7 Powerful B2B Sales Tactics

(with Ross Rich)

7 Powerful B2B Sales Tactics
Ross Rich is a co-founder and CEO of Accord. Accord is a customer collaboration platform for B2B sales, onboarding, and success. Before founding Accord, Ross spent more than four years at Stripe where he helped scale the sales team from three to 500. 

In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss seven tactics for B2B sales. 

Key Takeaways

We will cover the following key takeaways:

  1. We should align our sales and marketing teams to give our customers a seamless and consistent experience. 
  2. If we make it easier for a customer to get in touch with us, our chances of converting our leads increases.
  3. We should keep the same point of contact throughout the customer’s journey. 
  4. Everything we do should be done to give our customers a better experience.
  5. We should provide value to our customers before asking them for a sale.
  6. We should have fewer conversations with the right users.
  7. Customers are really passionate about brands who can help them solve their problems.

Ross’ Entrepreneurial Journey 

Ross believes no one really sets out to be in B2B sales. He didn’t either. He ended up falling into B2B sales, and it has become his greatest success. He worked at Stripe for more then four years as one of the top reps and has since co-founded Accord with his brother. 

While he was on the sales team at Stripe, he noticed that the biggest challenge was driving consistent and repeatable customer experiences. He found that the average sales reps were only trying to sell, instead of focusing on a collaborative sales process, while the great sales reps were super collaborative and transparent. 

“We started with hundreds of conversations with fellow sales leaders, reps, CEOs, and even buyers about their thoughts around what we were working on [with Accord],” Ross said. “Unanimously, people thought there’s a better way of doing [sales]. There is a way to drive more consistency, predictability, and collaboration.”

Ross and his brother built Accord to turn the average sales reps into great ones. Accord makes it easier to build repeatables sales and onboarding processes that are collaborative and transparent to help accelerate the customers’ journey.  Today, they have 14 people working with them and have raised about $17 million in funding. 

“We’ve heard from our customers that they really appreciate the transparency that this brings to the buyers’ journey,” Ross said. In addition to this, Ross has learned a few more great B2B sales tactics we should implement. 

7 Fresh B2B Tactics 

Here are seven fresh B2B tactics Ross shared today:

  1. Align the Marketing and Sales Team

At the top of the funnel, some of the most underrated questions we should ask ourselves is, what are the messages we’re telling our customers at every touch point, even before they’ve talked to a sales rep? Are we setting up the sales team for success?

“If the story that you’re telling through your brand, your content, and your website is a totally different story, . . . [there] is this misalignment between sales and marketing [and] you’re really setting the expectations for that conversation in the wrong kind of way,” Ross said. “[You want] collaboration between sales and marketing to set up for successful conversation.”

We should focus on aligning our sales and marketing teams from the very beginning. This gives the customers a more seamless and consistent experience. 

  2. Make Conversations Easy

We should make it easy for a customer to have a conversation with us. They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or wait a couple of days until they can get in touch with us. If it’s difficult to have a conversation with our brand, they will find someone else.

“Make it really easy for your customer to actually have a conversation with you if they want to,” Ross said. “I think that’s a really great tactic to set up the experience from day one in a super positive way and not leave some of those deals to competitors.”

Ross thinks having demos on our website is a great way to make the customer journey feel easy. If he has a question, he loves being able to request a demo and book an appointment himself. With one brand, he was free for the next 30 minutes so he booked the meeting and jumped on a demo right after he requested it. “It created such a better interaction instead of me putting in my email address, phone number, and hearing back from the sales rep maybe a few hours later,” Ross said.  

If we make it easier for a customer to get in touch with us, our chances of converting our leads increases. By responding within one minute, you are much more likely to have a better conversation. Even a 30 minute difference can have a negative impact. 

“You’d be surprised [knowing there are] great brands out there who you can’t even talk to within 24 or 48 hours,” Ross said. “I think that’s one of the biggest mistakesnot really reflecting the modern buyer journey in the sales process today.” 

