How B2B Prospects Make a Purchase Decision

Michael Maximoff
Author: Michael Maximoff
Published: 2022-04-06
Reading time: 6m

You probably expected one of those “7 Successful Sales Tactics” articles, but we cannot recommend you a fool-proof sales tactic without knowing what your business is all about. We never offer a sales technique without performing research of your industry, learning about your technology stack, your goals, and plans. Only after speaking with you can we talk about such things. 

So instead, we’re going to talk about things that are more relevant and don’t depend on your industry, company size, etc.

Have you ever wondered what makes your prospects choose a certain vendor? Is it the scale of advertising? 

Is it the budget invested in promotion? Is it product design? 

There is a reason why people follow one brand but don’t pay attention to many others — even the bright ones. Some of them are quite prosaic, while others can be achievable through rearranging your basic approach to sales and your team’s priorities.

Table of contents

What are the stages of the buying process?

1. Awareness.

In this period, a client realizes there's a problem. They become conscious of a business need. By way of instance, this might be as easy as a b2b lead generation small business experiencing growth, and the Marketing Director recognizing that in order to keep up with demand and continue growing and generating leads, they need help with reevaluation of their marketing procedures. In this scenario, the Director has recognized a problem and acknowledges a need to fix it.

2. Considering Alternatives

During this phase, the client researches the various choices to fix the issue. Moving back to the example with the Marketing Director, she might be asking herself questions like what kind of marketing automation system would best suit our needs? Is this something which could be managed in house by one of the advertising team members? Is it better to hire an outside agency to deal with the transition and supervision? What impact would marketing automation have on our present site and databases?

3. Decision time

At this phase, the client needs to justify the decision they are making to themselves along with some other upper management. Referring back to our example, the Marketing Director decided the best option and smoothest transition for implementing a marketing automation procedure meant hiring an agency. She would like to make sure she's making the right decision. This generally means meeting a sales rep and asking particular questions regarding the reason why they ought to choose your service to fix their problem. That is when the tough questions can get requested, and you need to prove to the customer that choosing your business is the optimal solution to their problem.

We’re outlining six important points because they are the core of your efforts.

  • Location
  • Referrals
  • Social proof
  • Informativity
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Non-scripted approach 

After this, you can build your high-pressure sales tactics on them, achieving optimal results for your market and industry.

So, let’s check them out and discover some new possibilities for your sales tactics. 

1. Location

There is a reason why location-based services are trending in B2B marketing. You can offer top quality products and services and provide god-tier customer services across the United States, but 75% of your prospective buyers in Michigan will still choose a small-sized company in Lansing over you.

Why does it happen?

It’s not really a secret. Your prospects like to be in control. They want full transparency of the B2B relationship they’re entering and in their opinion, the best way to achieve that security is not to go too far when looking for a vendor.

They want to be sure that their vendor is reachable, always in touch, and even available for a face-to-face conversation if it’s necessary. Also, let us not forget that people always reach out to those who “get it” — in your prospects’ eyes, a company rooted in Michigan will know more about their struggles than the company from the other state. 

Your takeaway: If you don’t have an office in the states covered by your ICP, things are going to be tough for you. To compensate, you must make the most out of your ability to communicate. 

  1. 24/7 availability. At Belkins, we are able to offer our B2B lead generation services across the United States by making an emphasis on our readiness to respond at any time. We provide our customers with a detailed description of our team’s structure and instructions on who they can contact when they have questions.
  2. Personalization. We assign an SDR to manage the customer’s campaigns, consult them, and navigate them through new data to ensure that they never feel lost and disconnected. We communicate through the messengers that are convenient to them and build an individual call schedule for each client, so our cooperation won’t affect their workflow.
  3. Proactivity. We often act first, informing our potential customers that while we’re not located in the same state as they are, we’ve done a lot of successful work for our clients based in that location. Then, we back up our claim with our case studies and reports or invite our customers to take a call with our b2b outside sales executives, who then share their insights. Trust us — just five minutes of speaking with a person are more than enough to see whether you’re dealing with someone who knows your pains.

2. Referrals

According to an Influitive study, referrals motivate 84% of B2B buyers to make a buying decision. The same study reveals that 86% of companies that implemented referral programs experienced revenue growth.

B2B buyers are a very considerate audience. Before they make a decision, they must be confident about their choice because quite often they’re looking for a vendor that can assist them in their 10-year plan, so they won’t stop until they find the perfect fit. If your company has the innovative technology to suit your prospects’ needs but lacks reviews and referrals, a smaller business with multiple customer relationships has a lot more chances than you. 

Your takeaway: Build relationships in a natural and organic way. The better your communication is, the easier it is for you to connect with your customers and convince them to refer you.

  1. Work with your current customers. Don’t switch to your new clients instantly after completing a sale with your current customer. Make sure to check in with them and ask for their feedback, and be ready to offer your advice and support. It will show your prospects that you value communication and are not obsessed with your profits.
  2. Ask for feedback.  At Belkins, we always ask our customers to share their thoughts with us. We usually ask them to speak about something specific and suggest that they outline any areas for improvement. Our prospects are enthusiastic to provide their expertise and insights.
  3. Make it easy to refer to you. The key to securing high-quality referrals is taking away everything that makes that process complicated. At Belkins, we create Google Forms with ready-made questions and guidelines to ensure that they don’t take much time out of our customers’ schedules while providing in-depth feedback.

3. Social proof 

Want to know if a vendor is good for you? See what people have to say about them. This method is as old as time itself, and it will remain that way for many years to come. The data collected by Nielsen research shows that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to trust a recommendation from colleagues or a success story relevant to their industry. 

Your takeaway: If you have closed several customers, it makes sense to invest time in the content. The more illustrative you are about the work you do, the more attractive it will look to your potential buyers.  

