Cover your entire sales cycle: Many companies make the mistake of equating sales enablement strictly with the lead generation and prospecting stages. Instead, support your reps with the right tools, resources, and insights throughout the process to ensure they’re closing deals confidently.
  • Embrace ongoing training: Enablement focuses on continuous learning. Make arrangements to deliver continuous education and development opportunities for your sales team to hone their skills and fuel their collective growth. Train them for creating and scheduling social media content to reach buyers organically.

Content is the most critical element common across all these best practices. Content can support your sales reps in many ways—from interactive sales proposals, presentations, pitch decks and online playbooks, to battlecards and objection-handling support assets.. The key is sending digital versions of your sales collateral so you can see activity and harvest the data that digital assets return.

With a data-based platform like Turtl, creating high-performance content for sales enablement is easier than ever. Turtl lets sales reps personalize pitches in seconds, can integrate with your CRM to automate at scale, and track buyers’ engagement and responses. You can use these insights to write more impactful follow-ups and inform your overall B2B content marketing strategy.

Plus, you can constantly track the effectiveness of all sales content, as in what’s bringing revenue and what’s helping reps. Book a demo with Turtl to learn more about its powerful capabilities.

3. Embrace consultative selling to build customer relationships

Let’s put you in a common scenario.

You’re a doctor, and a patient tells you they’re feeling sick. Would you randomly prescribe medicines or ask them about their symptoms and relevant questions? Naturally, the latter makes more sense.

The B2B sales process should work similarly: you’re the doctor, and your prospects are patients. Each one is struggling with a unique set of pain points. You have to ask questions and understand these pain points to get to the bottom of their problems and deliver a good solution.

This is the consultative approach to selling. You’re not forcing someone to buy from you. Instead, you guide them to the right solution by providing value and building relationships. It’s about putting your customers first!

If you’re new to this concept, keep in mind these golden rules of consultative selling:

  • Practice actively listening and polls and surveys where you focus more on understanding your prospects and less on talking about your business
  • Build a solid rapport with potential customers by empathizing with their situation and showing genuine interest in their problems
  • Focus on diagnosing the cause of the problem instead of hurriedly prescribing your solution
  • Train and add a chatbot to your website to ensure interested visitors can collect this information and speed up the sales cycle
  • Make sure you follow up with leads consistently and show them the value of your product/service with thoughtful messaging

When you take the consultative selling approach, you aim to build lasting relationships with your leads. It doesn’t end with a closed sale. You have to keep in touch even after the purchase and readily resolve their grievances. Set up email auto-responders to connect with customers post-purchase and check up on them.

4. Use personalization to maximize outreach ROI

Most B2B markets are saturated. Buyers are fed up with filled inboxes and cold pitches from random strangers. You simply can’t make an impression on these buyers with a poorly written cold email or a bad call script.

Your only chance of winning is personalization. It’s more than just a buzzword. Done right, personalization can give you access to even the most seemingly inaccessible buyers and build stronger connections. Today you can personalize content far more than beyond a name merge, and show people the content they prefer, based on their past behaviors. You can even automate the process.

I recently read that 76% of B2B buyers have an increased demand for personalized content and sales material. That was before stumbling on Turtl’s report, which shows that deeply personalized content can increase engagement by up to 84%. There’s clearly a strong argument for personalization.

Click to read The data behind personalization | Turtl Labs + Curious Reader

With personalized outreach, you can:

Stand out from the crowd
Build a distinct brand identity in a crowded market and capture your prospects’ attention. Tell them exactly how you’re different by tailoring your pitch to their specific pain points. This shows you’ve done your homework and lets you hit the right nerve and pique their interest. Plus, it can also keep you away from spam filters and land in the right inbox.

Overcome skepticism among buyers
Busy B2B buyers don’t entertain random sales reps, even if you send them the most cleverly written pitch. To truly win over their trust, you have to do the hard work of establishing a real connection with them. Whether engaging with their posts on LinkedIn or reaching them through other people, ensure you warm up to them before sending a pitch.

Navigate complex sales cycle
The B2B sales cycle is getting longer and more intricate than before. It involves more decision-makers and lengthier timelines. With personalization, you can organically build relationships with everyone involved and positively influence them toward your brand through relevant customer testimonials.

Let’s consider an example of a personalized cold email. Here, the sender quickly establishes the context for their mail with an opening line about the problem. Then, the sender dissects the reason behind this problem and attaches a video explaining this in more detail.

