12 B2B Sales Tips to Crush Your Quota

In theory, closing is simple. Show up, present your pitch, answer your prospect’s questions, and ask for the sale. But in practice, it’s not so easy. There are miscommunications, hesitations, objections, and other obstacles that can derail your deal if closing isn’t your strong suit.

Whether you’re struggling to get your deal across the finish line or looking for inspiration for your next one, we've got the top 12 business-to-business (B2B) sales tips to help you bring it home.

6 min. read

How to Succeed in B2B Sales

To really knock it out of the park in B2B sales, getting into the nitty-gritty of what prospects need is key. This means doing the homework on the company, figuring out who they're up against, and what they're aiming to achieve. It's all about showing how what you're selling can make their lives easier or business run more smoothly.

For a little more real-world perspective, we asked Scott Tower, Proposify's Director of Sales, for his best B2B sales tips and closing techniques.

1. Focus on the Prospect, Not the Deal

Your team's goal is to get prospects on board and win more business, right? Well, technically that’s right. But if they want a better chance of closing, there's a better way to look at it.

When your reps focus on the deal, they put your company's own interests first, which can push the prospect away. Instead, focus on the prospect. Think about their needs, their interests, and their goals, and how you can accommodate them.

Scott coaches his team on the importance of putting the prospect first to provide value right from the start of the interaction and make them more likely to want to sign.

2. Know Your Product, Sell Its Relevance

Your team needs to be able to accurately (and convincingly) describe your product or service. But descriptions and details don’t always stick, especially if there’s no context.

To really highlight the value your offering provides, your team must show (not just tell) their prospects exactly how your product will benefit them.

A well-crafted proposal can help translate features and functions into specific examples of how they can be used and the direct benefits they can provide. It’s the perfect place to sell value, summarize the pain points uncovered during discovery, and speak to decision-makers who haven’t yet been involved in the deal.

3. Offer a Free Managed Trial

While this tip for B2B sales isn’t feasible for all products, it’s especially successful for subscription-based models like SaaS. A free managed trial of your product allows your reps to give their prospects an opportunity to experience everything they've talked about in their pitches.

Unlike an unlimited free trial, which could backfire if the product is too robust for prospects to experience in a short time frame, a managed trial allows your team to bring key features and benefits to life, giving potential customers a chance to see how the product works from the inside. Scott says:

"A free managed trial draws attention to other details that your team didn’t have a chance to mention, like a user-friendly interface, hands-on customer support, or new potential use cases"

4. Dig Deep

Most prospects are happy to talk about their company’s needs, challenges and goals when asked. But it’s likely their initial answers will only scratch the surface. To close prospects, your reps need to understand what's going on at a much deeper level.

Your team must be unafraid to ask questions, or to follow up with additional questions if they feel there's more underneath that isn’t being addressed. It’s possible the prospect doesn’t even fully grasp the roots of their challenges themselves.

If a rep is able to show that they understand the prospective customer better than the competition, they'll have a much easier time getting them on board.

5. Leverage Technology

Using technology to communicate with prospects and close deals doesn't have to be cold and impersonal. Far from it.

Instead, by using tools like customer relationship management (CRM) and proposal automation to streamline work, your team is freed up to add even more of a human touch to their relationships with their B2B prospects.

In addition, putting sales enablement software in place helps your team feel more supported, and they, in turn, will feel better equipped to offer support to their prospects throughout the sales process.

Scott also points out that because so much communication takes place remotely, it can be difficult to see a prospect's body language. Or if they have their camera off, you may not even see their face to gauge their expressions. Scott says:

"You have to be really good at listening, and you have to be good at asking the right questions so you get specific answers and have concrete facts about what's going to happen. Just having those concrete facts is super important when you can't read that body language. But whenever possible, use technology to its fullest capability to see and clearly communicate with your prospects."

6. Follow up at the Right Time

Follow up too soon, and your prospect may feel pressured. Let too much time go by, and your prospect may have moved on to a competitor who gave them more attention. It's a fine line, but there's a way to make it easier to know when to follow up.

Your team needs proposal software that provides valuable insights on how your prospect is interacting with your proposal, like notifications when the proposal is opened and how much time the prospect spends on each section. Then the rep can reach out with the right context, at the right time.

The prospect won't feel pressured or ignored, and your team members can increase their closing rates.

Scott adds that this feature in Proposify is one that gets prospects excited, and that existing customers really value because of how it helps manage the closing process and gets deals across the finish line.

