b2b selling process

B2B Complex sale is a one that includes more than one decision maker. Complex Sales are especially common in large B2B sales environment & do exist in some smaller sales environment. This is commonly known as Enterprise Sales by some organizations.

In B2B sales the decision maker is usually either the person who controls the relevant sphere of authority (for example, the CXO suit for technology sales) or the person in charge of all purchasing operations. Other interested parties might include the chief decision maker’s assistant and gatekeeper, the product’s intended users, the person or persons who will be responsible for setting up and maintaining the product, members of the company’s legal team, and so on.

Complex sales of any type are further complicated by existing politics and power struggles within the decision-making team. For example, if you are selling to a husband and wife who have had an ongoing argument about what type of product to buy, their reactions to your sales pitch might be based on things they’ve discussed earlier and might be unexpected to you. Similarly, a company vice president engaged in a power struggle with the head of another department might either support or oppose the sale based on factors that have nothing to do with you.

The best way to make these internal struggles work for you is to get an advocate/Coach on the inside. Ideally, this advocate will be one of the decision makers, but you can make do with someone who understands what makes the decision makers tick (for example, a decision maker’s assistant). An advocate can also clue you in as to who has the control of the purchasing process and who merely has influence. He can fill you in on the details of past sales and what issues will matter most to the decision makers.

Often the ideal advocate is the gatekeeper. He is the one who controls access to the various decision-makers, so he can either make it easy or impossible for you to reach them directly. He also usually knows all the stake holders as opposed to being familiar with just one department. Finally, the gatekeeper usually has the least to lose if your product doesn’t work out, so he’s probably more willing to take the risk of helping you than other decision makers whose jobs might be on the line.

Another useful advocate in a complex sale is the person who has the most to gain from your product’s particular benefits. For example, let’s say that you’re selling a cloud-based (meaning it’s hosted online) software package that takes the place of traditional on-site software. A little probing uncovers the fact that the CTO & CFO is over budget and trying to reduce spending as much as possible. You can then point out that your cloud-based system will save lots of money by eliminating the need for on-site maintenance and for hardware to host the package.

With luck, you can turn the CTO into your advocate, and you’ll have an excellent chance of closing the sale.

Another major advantage in complex sales is being the first salesperson on the scene. If you are the one who initiates the buying process, you can frame the discussion in terms of your product’s strengths. For example, if you sell a piece of equipment that’s exceptionally reliable but not as fast as some of the other products on the market, you can stress the importance of reliability and cite figures about the costs associated with equipment failure in your presentation. When other salespeople make their presentations, the buying team will already be aware of the importance of reliability – and since your product is the best in this area, your competitors will look weak in comparison.

How does the ticket size /large deals closed? The seven step Sales Process.

We have a Seven Step sales Process proven with all types of B2B environment and Fortune 500 organizations in the world.

B2b sales

7 Steps of the B2B Sales Process:

  1. Target
  2. Qualify
  3. Discover
  4. Verify
  5. Present
  6. Close
  7. Manage

Target : In this stage we Prioritize Customer & Identify whom are we selling, eg : Owner, General Contractor, Consultant , Dealer , other example which vertical market like Healthcare , Telecom , IT , BFSI & Pharma.


Qualify Buyer,

Qualify Opportunity

At this stage of the process, we evaluate weather Company/Organization can provide solution to the target opportunity. We would also check the buying process of the customer to know the decision makers, time frame for decision and the project progress with respect to plan/schedule

Discover :

Determine Goals

Determine Needs

Determine Risks

Determine Problems

At this stage we understand from the client the specific needs and challenges for the opportunity that we have qualified. We would also understand what they view as project risks and their criteria in evaluating the solution. This is the phase where we get to know how our solution might affect their business needs.

(This would help us build the message of Value)

Verify :

Verify Customer needs

Obtain Customer Commitment

At this stage i.e. after the discovery step we would reconfirm that what we have understood of customer needs is correct. It is very important that we have positive response from the customer before we proceed further. This step helps to know expectation of the customer and helps us to present our solution. It is important to know from the customer that he wants us to proceed further and sees a value in  our association with their organization.

Present :

Present Techno-Commercial proposal Discuss and fine tune the final offer

At this step we present the solution ex: FAS quote, Security system offer etc. We also arrive at a mutually agreed value/delivery time to provide the solution.

