Do you need to hire a competent B2B sales representative?

You need a knowledgeable and personable salesperson to succeed in your sales journey.

These sales gurus should be experts at establishing connections, crafting compelling arguments, and closing deals with other companies.

But how can you find the ideal representative for your company?

It can be stressful to narrow your search when there are so many options. 

Don't worry; we've got you covered.

This article will share great tips and details on choosing your company's ideal B2B sales representative.

We'll cover everything from examining their communication abilities to assessing their sector knowledge.

Read on for some searing insights into B2B sales, whether you're a startup aiming to establish yourself or an existing company looking to widen your clientele.

What is a B2B Sales Representative?

A B2B sales representative identifies and contacts decision-makers in big and small businesses to market a product or service.

They contact the lead, develop a relationship, and close the sale using technology and a structured sales process.

Role of the B2B Sales Representative

Business-to-business sales agents manage the entire B2B sales funnel, from lead creation to conversion.

They are responsible for various important tasks, such as:

  • Finding prospecting possibilities by researching the target industry.
  • Preparing for and carrying out cold outreach to generate new leads via emails and calls.
  • Calling or emailing potential customers to gauge their needs.
  • Providing product demonstrations and responding to inquiries, concerns, and rejections.
  • Relationship management to add value to several decision-makers and stakeholders.
  • Negotiating multiple sales transactions and closing them to maximize revenue.
  • Controlling all B2B selling operations and activities inside a specific territory, zone, or industry.

Why B2B Sales are Labeled as Complex Sales

Business-to-business sales mean selling products and services to other businesses instead of selling them directly to customers. It's important to build relationships with other businesses and understand their unique needs. By doing so, companies can create long-term partnerships and collaborations that can lead to mutual benefits and growth opportunities.

B2B sales are distinct from B2C sales since the sales cycle is longer, involves more decision-makers and touchpoints, and the product sold is typically of higher value.

As a result, it can take around three months or more to finalize a B2B sales contract.

Also, B2B sales involve several decision-makers, each with specific needs.

Therefore, sales representatives must address each key stakeholder's objection and calm their worries to close the sale.

Hence, B2B sales are referred to as complicated sales.

6 Essential Tips for Hiring Competent B2B Sales Reps

Hiring skilled, teachable, and enthusiastic B2B sales representatives is essential since an organization's ability to generate revenue is critical to its success.

In the current employment market, businesses and recruiters in the sales industry should prioritize finding the ideal candidate early on.

The explanation is straightforward: poor hiring negatively impacts both financial costs and morale deterioration over time.

Consider the following tips to reduce the likelihood of hiring a subpar applicant:

  • Form a team to suggest the optimal applicant profile for your sales team.
  • Use hiring tools like an application tracking system to handle labor-intensive tasks.
  • Do extensive personal and professional study on the finalists.
  • Only hire a competent candidate.
  • To conduct the first assessments, schedule preliminary phone interviews.
  • Partner with trustworthy external sales recruiters if necessary.

Overcoming Challenges in B2B Sales Representative

B2B sales are difficult and involve high price points. A single contract frequently requires several touchpoints, decision-makers, and channels.

The company’s decision-makers are frequently informed and courted by various rivals.

In this case, the sales rep's attentiveness can frequently distinguish between a deal and no deal throughout the sometimes protracted, back-and-forth sales process.

A mix of personal qualities, selling prowess, sales tools, organizational support, and a successful B2B sales strategy help salespeople withstand the challenging environment of B2B selling.

Excellent qualities and talents for salespeople also help them handle the pressures and difficulties in B2B selling.

Empathy, social selling, and dispute resolution are just a few of the key qualities and abilities sales representatives need to succeed in their work. A specialized sales ops and /or sales enablement team can significantly help develop these skills and master the trade.

Sales representatives also employ various sales techniques, frequently iterating playbooks to increase win rates and speed up the process, depending on their target clients and the B2B sales cycle.

Solution selling, challenger selling, and account-based selling are some of the most commonly applied methods by B2B vendors.

In the meantime, the most efficient sales tools available today are powered by machine learning, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI).

New technology is essential if a sales force decreases process inefficiencies and improves revenue performance. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) alone won't be sufficient.

Therefore, a B2B team must carefully create a strong sales enablement stack, which includes a powerful sales engagement platform, to obtain a competitive advantage.

The Routine of a B2B Sales Representative

A typical day for a B2B sales professional will include identifying leads, researching prospects, following up on missed calls or emails, and setting up meetings to hit targets.

