This is the second part from the blog series dedicated to B2B sales. If you haven’t read the first, you can catch up from here: Why are B2C and B2B sales so different. The current article is about the different phases of a typical B2B sale and will also show some real life examples. Let’s begin with how, on the first place, you start speaking with potential customers. There are two ways:
1. You approach them
2. They approach you
We’ll focus on the first point as it is more interesting and includes all the phases of point 2. In the other case – if the customer approaches you, you skip the phases of prospecting & approaching, and you already know that the customer has a need that you might be able to satisfy.
Let’s go with a real life experience: Dreamix is a software development company specializing in Java and JS technologies. We have established partnerships in the aviation, telecommunication, finance, insurance and automotive sectors. Being the Biz Dev guy and based on the above, I search on sites like LinkedIn, Angel.co and other more local websites for companies based in UK, Germany, Switzerland, US who need help with the mentioned technologies. Once I shortlist such companies, I need to find an entry point. In our business, such an entry point can be:
1. They are looking for software developers with Java and Angular skills
2. They’ve recently raised a big round of investment
3. They’ve hired an new CEO, CIO, COO or CTO
4. You can help them with specific knowledge that aligns with their roadmap
Once you see such an entry point you have to find the right person to write to and find his contact details. How to find his contact details? There are several ways here as well:
1. Look in the contact info at his LinkedIn profile
2. Check his Twitter profile
3. There are tools (paid) that have databases full of emails and phone numbers. You just have to add the name of the person and the company. Then the contact details will appear
4. And one more – try guessing his email. There’s a high chance that he is using Google services and, if right, hover your mouse above the email and the name will pop up in blue.
Once you know the email, how do you approach the potential customer? In brief, your email must include several things:
1. A good “Subject line”
2. An intriguing first sentence, where you are mentioning something about the prospect or his company like:
● a note on a recent article that was published from/about him/her or their company
● congratulations on a recent success
● or something connected with his/her hobby
● there are many more:)
3. Brief (one or two) sentences about you and what you do
4. A very personalized explanation on why they’re receiving this email
5. A strong conclusion.
It is very important the email sent to be about the prospect not about you. Don’t use “I” or “We” too often. Use “You” instead and try to reword your pitch accordingly. And don’t forget to follow up. See some examples below:)
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The link on your website regarding LinkedIn is not working.
I am the Business Development Director of Dreamix Holding. If you haven’t heard about my company here is the brief – Dreamix is a company with huge expertise globally in BI, Java and Oracle technologies. Our know-how covers industries such as financials, insurance, telecommunications, automotive and aviation. Some of our clients are BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland, Branchout, VistaJet and Lombard International Assurance.
Project Brokers is receiving this email as we both work with the QlikView platform and our Head of BI & Co-founder will be visiting UK between 17th and 31st of May. I can see that your expertise covers the financial sector and one of the projects we are working on right now is with WorldPay – a leading payment service provider for almost 40 countries. Our team is working both nearshore from our office in Sofia and onside in London.
Do you want to boost revenues, improve margins and be an even more reliable partner for the businesses worldwide? Our Oracle and Java partners in UK and Switzerland can prove the above. If yes let me arrange a meeting to see each other and see if we can collaborate for the BI part? I think none of us can lose if we meet each other. It will just be an extra card in the pocket allowing you to take bigger and more sophisticated projects as we can help you with expertise and people if needed.
‘We cherish relationships not transactions’
Response: from Charles, their CEO
Thanks for your email. I’ll ask my colleague Chris to fix the link.
I’d be delighted to meet your founder. Please arrange with Ben McQuillan, in copy, a date for us to meet.
Send to: email@example.com
Your mission is to make “Stockholm #1 Startup city in the World” but without enough tech people this is not achievable. I am emailing you as you are a hub for Tech start-ups in Stockholm. As we all know the booming entrepreneurial spirit in the last years has several success stories but has one big impediment in front of it – the lack of enough qualified IT people and the huge salaries the good developers, designers, consultants earn.
We offer a possible solution that is especially alluring for a tech startup – nearshoring. We have people experienced with nearly 10 years of experience in Java and BI technologies that work remotely from Bulgaria and once needed they are on a 3 hours flight to Sweden.
I was told that you are super busy as you have just started SUP46 but let’s meet this Friday or Saturday. We have meetings with companies and organizations here in Stockholm and will stay in Sweden till 24th of November.
‘We cherish relations not transactions’
Response:Jessica Stark, CEO & Co-Founder
Can we meet 8 a.m on Friday @ SUP46?
Vänliga Hälsningar / Best Regards,
Jessica Stark, CEO & Co-Founder
Send to: —–@rgb.com
I am the Business director at Dreamix & Datakite – European experts in Java, Oracle, BI and mobile technologies. Part of our clients are Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, VistaJet and BranchOut in the Valley.
You are receiving this email being the SVP at RGB which needs senior java engineers. We have the people with more than 10 years of experience. Are you interested in a partnership that will allow you to have as many engineers as wanted without bothering searching and hiring them? Are you interested in optimizing costs while increasing the agility and expertise? Do you want to hedge risks?
I would love to meet with you as I will be in the Bay Area till 15th of March. Why not having an extra card in your pocket when in need?
‘We cherish relations not transactions’
I know that you are a busy person. However, I don’t want you to miss this opportunity even if the chance of being interesting to you to be small.
Please tell me did you receive my previous email from Monday?
I did receive your email.
I am available on Friday morning of this week.
Once you’ve scheduled the meeting, you have to prepare for it. It’s the meeting that will make or break the sale. On this face to face meeting you’ll try to figure out what exactly the pain is and what type of benefits the prospect is looking for in order to understand whether you can provide a solution of enough value. The phases in such a meeting as mentioned in the ‘SPIN Selling‘ book are Preliminaries(small talk, intro) -> Investigating (most important stage – the questions stage) -> Demonstrating capability -> Obtaining commitment.
More details on these 4 steps will follow on my next blog.