Scaling B2B sales poses a variety of challenges, yet for many B2B organizations, it is the need to rapidly scale sales that become a major challenge to future revenue growth.
There are many ways to plan the scalability of your sales, preparing a simple matrix that can help you evaluate 10 key factors on a 5-point scale, ranging from “1 – unscalable” to “5 – highly scalable”.
Study the numbers
Separating the B2B prospecting, lead validation, and deal closing into distinct operations brings efficiency to operations, and supports a numbers-based approach to your strategy for boosting B2B sales.
A successful and scalable B2B sales operation will be underpinned by a performance-based culture where employees are focused on and driven by metrics and benchmarks.
So what are the 10 key factors that underpin the scalability matrix?
- Clarity of Market Focus
- Repeatability of Solutions
- Market Differentiation
- Offering Focus
- Marketing Focus
- Sales Process
- Customer Focus
- CRM Adoption
- Sales – Marketing Integration
- Customer Relationships
Clarity of Market Focus
The sales model is very simple: source good leads, contact them, make the sales pitch, and manage the deal to closure.
By breaking down the process into its complement parts, it becomes easier to develop a standard process. In this way, at each stage, the target audience is reassessed and remains at the core of the sale process.
Understanding your demographics is one of the most important aspects of marketing and sales, and this includes your scalability campaign. You need to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is and how you are going to approach them by developing an ideal customer persona.
|Reactive||Demographic||Firmographic||Stakeholder Focused||Ideal Customers|
Repeatability of Solutions
While having high customized solutions might help you to land some of your first big clients, you need to ask yourself if such work is sustainable for your business? As you grow, offering more standardized products that have components of customizability could be the key to your successful expansion.
Rather than offering to build custom solutions for each client, you need to start to identify what are the most sought after components of your solutions and how they can be separated into building blocks that clients can pick and choose from to build a solution that suits their needs.
Ultimately this is about costs. As you expand it is unlikely that you will have the time and workforce to commit to creating custom solutions for your clients. Using standard blocks that can be added to create a total product is consistent and reliable.
You need to have a distinct and provocative solution to get attention. There are thousands of solutions just like yours and even if there aren’t there will be if yours is good as competitors copy your model.
This is why you need to stay one step ahead by always knowing what makes your product different, better or more competitive than others. Your scalability depends on your proactive approach to understanding your unique selling proposition, and always updating it, that makes your business sustainable and scalable.
Customers want to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ While you may wax lyrical about the features, benefits, and advantages of your solution, all customers really want to know is how does it answer their individual questions?
This is the work of your sales team, who in closing a deal, must understand what they have been asked to deliver and if your product actually can provide that solution. If the answer is ‘yes’, your product delivery is clearly focused on understanding your customer’s needs, and this is a highly scalable outcome.
|Feature Focused||Advantages Focused||Benefits Focused||Solution Focused||WIFM Focused|
Marketing in the current climate is most successful when focused on an inbound approach. People are tired of cold-calls, obnoxious pop-ups, and unsolicited emails. For your business to grow, you need to reach your customers, and to reach your customers you need to understand the best way to connect with them.
This connection can take many forms, so it is important to understand your own analytics for how best to reach prospects. One thing that is obvious across the board is that quality content is attracting audiences. By contributing to conversations about advances in your industry, changes, or new developments, you can assert yourself as an industry leader, and this can attract more customers who will not only view your brand as an authority but who also want to follow your developments.
|Outbound||Some Inbound||In Transition||Mostly Inbound||Socially Integrated|
If your sales team isn’t using a fully integrated CMS, you aren’t getting the intel that you need to ensure that your scalability campaign can be successful. The data that is computed can help you see weakness, in sale processes, flaws in approach, and hindrances to closing deals.
If you have a truly agile approach to sales, you are more likely to be successful than those businesses that are not using up-to-date systems and analytics to support the development of sales processes.
The most effective sales processes are designed with a deep understanding of the key phrases in their target prospect’s typical buying decision journey. When your sales process is customer-focused, you are looking at milestones more than activity. These milestones are used as key indicators of where the customer is in their sales journey and give salespeople clues as to how to nurture their lead to the close. The companies that are doing this the best are not asking ‘how can I close this deal?’, but ‘how can I nurture this lead through the buying process?’
|Sales Centric||Buyer Aware||Process-Aware||Aligned||Buyer Centric|
Scalable companies have integrated company-wide CRM which is used as an effective tool that informs teams about how to improve sales, marketing, accounting, and other areas of operations based on data. Without a CRM that is truly integrated across your operations, your opportunity to develop a scalability campaign that is effective is greatly hampered.
|No CRM||Basic CRM||Widespread CRM||Enthusiastic Adoption||Revenue Cycle Management|
Sales and Marketing Integration
Alignment between your sales and marketing teams is vital to your success not only in business but also when scaling the business. Too often these departments work against each, especially in mid-sized businesses.
SiriusDecisions found that highly aligned and well-integrated B2B organizations enjoyed a 23.7% higher 3-year average revenue growth and a 27.8% higher average profit growth than those that were not aligned.
|No Alignment||Little Cooperation||Aligned||Shared Goals||Fully Integrated|
B2B relationships are somewhat more complex than other customer/business relationships. There is a level of trust that is required between parties, usually developed in the initial sales phase, that must be honored in order for both parties to feel comfortable with the partnership.
If you are considered a trusted partner, it will attract other sales opportunities. To gain that trust, you need to consider what your long-term offerings might be for clients, such as insights or process upgrades, that allow customers to feel valued. If you have authority and trust in your industry, this makes your business highly scalable as people will want to pay for your solutions as they understand you also provide integrity at no additional cost.
|Approved Vendor||Preferred Supplier||Solutions Consultant||Strategic Contributor||Trusted Partner|