Close :

Obtain Purchase Order

Acknowledge P.O

Organize Kick-off meetings

Prepare internal documents for transfer to delivery teams

Manage :

Build the relationship………………………………………

This is extremely important as we can be in touch with our customers to check their satisfaction with the ongoing works and to build relationships for future works and variations. This is an important step that leads to account management which can result in increased business for the company/organization and repeat orders for other locations and other services that we offer.

B2B complex sales

In summary the advantage of the seven step process is probability of Win is amplified by a factor of 3X  as :

Helps us to have better success

Helps us to sell the right solution

Helps us define the correct value message

( to Customer)

Provides Value proposition

(How customers values/view your solution as it effects

their business needs/challenges and mitigates risk)

Differentiates from Competition

To ensure we understand it as a science and manage it rightly, we do have tools like Go-Get Analysis for us to understand better.

Go Get Analysis
Assessment Criteria Excellent (5) Good (3) Average (1) Poor (0) SCORE
Is there an opportunity?
1 We are in touch with Owner Consultant / Architect Main Contractor / Tender / RFP Sub-Contractor 5
2 Relationship with our contact from the prospect on this opportunity Very close; Prospect is a loyal customer of XYZ products Close; Prospect is familiar with XYZ products Acquaintance: Prospect is aware of XYZ products New contact: Prospect is not aware of XYZ products 5
3 KEY Is there a compelling reason driving the customer to make a decision for this requirement? Defined NO RATING FOR THESE CELLS Undefined 5
4 Is the prospect’s business application of this project, objectives and the budgets clearly defined Defined Undefined 5
5 Is this requirement within our area of expertise and have we completed similar assignments earlier Assignments of higher value in the same industry Assignments of similar value in the same industry Assignments of lower value but similar requirements; from the same industry First such assignment in this industry / market segment 5
Can we compete?
6 KEY Can we clearly define the decision criteria / issues in order of priority Defined NO RATING FOR THESE CELLS Undefined 5
7 Can we offer a solution to fit the prospect’s compelling / driving reason Yes No 5
8 Rate the sales resource requirements to successfully close the sale with this prospect Low High 5
9 Have we defined the Unique Business Value and strategic benefits by which the prospect will prefer us as a business partner over other competition Yes No 5
10 Nature of the prospect enquiry / RFP / Tender Supply based on BOQ Design, Supply & Install based on BOQ Design, Supply & Install based on Lump sum Only install and commission material supplied by prospect 5
Can we win?
11 Inside support Prospect specified XYZ products and has taken technical inputs Have contacts to get more data on customer needs Have invitation to present XYZ Technical solution Follow the specification requirement 5
12 How many competitors do we have on this prospect We are the only bidder Less than 2 less than 3 Greater than 3 5
13 XYZ product composition in the solution offered 75% and above Between 50% and 75% Between 30% and 50% Less than 30% 5
14 KEY Have we contacted all the points where formal / informal inputs are given for taking a decision User Buyer + Economic Buyer + Technical Buyer + Coach NO RATING FOR THESE CELLS Have we missed identifying even one of the 4 buyer types 5
15 Our relationship with the prospect on previous projects Project executed ahead of time and client fully satisfied NEW PROSPECT or Project completed in time. Client satisfied Project completed in time. Minor delay during commissioning Project delayed. Client internal targets delayed 5
Is it worth winning?
16 The condition of prospect’s business Rapidly growing with new expansion plans Stable growth with few expansion plans Minimal growth Declared losses in revenue and earnings 5
17 Future revenue possibilities Certainty of future projects and maintenance contracts 60% to 80% likelihood of future projects and maintenance contract on this one 30% to 60% likelihood of further projects Less than 30% likelihood of further projects 5
18 What gross margin will we be able to make on this requirement 40% and above 30% to 40% 25% to 30% Less than 25% 5
19 Prior AR and Legal record of prospect 0 – 45 days 45 – 60 days 60 to 90 days More than 120 days and / or Litigation 5
20 The strategic value and importance of this enquiry in terms of entry to new clientele, market segment, positioning, recurring business etc. High Medium Low NO RATING FOR THIS CELL 5

Learn how to deploy this tool in the organization. Please engage Shakti Leekha – Author of Best Selling Book Reimagine High Value Sales. To read more about science and arts of B2B Sales Buy Now. Book Appointment with Mail us –  shaktileekha@gmail.com

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