The goal of B2B business prospecting is to find new customers. It has therefore been necessary to develop several techniques over the years. However, each available technique corresponds to a specific context . You will not be able to use wrongly through, at the risk of not convincing your target. In order to optimize your results, it will then be necessary to create a prospecting plan upstream. This will have to take into account the objectives of your company.
B2B prospecting: a focus on companies
The term « B2B » or « B to B » corresponds to the English expression « business to business ». It refers to all trade and commercial activities between companies. Although the general public is not yet very familiar with this expression, B2B customers often represent a significant part of a company’s customer portfolio. B2B is opposed to B2C (« business to consumer »), which refers to exchanges with individuals. Given the diametrically opposed characteristics of these two clients, it is therefore not possible to use the same approaches.
The prerequisites of the B2B prospecting plan
Define your goals
To verify the relevance of your objectives, they must meet the five SMART criteria:
- Specific/simple : which is precise and corresponds to your strategic field of activity;
- Measurable : whose performance you can measure;
- Ambitious : which raises a certain challenge;
- Achievable : not utopian;
- Time-bound : with a deadline to respect.
Example: « Become the leader in the sale of laptops in the Indian Ocean area by 2025 ».
Segment and define the target
Segmentation consists of identifying the criteria that will be used to choose your final target. In the B2B context, this can be the size of the company, its catchment area, its capital, its legal status, etc. You can, for example, prioritize the most profitable segment and establish commercial actions of their own or, why not, establish a scoring of the different segments in order to analyze your return on investment.
Prospecting techniques to use in B2B
If individuals are more inclined to buy a product for playful reasons, companies (B2B customers) will determine their new business partner logically. Indeed, professionals must allocate a substantial budget for each of their projects. Thus, they will favor companies that offer them the best value for money, with which it will be possible to establish sustainable exchanges.
More detailed sales materials
On the B2C side, promotion is mainly done on TV and social networks. As the quantity of products is substantial, promoters must therefore opt for succinct content, which plays more on emotions than on reason. Catchphrases, such as « The first smartphone with 6 photo sensors for 250 euros », can be enough to create the desire to buy in a mainstream consumer. A company, on the other hand, will check if the 6 photo sensors in question are really useful and if the other specifications correspond to their uses.
You will then have to give as much information as possible about your products, such as the typical profile of the users, the instructions for use, the durability and the ancillary services. For this, you can use brochures, but also well-stocked catalogs.
The use of digital marketing
Again, this is a technique also used in B2C. However, it is the approach that will be different. Instead of just exposing advertising banners on virtual platforms, the B2B client will be entitled to these specialized emails (e-mailings and newsletters). These messages should not only contain long text. It will be essential to associate attractive visuals to maximize impact. Call-to-actions (links to click on) will also be welcome, as they will allow direct access to your offer, for example.
Since emails are sometimes ignored by recipients, do not hesitate to follow up with your prospects via a call. To do this, don’t forget to introduce yourself and call back which offer you’re calling for. The goal here is not to push the potential customer. Instead, you’ll need to show that you value their needs first and foremost. Once the representative of the company understands this, you will have the opportunity to convince him that he has every interest in consuming your product or service.
This is the coup de grace that you carry during B2B prospecting. However, the request must come from the client. Always keep in mind that you don’t have to push him! Indeed, if you insist on meeting him early to present him with a product he has never seen, you will be seen as an intrusive and important negotiator.
Park against, if your opposite takes the trouble to give you an appointment to discuss your services, it is because he is strongly interested. He probably wants to know more about the offers and start negotiating. In this case, do not hesitate to take samples of your product, if possible. Show precisely how it should be used and the concrete advantages!
Ultimately, as the approaches to be adopted in B2B are specific, it will be essential to form a team dedicated solely to this activity. The members of the latter will indeed have to have a very thorough knowledge of the offer to be promoted. This will reinforce the seriousness of your company in front of the prospect. Also, don’t forget to retain the prospect, once you’ve turned them into a customer. Yes! It would be a shame not to establish a lasting relationship with him. A one-time purchase won’t have a significant impact on your business. Regular training will help grow your team, not to mention assessments.