The B2B Sales Value Proposition

The B2B Sales Value Proposition - The Selling Labs

There’s a lot to be said about a career in B2B Sales.

For example! A friend of mine was promoted six months after she landed her first job in advertising sales. Within a year she became head of the department. By the time she was thirty, thanks to hard work, good mentors and a bit of luck, she leapfrogged her colleagues and was offered her first Director position. Executive board opportunities followed and she now runs a global media company with a large staff, generous perks and frequent invitations to speak on panels, sharing her story on how she got where she did. She has a lot to say on the topic as there’s a lot to be said about a career in B2B sales!

“2B is to Sell!”

Many graduates have dreams of running start-ups, becoming partners in law firms or climbing the corporate leadership ladder but few openly seek a career in sales. However, they’re missing out on the crucial stepping stone that sales provides – a great grounding in business. Sales experience allows people to develop compelling communication skills, build executive presence and gravitas and create a strong network from dealing with a myriad of different companies and industries. As my friend proved, sales is a perfect example of reward through meritocracy – it is measurable, empowering and rewarding.

B2B Sales Skills - Natalie Bagnall - The Selling Labs

B2B Sales Skills in the Boardroom

In addition to developing the skills that help develop strong interpersonal relationships, a career in B2B sales also prepares a person for the cold hard reality of the board room. Such skills include:

  • How to be accountable and responsible by surviving in a target-culture: high risk, high rewards.
  • How to excel at solving problems and dealing with complexity early in one’s career by being faced with ruthless industry practitioners.
  • How the hard knocks of working in competitive cultures help to develop character. focus, persistence and resilience.
  • How to be calm and rational in conflict and how to influence and connect with decision-makers.

B2B Sales During Lockdown

B2B Sales has flourished under Lockdown, proving itself robust and resilient to sudden changes in business practice. Recent research from McKinsey points out that B2B sales has transferred almost completely to videoconferencing in this short period but will, most likely, stay that way as few buyers believe that interaction in person will be required in a post-COVID world. This further builds the case for a career in ‘inside’ sales as it will allow more flexible working conditions, the benefits of a good work-life balance and the freedom to work from where you choose.

B2B Sales During Lockdown - The Selling Labs

Attracting and Keeping B2B Sales Professionals

Despite all the obvious benefits however, many companies are still losing key salespeople. A recent study by Gartner found that 24% of inside sales reps were actively looking to move on, the research pointing out, critically, that it’s not enough to offer rewards and good working conditions but that sales leaders need “to craft a compelling employee ‘value proposition’ to attract {and keep} high-quality inside sales candidates”. The way to attract people is not the age-old benefits of sales as being all about big bonuses and high salaries but to focus on the more recent positive ‘hygiene factors’ like work-life balance and work environment- the very benefits that the post-Covid world offers.

Factors for a Successful B2B Sales Career

We put our heads together and looked at what factors are key to building a successful career in B2B sales – from the perspective of the employee, the stakeholders, the clients and the senior leadership team. A few key things stood out, namely that:

  • Constant engagement through phone and video leads to a compelling communication style for sales teams who build attentive listening skills and an engaging vocal tone.
  • Frequent interaction with different business sectors and company types provides a deep understanding of the various business models and this proves indispensable in career development.
  • Dealing directly with decision-makers and other senior executives improves executive presence and influencing skills.
  • Selling requires ‘follow-up and follow-through’ and this builds credibility and trustworthiness.

The Future of B2B Sales is Bright

In a world where the only constant is change, the future is brighter than ever for B2B inside sales as a fast, cost-effective and nimble way of getting business done, bringing benefits to all concerned. So, in your role as a mentor or sponsor to people starting out in their careers, why not share the good news? There’s a lot to be said about b2b sales after all and the next generation of leaders will surely be very interested in what you have to say!

The Future of B2B Sales - The Selling Labs

B2B Sales Consulting

The advent of digital communications has made B2B more complex, more competitive and more nebulous. Remember the old days when your target audience needed a product, contacted your company and spoke to your sales team? If they liked the product (and the salesperson) they made a purchase. Bingo. Now the process is intercepted at various stages with online research- search!- and online communication- social media!- making it more complicated to influence your client. That’s where The Selling Labs can help. From helping you identify your brand vision and mission, to defining your value proposition and target audience, to scaling and expanding, we will guide your sales strategy at each step of the way.

To see how your business or sales team can benefit from our B2B expertise then get in touch with us today for more info.

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