There are some additional details about the sender’s company with a clear CTA.

From the first line, this email shows that the sender did their research before writing any word of this message. They also offered helpful advice instead of just pushing their services.

Among the many elements of personalized outreach, remember to create interactive content to engage your audience. Turtl allows you to design personalized sales documents (like proposals, brochures, newsletters, etc.) with dynamic content.

You can personalize this content using your CRM or lead database with tokens. So, your documents will include tailored content based on your data source.

Personalized Turtl Doc Martech

5. Create a lead nurture strategy to guide prospects

One of the biggest changes in today’s B2B sales process is how you nurture leads after the initial pitch. On average, it takes at least eight touches to make a sale. If you don’t want to lose your prospects in this process, creating a robust lead nurture strategy is important.

Here are some of the tried-and-tested methods to nurture leads effectively and nudge them to conversion.

Nurture leads across channels
Take a multi-channel approach to optimize every touchpoint for potential customers. Whether it’s retargeting through ads or sharing relevant content on social media, expand your lead nurturing process to different channels to stay front of mind.

Here’s an example by Tripwire showing what multi-channel lead nurturing looks like in action:

Make timely follow-ups
Your follow-up emails can have a bigger impact than your original pitch. Schedule each follow-up with ample gaps to not come off as spammy. You can also A/B test your messages to ensure your email resonates well with prospects.

Align sales and marketing
The key to a solid lead nurturing strategy lies in how well your sales team is aligned with the marketing team. Both teams can create more result-driven campaigns and influence potential buyers when they work toward shared goals and data.

Streamline the process with automation
Automation can help you scale your lead nurturing efforts and make it more sophisticated. Deliver a high-quality experience to your prospects with automated workflows at every step of the buyer journey. For example, automate your LinkedIn workflows to send connection requests and first messages to all active leads.

Your lead nurturing strategy is your opportunity to stand out and take an edge over your competitors. Spend enough time creating and testing these tactics to win over more customers.

6. Use videos to engage prospects and boost conversions

Much of your buyers’ research is learning more about different options to assess which one makes the most sense for their needs. One common way for buyers to conduct this research is by watching videos.

Videos can educate and engage buyers, helping them get closer to purchasing. Not just that, using videos in your sales outreach allows you to:

  • Humanize your business and put a face and voice to your brand name
  • Convey complex information in the most simplified manner with visuals
  • Capture and retain prospects’ attention for longer durations than text messages
  • Boost engagement and visibility on social media platforms

Most importantly, personalized videos help in building trust among prospects. The logic is simple: if a sales rep makes an effort to understand your business and creates a video focusing on your main problems, you’ll naturally trust them because they see exactly where you are and your struggles.

So, creating videos tailored to prospects can make a world’s difference for your buyers and create a foundation for your relationship.

Here’s an example of an outreach message by a sales leader at Floik with a personalized video demo link specifically created for the buyer. This message is short and sweet, mainly to let the video work its magic!

Pro tip: If you don’t have the bandwidth to create personalized videos for every prospect, develop lead scoring models to find high-intent leads and create video content specifically for these decision-makers.

7. Implement social selling to expand your reach

One tactic that B2B sales reps can’t ignore is social selling. In a world buzzing with social media connectivity, it’s more important than ever for sales reps to interact with buyers on these platforms before hitting their inboxes.

Social selling focuses on building relationships and creating genuine conversations. It’s about networking with your buyers and engaging with them publicly by sharing your wisdom in exchange for theirs.

With social selling, you’re taking the offer to them as well as creating inbound interest because they’ll start noticing you more often. It allows you to build rapport and gain decision-makers’ trust to shorten the sales cycle and close the deal quicker than usual.

When implementing a social selling approach, remember to:

  • Choose only those platforms where you can maintain an organic presence proactively
  • Create and share value-packed content in multiple formats, like webinars, case studies, etc.
  • Engage with people’s content and participate in discussions to gain more visibility
  • Use social listening tools to stay on top of your brand mentions and industry insights

Social selling isn’t a one-and-done campaign. It’s an ongoing process. So, create systems to maintain consistency and remain top-of-mind for your buyers.

Over to you: Build your own sales process today

That’s a wrap on my top B2B sales tactics. These tactics will prepare you to influence savvy buyers and take them closer to purchase decisions. Remember that it all boils down to your relationship with the decision-makers. So, focus heavily on personalizing your communication and nurturing leads effectively to bring more conversions.

Make better sales enablement

Use online sales collateral that surfaces intent data

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