Everything you have planned revolves around adding new prospects to your pipeline or bringing them closer to a close.

Many B2B salespeople prefer to spend their mornings dealing with unfinished business.

Data shows that Sales representatives use 7% of their time pitching.

7% of the time the top-performing salespeople used in pitching 

This can be a client who sent an email on Sunday and wants a response right now or a prospect who postponed a meeting last Friday due to a conflict.

You will likely start with the oldest or most urgent issue if there is a backlog.

Then, you'll move on to your present business: consider the prospects you need to follow up with, requalify, and assess their position in the funnel; make appointments; and close agreements.

Address any customer inquiries, and you'll look for chances to upsell or cross-sell.

Lastly, you'll need to set aside a good chunk of time for prospecting.

Notably, 81.6% of top performers dedicate at least four hours daily to sales activities.

81.6% of top sales performers spend 4 hours or more on sales activities daily

To do this, search for potential clients on LinkedIn or other social networking platforms, add these connections to your CRM, and then learn enough about them to send them an outreach email or schedule a call.

Of course, the B2B sales representative position also requires some flexibility.

For instance, there may be weeks when you have few prospects, so you'll need to spend a lot of time on Crunchbase, AngelList, or another B2B company-finding website to fill your pipeline.

Spotting the Difference: Characteristics of Good vs Bad Sales Candidates

A good vs. bad salesperson

Note the following traits of both qualified and unqualified candidates:

  1. Good applicants are enthusiastic about their work. Bad sales representatives need more motivation and interest.
  1. Good candidates' social media profiles demonstrate tact and respect, and 90% of top sales performers employ social selling techniques. Bad sales candidates need to be more apathetic.
90% Of Top Sales Performers Use Social Selling Tools
  1. When seeking new employment, good applicants take care to leave a good legacy by remaining in their current positions for a while. Poor candidates can easily change jobs whenever they choose.
  1. Candidates who care about their abilities and demonstrate their trainability are excellent. Poor candidates present themselves as needing more room for improvement.
  1. Effective salespeople take ownership of their roles and accountability for their activities. Unqualified candidates attribute their failures to others.

B2B Sales Process in 6 Steps

The diagram below represents an overview of B2B representatives' sales process.

B2B Sales Process in 6 Steps

Let's get into some details about the steps to understand them better.

1. The Crucial Role of Research

The first step in the B2B sales and marketing cycle is research.

B2B sales representatives carry out thorough research on businesses that are likely to buy their products and services. They study the demographic makeup of their target prospects and figure out the best ways to reach them.

They must identify the key decision-makers in an organization and communicate with them directly.

B2B representatives research this information using a variety of platforms such as social media, websites, news portals, review portals, and so on.

2. Prospecting Techniques

Prospecting is emailing or calling prospective customers to pique their interest.

This stage assists them in determining the prospect's readiness to purchase the product or service.

3. Discovery Calls

At this stage, a quick need assessment is performed to identify the product-prospect fit.

The prospect's current issues, business goals, and budget are all common areas to focus on during the discovery call.

Appropriate outreach strategies can be devised once everyone is clear on these points.

4. Sales Pitches and Demos to Win Deals 

Reps pitch the product after determining the prospect's needs during B2B prospecting.

The sales representative is well aware of their target prospect's challenges, and the pitch should proactively address the key needs and concerns.

Prospects raise numerous objections at this stage.

Your chances of running against several objections from various stakeholders increase with the complexity of the solution. 

Reps, however, can handle objections and move the deal forward with proper preparation.

5. B2B Negotiation: Closing Successful Deals

B2B selling is time-consuming and complex.

Before closing deals, sales representatives must negotiate with corporate buyers several times.

These requests can be about pricing, features, or implementation, among other things.

To freeze the final deal, the sales rep must correctly negotiate all the terms and conditions with the prospects.

6. Importance of Conversion

Conversion is essential in the B2B sales process.

Even after significant progress, many prospective B2B sales deals still need to convert into paid deals.

Those that do convert provide disproportionate returns on the overall effort.

As a result, in this stage, smooth customer onboarding must be planned and executed.

Key Traits of Successful Sales Representatives 

Key traits of a successful sales representative

1. Emotional Intelligence(EQ) in B2B Sales 

Empathy is the most important sales skill.

B2B sales representatives must establish rapport with corporate buyers, identify their needs and concerns, and provide appropriate solutions. 

