The No. 1 factor that separates B2B sales winners from their challengers is that they educate buyers with new ideas and perspectives, according to a recent report by RAIN Group.

The study, which asked buyers to reveal what tactics differentiate first-place sellers from second-place finishers, found that bringing something new and valuable to the table is the most important thing that top sales people do differently.

The newness of the ideas seems to be essential to buyers. If a seller brings valuable but not new ideas, it isn't a relatively important factor in winning sales.

The concept of educating buyers with new ideas might seem obvious, but most sellers—winners and second-place finishers—actually do it quite infrequently, according to the report. Buyers reported that only 21.5% of sales winners educate with new ideas and only 7.4% of second-place finishers do it.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on an analysis of more than 700 B2B sales opportunities.

Collaboration, Persuasion, and Listening

  • "The seller collaborated with me" was the second most important factor (after new ideas) that separated sales winners from second-place finishers.
  • "The seller persuaded me we would achieve results" was third, and "the seller listened to me" was fourth.

Inspiring Confidence and Minimizing Risk

When asked to list the attributes of top salespeople, B2B buyers highlighted qualities that inspire confidence and minimize risk:

  • Seller was professional.
  • Seller has experience in the specific area I have needs.
  • Seller has experience in my industry.
  • Seller was credible.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of more than 700 actual B2B sales opportunities from buyers responsible for $3.1 billion in annual purchases.

Sign up for free to read the full article. Enter your email address to keep reading ...


image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji