To appeal to a B2B customer, your sales message and approach must address one or more of these issues.
There are eight (and only eight) reasons that companies buy things from other companies.
You ability to sell B2B is directly dependent upon your ability to appeal to one or more (or all) of these reasons:
1. Revenue improvement.
Every company is interested in the "top line" of how much money is flowing into a company through sales of their own products and services. Sales angle: show how your product makes it easier for the customer to sell to their own customers.
2. Cost reduction.
Every company is also interested in the "bottom line," which consists of the revenue minus the costs of producing that revenue. Sales angle: show how your product reduces R&D, manufacturing, marketing, delivery, support or sales costs.
3. Market share.
Some companies (especially startups) often take the view that building market share is more important, or as important, as current revenue or immediate cost reduction. Sales angle: show how you can help the customer increase their customer base.
Whenever the economy is uncertain, some companies sit on their cash reserves. That money's not earning anything so they may want to invest it. Sales angle: provide opportunities to buy other companies or product lines.
5. Quality improvement.
Poor quality products and services lose customers and result in costly reworks, scrap, overtime and corrective action. Higher quality products and services attract new customers. Sales angle: show how you can help them reduce errors.
6. Delivery improvement.
Some companies spend big money getting their products and services into the hands of their customers. Sales angle: show how much would the customer will save in canceled orders, expediting costs, airfreight charges, and so forth.
7. Risk reduction.
Most companies are understandably frightened at the possibility of public relations disasters or major legal problems. Sales angle: show how you can help them eliminate potential PR problems or avoid penalties, legal fees, and litigation.
8. Career enhancement.
Finally, companies sometimes buy because decision-makers are positioning for another job in the industry that's selling to them. Sales angle: make it clear this is a long term relationship between you and the decision-maker.
GEOFFREY JAMES writes "Sales Source on Inc.com," the world's most-read sales-oriented blog. His new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t, will be published in early 2014. To get weekly blog updates, sign up for his free "Insider" newsletter. @Sales_Source