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4 Hacks You Need to Know to Amplify Your B2B Sales For instance, do you know the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

By Pius Boachie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To succeed, a business-to-business (B2B) company needs a lot of sales leads. You will find it difficult to promote your business and services effectively if you're lacking a solid list of prospects.

Related: 5 Tips for Developing Your B2B Sales

Sure, you may get lucky and convert a few random prospects into paying customers, but that isn't a sustainable business model for long-term success. Instead, get to work on your prospects list, because selling in the B2B space is not as different from B2C as some would have you believe.

Businesspeople are just people, after all, with the same problems, apprehensions, feelings and dreams as everyone else. However, B2B buyers are also usually very busy. So, with that in mind, here are several steps you take to amplify your sales to them:

Get visual to tell your story, using videos.

High-quality, well-thought-out videos can give business consumers all the information they need to evaluate your product or service compared to your competitors'. Videos also promote your brand and knowledge, serving as informational and engaging trend pieces.

Videos can be used for various parts of the B2B sales cycle. They can serve as demo videos to accurately show how your service works and why it is beneficial to buyers' business goals. They can also be used to share client testimonials, showing more personalized results from your product or service.

B2B videos, further, increase your search engine optimization and make it more likely that a B2B purchaser searching for an item will come across your product, as opposed to one offered by your direct competitor.

Related: 6 Fatal B2B Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid

To ultimately be successful with B2B videos, understand how to create high-quality videos that will drive sales. And, here, the first step is to define your purpose or your message: Your purpose should be as short and succinct as an elevator pitch. Always make sure your video has a purpose in mind and that you follow through with it.

Invest in marketing automation.

According to Position², marketing automation has been identified by 78 percent of high-performing marketers surveyed as a key contributing factor to improved revenue. Automation has been estimated to help B2B marketers increase their sales pipeline contribution by an average of 10 percent. It also help teams generate both more and better-quality leads.

This is where the benefits of the ability to measure and prove a positive ROI come in, for any marketing teams. Marketing automation software can help you monitor responses and tie them back to certain marketing campaigns, as well as monitor your overall expenditure. Using this software is a great way to engage with customers and can be used at many different stages of the buyer journey.

Marketing automation, in fact, can benefit a B2B company in ways ranging from increasing revenue and supporting lead generation efforts, to streamlining processes and helping teams maximize sales opportunities.

Any system you consider should be fully integrative with your existing CRM, so that the workflows your automation supports can be highly personalized and valuable data can be generated.

While it may take some time and a lot of thought to initially set up, marketing automation, once it's up and running, could be a game-changer for you. And, as the capabilities of the technology continue to grow, so too will the opportunities, so there's no better time to jump in.

Understand the differences between upselling and cross-selling.

Knowing this distinction automatically puts you at an advantage. Upselling means encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary product more expansive. For example, a camera might come with an offer of batteries; a printer purchase might prompt the suggestion for ink.

Here's a perfect example of how a fashion website handles upselling:

Encouraging your customers to buy more than one product per transaction in exchange for free shipping will increase customer spending.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, suggests that a particular product be purchased in conjunction with the primary product -- the suggestion of a scanner when a printer is purchased, or a conditioner when a shampoo is selected.

One of the easiest ways to lose your customers is to offer stupid upsells and cross-sells. So, suggesting a cross-sell or upsell that's completely unrelated will not only frustrate customers -- it could endanger your company's relationship with them.

That's why it's so important to ensure that your suggestion fits the customer's exact needs at the very moment he or she is discussing them with you.

Pay attention to signals like "I wish I could do X" or "Next we want to try Y"; these are insights into what your customer needs more of to achieve the desired result. Actively listen to people's needs and desires, determine which of your products or services could help and offer a cross-sell or upsell.

The more open, honest and transparent your sales team members are during the purchase process, while the customer searches for a good fit, the more likely those customers will be to stick around and become brand loyalists.

Recognize that feedback is important.

Your customers are going to share their impressions and experiences with your products and services via any available channel. Wouldn't you want access to those impressions? Every single instance of feedback offers you relevant information. When properly used, feedback can make the difference between the conversion, or retention -- or the loss -- of a customer.

Listen to learn better. Learn to improve what you offer. Customer feedback offers a direct line of communication with customers so you can determine if they are unhappy with any aspect of the product or service you are delivering before you lose their business.

A happy customer is a retained customer. By regularly requesting customer feedback via surveys, you can ensure that you keep your finger on your business's pulse. If a customer becomes frustrated or perceives a competitive offer to be better, he or she will start exploring those other options and cancel your contract or stop doing business with you.

By listening to your unhappy customers, you can use the feedback to ensure that all of your customers have a better experience and continue doing business with you.

Related: 3 Ways B2B Sales Will Change in the Next 20 Years

These four marketing hacks to amplify B2B sales are not the only way to capture your customers' attention and get more revenue. There are also pros and cons to each of these hacks. But all deserve your attention because all have the potential to significantly increase your sales.

Pius Boachie

Founder, DigitiMatic | Content Marketing Agency

Pius Boachie is a Nigeria-based inbound marketing consultant. He works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increas search-engine visibility. On his blog, Digitimatic, he shares actionable marketing and branding advice for businesses.



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