Sales in B2B founder-led service businesses usually begin with networking. However, many B2B organizations often assume the best way to grow their business is to cast their sales net as wide as possible in hopes of appealing to customers across a multitude of different industries. Unfortunately, for smaller companies where the founders are often selling themselves, “go big or go home” across as many industries as possible isn’t always the best sales approach – vertical sales deliver a much better result.
Vertical Sales Helps B2B Businesses Gain Repeatable Traction
Founder-led sales that straddle several markets only work when the founder is doing the selling. These leaders can tap into their extensive sales experience and insight, quickly adapting their approach to suit their prospects, regardless of industry. The challenge comes when founders look to grow and train their sales teams. It’s then they realize that sales engagements with multiple industries result in too many variables to cover for new Account Executives who still have to master selling the company’s products and services. As a result, B2B organizations looking to gain sustainable, repeatable traction within their industry often find vertical sales delivers the most tangible results and return on investment.
The Benefits of Vertical Sales
Specializing in one vertical may seem limiting and initially counterintuitive, particularly for cyber security companies that offer services and solutions that could easily cross multiple industries. However, establishing specific industry knowledge, or “niching down,” offers B2B businesses significant benefits, insight and experience solving problems in a particular field:
- Builds authority
- Increases prospect network
- Adds repeatability
Best of all, niching down makes it easier to build and train a high performing sales team. Focusing on one vertical decreases ramp-up time for new sales reps, allowing every marketing team member to master just one client profile to hit the ground running.
Vertical sales offer several benefits, including:
This one goes without saying — but it still deserves mention. Vertical sales helps B2B business build industry experience. Every prospect I have ever engaged with asked one question: Have you ever worked with a (insert their vertical here) company? Some asked general questions about my overall experience working with a cyber security company. Others wondered if I had specific experience in the penetration testing niche. They ultimately all wanted to make sure I had insight and knowledge on how to solve their unique pain points and problems.
When you focus on a niche vertical, you get to answer the industry experience question with a resounding “yes.” You also get to point to all your other satisfied clients in that vertical, putting the prospect at ease. Vertical selling instantly lets potential customers know they don’t have to spend time bringing you up to speed on their industry.
Testimonials across multiple industries do have value. However, having testimonials from other customers within their specific vertical creates immediate trust. A prospect may visit several different sites from vendors capable of solving their problem. However, consumers are far more likely to fill out the form on the site listing client testimonials from other customers in their industry.
Conferences and Events
In the B2B space, time is precious. Many B2B owners can spin wheels and spent countless hours at horizontal conferences and events that are filled with consumers — just not their consumers. You only have the bandwidth for conferences and events packed with your target audience. Niching down allows you to zero in on industry-focused events.
When you close deals in a vertical and deliver excellent service, the company you are doing business with will provide referrals. Everyone has a network — doing good work within your vertical will encourage your customers to recommend you to people in their vertical that you could also help.
Understand the Buyer
It is one thing to understand the buyer’s journey in a general sense. However, knowing exactly what the buyer talks about in their industry adds new insight and value. At FounderScale, when we talk about the 5 Challenges Selling Cyber Security, we know the industry and the challenges at a deeper level. Do other industries have these challenges? Some do, but others don’t. Focusing on cyber security as our niche ensures we can connect with buyers on a deeper level.
Contact FounderScale Today
Are you leveraging the power of vertical sales to grow your business? FounderScale can help. Contact our sales enablement specialists today to learn more about our focusing on vertical sales to expand your brand, business, and bottom line.
How to Increase B2B Sales Engagement by 667%
Engaging people on a human-to-human level to provide experiences and education is one of the few long-term sustainable lead generation methods that you can employ. Many other methods like contact and pitch may provide a certain level of results but the efficiency and cost are less than ideal. To maximize sales engagement platforms, you have a number of different options ranging from webinars to group lunch and learns which provide 667% higher engagement than cold outreach to set a meeting.