Make case studies. Document your work on the most interesting challenges you have ever encountered. It will be an interesting read to anyone working in your industry and a compelling argument to your prospective clients.

Post press releases. The sad thing is, no platform will ask you to publish your press release and keep your prospects updated. Therefore, you should take the initiative and connect with the web portals relevant to your industry in case you have some news to share.

Pay attention to review platforms. We have mentioned it here, but the importance of review sources cannot be stressed enough. Our company has a profile on Clutch, allowing our customers to easily rate our services and leave their reviews, therefore keeping our social proof fresh.

4. Informativity

Now, we finally get to talk about this part. Cold emailing is one way to start a B2B communication. However, for some of your future buyers, the communication starts as soon as they find your website. Since 53% of B2B buying decisions are made online nowadays, the easier it is for your prospects to navigate through the pages and read about services, and the better you explain your brand and your goals, the higher the probability of them calling you and talking shop. 

  1. Outline your services. It’s important to inject value into your website’s descriptions. Don’t limit yourself with “best services across {%%InsertStateName%}.” Tell about what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for.
  2. Map your visitor’s journey. Just like with a sales email, your visitors must understand their next steps. Your site must be a way that smoothly leads them to the ultimate result: selecting a time slot for a call with a sales executive, sending an email, or getting an estimate.
  3. Educate and engage. It’s good to think in advance and understand what kind of questions your visitors may have regarding your business. And the best way to do it is to create unique content that will outline the specifics of your work, your team’s expertise, and your insights. Even though it may seem that your industry is not content-friendly, there is still a way to implement some creativity into your strategy.

5. Inquisitiveness 

The reason why salespeople have become such a notorious meme throughout the years is because of the bad name created by greedier individuals. It’s not uncommon for some sales executives to decide that if their prospect agreed to take a call with them, they’re one monologue away from closing a deal. 

In other words, they talk. A lot. They become so absorbed by describing their company and services, they don’t let their potential buyers say a word or even ask a question. Of course, that overconfident attitude has its price. We’re not talking about some businesses experiencing a sales funnel leakage, but about the general shortage of sales talent.

Sadly, other sales teams have to deal with the damage as well, each time having to convince disgruntled prospects that they aren’t that kind of sales manager.  

Modern B2B sales leads buyers don’t like to be in a passive role anymore. They don’t want to be enlightened or educated on the subject they are quite knowledgeable about. They are looking for equal treatment and mutual respect. The best way to show them respect is to let them speak and be the one asking questions.

Your takeaway: DON’T starts your sales campaign with a cold call. You’re more likely to get added to a no-call list rather than get your prospects’ attention. Your call with the client should be scheduled and approved. 

  1. Ask about their business. Humility can get you a long way. When we speak with our prospects, we never assume that our experience allows us to know about their companies more than their CEOs do. It’s okay to inquire about the specifics of your prospects’ work, their business model, and their perspective on what they do. By doing this, you acknowledge your potential customers’ value and professionalism.
  2. Ask about their struggles.  It’s one thing to demonstrate your awareness of your prospect’s pain points. Yet it doesn’t mean you can skip this part in a conversation. People like to talk about their long-time concerns and they appreciate a friendly ear. It also convinces them that you don’t provide cookie-cutter solutions.
  3. Ask them about their plans.  Some companies build plans for 10 years ahead. Some companies need a vendor right here, right now, but are unsure about the next five years. Therefore, half of your target audience needs a relationship that will last, and another half is afraid of unwanted commitment. Don’t let their doubts fester - make things clear at once. Your prospects will appreciate the attention to the details.

6. Non-scripted approach

Nothing is more annoying than listening to someone who drones on about their company and services. You know they don’t mean it. You know they’re just following a script and that knowledge already chips away at your sympathy and willingness to deal with that person any longer than you have to. 

If you work with US-based companies, you should know that Americans stopped taking kindly to scripted calls. Also, due to them being surrounded by advertising and sales offers anywhere they go, your customers will smell the phony miles away. 

Sixty percent of B2B buyers admit they would choose a sales rep who took the time to craft a brand new value proposition over a sales executive who blindly follows a script. 

Your takeaway: You can make a script, but you cannot create a natural environment that is necessary for a productive conversation. Your B2B buyers appreciate thinking outside the box and paying more attention to the problems at hand than to the lines in your “Sales 101” guidebook.

  1. Advance culture. At Belkins, we don’t hand out scripts to our newcomers. We let them spend some time in our “sandbox,” working with our experienced sales reps, learning the ropes, and catching the flow of conversation. It's the best way for them to smoothly adapt to our workflow and the way we speak with our customers.
  2. Accumulate experience. We do suggest creating a sales pitch featuring phrases and expressions that are received well by your target audience. However, it should be used to help your sales teams pick the most appropriate words for a certain situation — not to be their cheat sheet. Also, make sure to change your sales pitch from time to time, adding new words and phrases.
  3. Focus on research. The company that values data over sales scripts gets more credibility. Prospects must know that you care about them more than you care about your gain. Data provides you with independence, while sales scripts subtly confine you to a certain way of speaking, thinking, and responding.


In our experience, there is no such thing as high-pressure sales tactics that work absolutely for everyone. Before you start looking for the best sales plan, you should remember two things: your business’ specifics and your buyers’ preferences. 

The more you know about what your prospects value in a potential vendor, the easier it is for you to build a sales tactics list that will keep your business moving. 

In case you have any more questions about maintaining your sales in your business climate, feel free to ask us anything by sending us an email.

Michael Maximoff
Michael MaximofficonCo-founder and Managing Partner at Belkins
Mike has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing and technology sector selling to SMB internationally. Michael leads Belkins' sales force and is responsible for biz development and new partnerships.
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