According to a Harvard Business Review research, salespeople with high emotional quotient close deals 15% more frequently than those with low emotional quotient. 

Also, B2B reps with exceptional EQ are fearless in admitting when their products aren't the best fit for the buyers.

Addressing potential customer's pain points is the top priority in B2B sales.

2. Active Listening in Professional Settings 

Active listening is an undervalued professional skill.

Before making a pitch, the sales rep must first listen to the prospect.

The banner below insists on the same.

why you should listen to the other side

By listening to prospective customers and learning about their specific challenges, you may build a sincere relationship, gain their trust, and offer the greatest options.

3. Persistence: Key to Overcoming Rejection and Achieving Sales Success

Corporate sales representatives are likely to encounter rejection and hear the word "no" frequently during their work.  That’s why developing persistence skills is critical for sales representatives.


For instance, data shows that in sales, only 10% of salespeople make the fifth call, and 80% of deals are closed after that.

As a result, 8% of salespeople successfully close 80% of the deals.

Persistence trait enables reps to remain motivated even in the face of rejection. By remaining persistent, sales reps can maintain objectivity, avoid personalizing rejection, and use feedback to improve their outreach activities.

4. Effective Time Management

Sales representatives are responsible for various tasks such as research, cold outreach, discovery calls, demo calls, etc.

Statistics show that only 28% of sales representatives use an organized time management strategy.

It's good to be among those who use their time effectively, dedicating their efforts to sales activities.

Therefore, efficient time management is essential for balancing all these tasks simultaneously and prioritizing them better.

5. Research Skills for Effective B2B Selling

B2B selling and customer acquisition rely heavily on research.

A sales professional should have strong analytical skills to gather enough information about a company, its primary stakeholders, its competitive positioning, and the current pain points it is experiencing.

6. Mastering Sales Negotiation

Sales negotiation is a continuous process that begins with identifying needs, handling objections, finding solutions, and discussing prices.

Reps frequently believe that good negotiation is about convincing the prospect of their point of view.

However, good negotiating is frequently about finding a compromise and a solution acceptable to all key stakeholders.

That is why exclusive sales negotiation training is far more likely to be received by top-notch negotiators (9.3X more probable, to be exact) who know the game better.

9.3X More top-notch negotiators likely to receive exclusive sales negotiation training

Therefore, reps must be able to negotiate to establish a genuine rapport with prospects and close more deals.

7. Essential Tech Skills for Sales Reps

Sales representatives can be something other than tech experts; basic technical skills are required to win deals.

Buyers will only buy from a representative who can answer basic technical questions about the product.

To gain the prospect's trust, reps must understand the product's technology, data security, integrations, and other details.

8. Power of Networking for Sales

Sales representatives should be able to establish genuine rapport and network with a wide range of people.

Businesses with solid networking skills can generate new leads, nurture relationships, and create limitless customer acquisition opportunities for their brand.

9. The Importance of Honesty in Sales

Sales representatives must never mislead prospects.

Providing false or incomplete information to the prospect may move the deal down the funnel.

Still, the prospect will eventually figure it out, and the organization's reputation in the market will suffer.

Being honest and upfront with the prospect about the product's capabilities is always preferable.

Because 91% of consumers respect truthful communication, salespeople must prioritize it.

If one cannot answer a prospect's question, it is always better to accept it and get back to them later or to seek help from others and provide the correct response.

10. Social Media for Sales: The Use Of Social Selling 

Social media has become a preferred means of selling in modern sales, and reps must be able to use social media channels to nurture and convert leads.

Reps can now use social listening tools such as Hootsuite and others to identify their ICPs, what they are looking for, and their top needs and concerns.

Did you know that 72% of salespeople exceed their quota by up to 23% by using social media?

The same proportion of salespeople outperforms those who do not engage leads on social media channels.

Also, the source confirms a direct association between closed deals and social selling strategies. 

Therefore, reps with an active social media presence can then use the channels to educate buyers about their products to their target customers.

In addition, social media can be a better means to network and raise brand awareness.

Over To You

In today's fast-paced business world, finding the right B2B sales representative can mean the difference between success and failure.

At AI bees, we understand the difficulties in identifying top-performing sales talent and streamlining the hiring process.

That's why we've created cutting-edge AI-based technology that makes the work easy by finding ideal leads for your business.

Also, our team is already trained and willing to deliver to you the required quotas of highly qualified leads.

Book a demo with us, and let us help you convert your leads into customers.