Companies in the B2B product sector engage external sales consultants at double the rate of other industries. They don't just look for these consultants to bridge the gaps; they also seek them to integrate effortlessly with their teams.
Having reliable and competent external B2B sales consultants or agencies is invaluable for any marketing leader. Such consultants enable swift team expansion, allow for flexible marketing capabilities, and offer access to elite and distinct marketing talents more affordably and temporarily.
Since the inception of Aventi Group in 2008, we've collaborated with over 200 B2B sales consultants. Through our experience, we've identified distinct qualities that distinguish top-tier consultants from the rest. In this first of a two-part series, we delve into these three critical attributes:
Top-tier B2B marketing consultants prioritize their client's needs. Rather than focusing on the hours they clock in, these exceptional consultants are driven by achieving the project's goals and outcomes.
Their approach to projects epitomizes efficiency. They:
Start with a clear strategy and waste no time in execution.
Communicate the project's expected timeline and specify the client's requirements for optimal results.
Proactively inform the client about factors that might expedite or delay the project.
Seek clarity immediately when faced with obstacles rather than wasting time.
Such consultants stand out from the crowd by accomplishing more within the same timeframe as others in the field.
Specialization in consulting can significantly enhance a consultant's market appeal. When consultants highlight their expertise in a particular marketing field, it simplifies the hiring process for companies. For instance, while a consultant might possess expertise in various areas like social media, marketing communications, and campaign strategy, it's beneficial to emphasize one core specialty.
Many B2B sales consultants are reluctant to specialize, fearing that it could narrow their prospects or give an impression of lacking versatility. However, our observations indicate the opposite. When B2B marketing professionals showcase a specific skill set, it increases their chances of landing roles that align with their strengths.
Furthermore, B2B sales consultants can amplify their desirability by continuously updating and deepening their specialized knowledge. This can be achieved by writing blogs, publishing articles, enrolling in courses, offering classes, or obtaining relevant certifications and credentials.
Clients primarily engage marketing consultants to address a distinct requirement or to provide specialized insights into a priority task.
The best B2B sales consultants understand this dynamic. They recognize their role as specialized contributors, ensuring they remain laser-focused on the task they were hired for.
One of the prevalent challenges for B2B sales marketers is maintaining boundaries. They must learn to decline requests that veer from their agreed-upon mandate.
Consultants should always be mindful of who their primary point of contact and payer is. When faced with requests from individuals outside this direct chain of command, the standard response should be, "Please consult with ____, as my agreement is directly with them."
Though this stance might seem straightforward, the challenge arises, especially when a consultant is doing commendable work and garnering appreciation across sales marketing teams.
While turning down a request can be uncomfortable, it can pave the way for new opportunities. Clients value consultants who remain focused on the core task.
Pro Tip for Consultants: Channel such out-of-scope requests to the primary client contact. They might assist in either expanding the current contract or securing a new one, ensuring you're adequately compensated for the additional work without derailing the current project.
Key Traits of a Top B2B Sales Consultant:
Responsiveness: Prompt in responding to emails and calls and always available for scheduled discussions.
Punctuality: Always on time for meetings, regular status updates, and timely invoicing.
Meticulousness: Diligently checks for errors and refines work, ensuring the highest quality before submissions.
Preparedness: Makes efforts to understand the client's business, familiarizes themselves with the client's tools and software, and ensures the accurate use of terminologies.
These attributes define a premier B2B sales consultant. They are the standards we uphold when recruiting consultants at Aventi Group and the benchmarks our clients rely upon.