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Sales in B2B in 2023: A complete guide

There are no two ways about it: B2B sales in 2023 are going to be trickier than ever. With a recession more likely than not, you’ll need to streamline your selling strategy, and make it more adaptable than ever before. 

So, in this guide, we’ll take a look at just that. But that’s not all, we’ll also take a closer look at what B2B actually is in 2023, give you some great strategy ideas, and give you some examples of how you can implement these strategies yourself.

We’ll cover:

  1. What is B2B in 2023?
  2. How’s the B2B landscape looking in 2023?
  3. What are some great B2B sales strategies for 2023?
  4. How can you implement these strategies in 2023? 

1. What is B2B in 2023?

Business-to-business (B2B) refers to transactions between businesses, a wholesaler and retailer, or a SaaS company and a retailer. Generally, B2B transactions involve products and services that focus on building a long-term relationship between two companies.

Companies in a B2B relationship often have a mutually beneficial arrangement, where either party can benefit from the other. For example, a manufacturer may need a wholesaler to purchase their products in bulk, while the wholesaler may need the manufacturer to provide them with a reliable and cost-effective supply of goods or services.

B2B relationships are normally ongoing, with continuous assessments on delivery on the part of the buyer. It also often requires ongoing communication and collaboration in order to ensure the success of the partnership.

Read also: How to be a recession-beating salesperson

b2b sales strategy

2. How’s the B2B landscape looking in 2023?

B2B is just that, business to business. But in a busy landscape, with an eye-watering number of blog content pieces published each day, it’s more important than ever to hone your strategy. 

But B2B has been made even more challenging by the current economic climate. Among the world’s biggest markets, the EU, China and the US may just avoid a recession this year. But the UK is more likely than not to enter one. Whether your main market avoids a recession or not, companies everywhere are feeling the pinch. 

That leads to an extremely challenging sales environment. So, until that economic uptick comes, you’ll need to adapt your selling strategy. In this guide, we’ll cover just that.

3. What are some great B2B sales strategies for 2023?

So with all of that in mind, you might well be wondering how you can tailor your sales strategy to the current climate? We’ve got a few ideas here. We’ll have a look at each one, then talk about how you can actually implement it in practice. 

Read also: Sales funnel stages: A complete guide for 2023

1. Targeting your pitch

This might sound like a given, but it’s more important than ever to really target your pitch like never before. 

If you have SDRs, they’ll have already got the lay of the company’s land, and can give you insights into where their real pain points lie. By positioning your solution as the solver of their problems, your product can go from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have”.

Addressing a client’s most pressing issues that they’ve told you about can help you turn a lead into a prospect, and get them further down the funnel.

2. Get smarketing 

‘Smarketing’ is a buzzword we hear a lot these days. But in these tougher times, it’s important that sales and marketing are aligned. And this doesn’t just mean having marketing listening in to sales calls. 

It also means building a red thread that links sales and marketing. If marketing is pushing a particular aspect of your product, and a lead has latched onto that, then lead with that aspect. Smarketing can also help you reach prospects who might already be a little way into the funnel, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

3. Upsell, upsell, upsell

When people are tightening their belts, it’s good to look at your existing customer base. Within your base, you can upsell. It might be that a company has a need for more licenses for your product. They could pay for greater levels of access to it. They could even upgrade their plan entirely. 

If you can upsell to existing customers, then you can still hit your targets without having to continually try cold outreach in a hostile economic environment. 

But how do you go about implementing any of these strategies in B2B in 2023?

Read also: 8 challenges sellers will face in 2023 and how to overcome them

b2b sales in 2023

4. How can you implement these strategies in 2023?

We can all agree that we’ve more than once looked at a strategy and thought “that’s a good idea”, yet done nothing to implement it. 

So here are some ideas on how to implement the three strategies we talked about above.

When it comes to targeting your pitch, it’s a case of doing your homework. It’s always good to connect with the SDR who found the lead. Ask about where the lead’s pain points lie, and where exactly your solution can help them.

If the lead came from your marketing department, then ask where they converted. This could give you clues as to their pain points. If they asked for a demo, then they already see the value in your solution. If you found the lead yourself, then you’ve already started to build a working relationship with them, which is half the battle won.

Of course, your marketing department can help through smarketing. By aligning your goals and your work, you can generate hotter leads. That all-important red thread is vital for taking someone from being a lead to a customer in B2B in 2023.

Lastly, don’t forget about upselling. Your existing customer base is with you for a reason, and you could entice them to buy more from you. Whether that’s buying more licenses, access to extra features, or even upgrading their entire plan. As you’ve already spent time building and nurturing that working relationship, you don’t have to start from zero when upselling.

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