B2B Sales Secrets: Crack the Corporate Code

Sally Page, WorkTripp co-founder and ex-Blinkist VP, demystifies B2B sales mastery.

B2B Sales Secrets: Crack the Corporate Code
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com / Unsplash

In the competitive world of B2B sales, understanding how to approach and sell to large corporates is crucial for your business's success.

Sally Page, co-founder of WorkTripp, draws on her senior management experience at giants like Audible and Blinkist, offering invaluable advice for cracking the complex B2B sales code.

Sally Page, Executive Coach and Co-Founder of WorkTripp

Procurement decoded

Every organisation's procurement process is unique, and understanding 'who's who in the zoo' is key to influencing your sales strategy.

For instance, in smaller firms of fewer than 200 people, purchase decisions are often less formal and left to senior leaders. In contrast, large corporations have more complex, lengthy procedures.

To sell to a giant like Google, you'll need an internal advocate to help get on their preferred suppliers list.

Navigating such structures is challenging and conquering it is a huge achievement.

Explain the value

When entering the world of B2B sales, your product or service's unique value proposition is paramount.

Understanding and articulating how your offering benefits a potential client can make or break your pitch.

Sally suggests having answers ready for the inevitable questions that decision-makers will ask:

  • Why does the company need your product or service?
  • How does it save them time or money or better yet...
  • Generate revenue?
  • Can it streamline operations or give the company a competitive edge?

An offering that ticks all these boxes is likely to capture attention and drive a successful sell-in, particularly with smaller firms.

So, be prepared to convincingly explain how your product or service hits the trifecta: saving time, reducing costs, and increasing profits.

Revenue Centres vs Cost Centres

Becoming savvy about the budget constraints of the department you're targeting can significantly influence the trajectory of your sales process.

This starts with understanding the key difference between revenue centres and cost centres within an organisation.

These terms refer to various departments based on their ability to generate revenue or their function as necessary costs for the company.

Revenue centres, being profit-generating, are generally more receptive to products or services that will help them save time or increase profits.

Some typical examples of profit centres include:

  • Sales: The main revenue-driving force in most organisations.
  • Marketing: Responsible for promoting products and services, driving brand awareness, and attracting potential customers.
  • Production: The department that manufactures and delivers the products or services for sale.

On the other hand, cost centres can be a tougher sell. These are departments that, rather than bringing in revenue, are seen as 'costing' the company.

Therefore, they tend to be more cost-conscious and sensitive to any increase in expenditure.

Some common examples of cost centres are:

  • Human Resources: Handles employee recruitment, benefits, retention, and general employee management, which are vital for organisational health but do not directly generate profits.
  • Finance: Manages the company's accounts, budgeting, and financial planning.
  • IT Support: Ensures that the organisation's technology infrastructure runs smoothly.

Recognising these differences is crucial in tailoring your pitch and maximising its relevance to the department you're selling to.

Whether you're dealing with a revenue-generating team or a cost centre, your product or service should clearly align with their needs and goals.

Make creativity work for you

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson / Unsplash

Selling digital tools to the Learning and Development departments of large corporates poses unique challenges due to integration requirements with existing Learning Management Systems.

Sally suggests forming partnerships with companies that already have these integrations. Alternatively, targeting a specific team that could benefit from your services, like training, could be an effective route.

She advises you to think creatively when attempting to capture the attention of those within an organisation who can champion your cause.

Remember, everyone is trying to win corporate business so take the time to perfect your pitch alongside your resilience.

Knowledge is power

Before you take action, research, research and research some more. For example, tools like Prelo.io make it easier to tailor your message, build a strong business case and find decision makers.

Having a comprehensive understanding of the procurement process and the dynamics of the organisation you're selling to is key.

This knowledge will allow you to customise your pitch, presenting your offering in a way that optimises your chances of success.

Want to go further?

Check out these resources that will help you level up and keep your inspiration tank full.

Watch - Neil Sheth's Expert Tips on 'Story Selling'

Boost your B2B success with storytelling masterclass from Neil Sheth, founder of  Writefully and askInput.

Learn his simple methods for building lasting customer relationships.

Listen - Sales EQ by Jeb Blount

Tune in to "Sales EQ" by Jeb Blount, a top sales advisor and best-selling author. Understand your buyers' feelings and control your own for better results.

Learn how to harness emotions to improve your sales game.

Grab the Blink! Be quick to access this for FREE

Learn how to elevate your sales and yield real results in under 20-minutes. We have FIVE free access passes available. Be quick so you don't miss out. 

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