7. Stop Pitching, Start a Conversation

Interactions with B2B prospects shouldn’t be one-sided. While it’s important to tell them about your company and your product, they can probably find that information on your website. Your team can make much better use of the time by having a conversation with their prospect.

They can ask what their challenges are, what they’re hoping to achieve, what other options they’re considering, and so on. By engaging in a meaningful dialogue, they'll be able to demonstrate their insight and ability to address prospects' needs.

Simply relating to a prospect as a human can push things in your favor. Scott relayed a time when he was having difficulty getting a commitment from a prospect. As Scott explains:

"I was following up with my champions and other stakeholders, but I just wasn't getting a response. It was the last day of the quarter, and one channel I hadn't tried was LinkedIn. So I went to LinkedIn and messaged the signing authority. I started off with a little personalization around the school he went to, and connected that to college basketball and my personal interest there. That piqued his interest, and got him to read the note. It must have been within the hour, the proposal was signed. So again, you just have to try to start that conversation to get the deal across the line."

8. Create Small Yeses

Psychology is a core part of sales. From the clothing your reps wear to the language they use, little details can have a big effect on the outcome of deals. This goes for prospects' behaviour, too.

Research has proved that people are more likely to say "yes" to bigger questions if they follow a series of smaller ones. If your team can identify three or four smaller closing questions that lead up to the big one (“Are you ready to get started?”), they can build momentum and create a positive atmosphere that is proven to close.

In our webinar with John Barrows, CEO of JB Sales, he explains that sales is nothing but one close after another, leading up to the big close at the end.

“You're closing multiple things throughout the entire process—closing for a referral to another department, closing for when to bring in procurement early, etc. With this approach, the close doesn't just happen, but there's a natural point where it just makes sense. In enterprise sales, there isn’t just a single moment when you close, there are a lot of them. It's all about momentum.”

9. Be an Expert

Since 81% of consumers conduct research online before buying, it’s safe to assume that your B2B prospect did, too. So in order to impress them, you need to be extra prepared.

By becoming experts on prospects’ industries, your team will be able to provide even more value and offer personalized answers the prospects wouldn’t find elsewhere. Plus, the better your reps understand potential customers' challenges, the better they'll be able to explain how your offering can help solve them.

10. Ask for the Sale

While it might seem obvious, it’s crucial to actually ask for the sale. After a lengthy sales cycle and a promising back-and-forth addressing prospects’ questions and concerns, your team might think the big question is implied. It’s not.

Says Scott, “If they really want to seal the deal, they'll need to be blunt.” The phrasing matters less than simply asking the prospect if they want to move forward with the deal.

Failing to ask this essential question risks the prospect losing all of that momentum your rep just spent weeks building. Or worse, getting scooped up by one of your competitors.

11. Practice Empathy

Of all the tips for closing B2B sales, this is the one tip to rule them all. Empathy goes a little farther than focusing on the prospect. It's putting yourself in their shoes to truly understand them.

More than just addressing pain points, practicing empathy will help you feel how those pain points make your prospects feel. By actively listening to them, you can not only better understand their needs, but also demonstrate to them that they're more than just a potential sale.

Empathizing with someone goes a long way to making them feel heard. And when your prospects feel heard, they're much more likely to want to do business with you than with competitors who see them as nothing more than a source of revenue.

12. Handle Objections with Grace

Handling objections in B2B sales is all about staying cool, calm, and collected. When a prospect pushes back, it's an opportunity to dig deeper and truly understand their concerns.

It's key to listen intently, empathize with their situation, and address their worries with clear, tailored solutions that highlight the value of your product or service.

Scott also mentions that sales reps may have a tendency to react when they hear an objection and try to sell around it, position against it, or pitch reasons why the objection doesn't matter, in reality. To counter that knee-jerk reaction, Scott says:

"The best thing you can do when you hear an objection is try to understand why that objection is coming up. Understanding the underlying reason why someone is hesitant or concerned or confused about the product or service your team is selling is going to help your reps come up with the best answer to really overcome or work through that objection."

Close More Deals, More Quickly

Closing is tough, and it’s not getting any easier. But armed with these B2B sales tips, you can improve your chances of sealing the deal.

In addition, using the right software for proposal automation, sales tracking, and prospect communication is key. For all of that and more, turn to Proposify. Our proposal software gives you end-to-end visibility into and control of your entire sales process.

Schedule a demo today, and you'll wonder how your team ever closed a deal without it.

12 B2B Sales Tips to Crush Your Quota

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