Companies often have too many steps involved before a customer can talk to a real person. They have to fill out a form, wait for a reply, and then call into an AI bot before they can speak to a real person. However, if the customer can’t get in touch with someone easily, they’re likely going to move on to our competitors. We have to match their journey with our sales processes if we want to lead them to a purchase decision.

  3. Keep the Same Point of Contact

Many companies have too many handoffs in sales, but in the world of B2B sales and onboarding, we should have the same point of contact throughout. 

While the conversation of onboarding is very different from sales conversations, having the same point of contact throughout is incredibly helpful. We may partner with an onboarding specialist, but we should have one person try to stick with the same customer throughout their journey. 

“It’s so frustrating when . . . you’re getting to the end of [the sale] and you get introduced to someone else, and you have to spend two or three calls reiterating what you were talking about in the first place,” Ross said.  “You’ll probably see . . . higher churn rates in those experiences that you’re creating. [You’re] not setting your customers up for success long term.”

While having specialists at different parts of the customer journey may seem like a good idea, it often just becomes more frustrating for the customer in the long run. 

  4. Focus on the Customer Experience

One of the biggest changes we are seeing in the marketplace is the increase of new technology. The market is expanding at an exponential rate and if we want to stand out, we have to focus on the customer experience. 

Instead of being manipulative with our sales, we should be genuine and honest. We should talk to people who have and haven’t purchased our products to get their feedback on how we can do better. Hearing feedback directly from the customer makes a huge impact. 

“It’s not [about] following the frameworks. It’s not [about] reading books and all that kind of stuff. I think it has to do with really feeling the experience that your customer wants,” Ross said. 

Instead of being a vendor, we should focus on being a partner. Instead of focusing on revenue, we should focus on the product experience. If we had the same problem as our customers, how would we solve it? Everything we do should be done to give our customers a better journey with our brand. 

  5. Provide Value First 

We should provide value to our customers before asking them for a sale. When we provide value first, we give our customers an opportunity to trust us and get to know our brand. This free value can be in the form of ebooks, templates, blogs, podcasts, etc. 

The key with creating content is to create it from a unique point of view. Can we create content and provide value that reflects our brand identity? “Something that’s lacking a lot in the B2B world versus the B2C world is an opinion. I think everyone is afraid to have it, but that’s the only thing that captures attention,” Ross said. 

Standing for something and having an opinion, then reflecting that in the value we provide can really help us break through the noise of the market.

We should also make sure that the value we are providing is not an afterthought. Too many people use content to check off something on their list but they don’t actually use it as their strategy. We should take the time to create real templates and frameworks people will use and find helpful. When we provide great value like this, our customers will be more likely to continue on the buyer’s journey. 

  6. Have Fewer Conversations 

“Have fewer conversations with the right users,” Ross said. We don’t need to waste our time trying to sell to everyone. There are people who don’t want our product and who might not even benefit from our product, and that’s okay. We don’t have to sell to them. 

Instead, we should spend our time with the right people. If you’re struggling with your B2B sales, Ross said that one of the best things you can do is know where to invest your time. Don’t try to scale too fast. You need to be less, but more focused. 

  7. Start By Solving a Problem

When we are trying to make a sale, the first thing we should do is focus on the problem we are solving. What problem are we helping our customers solve? 

When Ross was promoted from the start up team to the midteam sales team, he wanted to be the top rep. He had a very big and important client agree to do a 50 min meeting with him, but when he showed up, he said he had to cut it to 20 minutes. 

With less time, Ross realized all he really needed to do was show them how he could solve their problem. He needed to show them how he could help them. After this sale, he learned that the best way to start any conversation is by providing a solution. How do you get their attention? We do our research, find a problem and solve it. Customers are really passionate about brands who can help them solve their problems.

Connect with Ross

Thank you so much Ross for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Ross:

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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