Business-2-Business (B2B) sales rather than be between a business and a customer for the consumer’s own use, are transactions between two businesses.
What are B2B Sales
Business-to- Business (B2B) refers to a circumstance, relationship, or market where two business entities interact. Selling to other businesses is the business-to-business model.
Larger transaction amounts, educated customers, a multi-stakeholder approval process, and a consequently lengthier sales cycle are characteristics of business-to-business (B2B) sales.
B2B Sales Examples
Business-to-business sales are referred to as B2B sales. It describes enterprises or salespeople who engage in direct business-to-business (B2B) sales of goods and services.
Similar business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions, in which goods and services are offered directly to customers, are comparable to this.
B2B sales can be classified into one of three categories depending on the sales model:
The proprietor of the business, or supplier, offers consumables that aid another enterprise. This includes equipment, clothing, and office supplies.
They follow a similar procedure to B2C companies. The quantity and purchasing authorization are different, though.
An employee will acquire 50 ink cartridges instead of one and get permission from a boss or decision-maker before making the purchase.
One business that specializes in these kinds of B2B transactions is Lyreco, a significant retailer of office and equipment supplies.
- Retail/Wholesale Sales
The wholesaler offers important raw materials to other companies who are involved in production or retail.
An illustration of a wholesale food distributor is JJ Foods. They supply restaurants and fast-food chains with basic food items, which they subsequently resell to consumers at a higher price.
- Sales Of Services or Software
Instead of selling products, the service provider sells services, most frequently SaaS sales tools.
Using tax accounting as an example, this may be a small business accountant or an accountancy firm that works with larger companies.
It might also be a service offered through software, like QuickBooks for tax accounting.
What is a B2B Sales Representative?
A B2B sales representative is a professional who engages corporate buyers by using smart sequences and unique selling techniques. Corporate purchasers are frequently well-informed and considering multiple competing products at once since they frequently conduct internet research on goods and services before speaking with a salesperson.
B2B sales personnel must make and return calls, manage sales emails, schedule meetings, deliver product demos and presentations, establish rapport, deal with objections, pinpoint pain areas, and resolve issues.
B2B sales reps essentially control the whole sales cycle when organizations lack account executives, engaging clients throughout the buyer’s journey, from prospecting and lead nurturing to closing transactions.
A successful B2B sales strategy must be well-planned and carried out because B2B selling is a challenging procedure. For diverse buyer personas and selling scenarios, it uses a wide variety of sales approaches and adheres to a certain methodology.
Your industry, business, and sales organization will determine the precise number and names of the phases in your sales process, although a typical B2B sales cycle has five to eight stages.
Here is a seven-stage B2B sales cycle example:
- Needs Evaluation
- Negotiation/Handling Objections
- Presentation/Sales Pitch
What is A B2B Sales Funnel
The B2B sales funnel aligns with the buyer’s journey as opposed to the B2B sales process, which concentrates on the seller’s viewpoint. By highlighting the cognitive or emotional stages a prospect experiences during the buying process, the sales funnel frequently acts as a depiction of the prospect’s proximity to or likelihood of making a purchase.
The majority of B2B sales funnels have 4 to 7 phases. Using a 7-step B2B sales funnel as an example:
How do you make a B2B sale?
The B2B sales method takes into account a number of variables, such as seller competency, sales process effectiveness, product fit, alternatives that are available, and the buyer’s purchasing ability and adoption willingness.
- Develop a responsive B2B sales strategy
- Choose the finest B2B sales methods for their teams and ideal clients in order to make all these moving components function together.
- Measure and improve performance by developing well-calibrated playbooks and sequences for their sales representatives.
- Establish precise playbooks and procedures for their sales representatives to adhere to.
B2B Sales Advice
The following advice can help you increase B2B sales performance:
- Make consumer communications more tailored. Utilize technology to enable mass customization.
- Constant seller training should never be compromised. Smart B2B buyers prefer to work with professionals who exhibit knowledge and compassion.
- Establish sincere rapport by being attentive, using critical judgment, and posing pertinent questions. Decide to use omnichannel outreach (mobile, social media, email, events, sales calls, etc.,)
- Take into account forming an exclusive sales operations and sales enablement team.
- Move beyond marketing automation and CRM. Accept cutting-edge innovations like sales engagement platforms. Utilize data to inform your playbooks and decisions.
- Promote, track, and showcase favorable client feedback. Case studies should be included in your sales playbook along with customer success stories.
- Create complete strategic and tactical coordination amongst all departments that interact with customers, from marketing and sales through customer success.
What distinguishes B2B internal sales representatives from B2B outside sales representatives?
Because they are meeting with clients and prospects or giving a presentation at an event, outside sales specialists in B2B sales frequently work outside of an office. On the other hand, inside sales representatives interact with clients over the phone, via email, and through video conferencing.
Without ever meeting their clients in person, inside salespeople are capable of closing transactions. On the other hand, outside sales representatives virtually always close a deal during or right after a face-to-face appointment with a client.
The diverse approaches to engagement necessitate different skill sets and selling strategies for each discipline. For instance, whereas inside salespeople learn how to use CRMs, a shared sales process, email, and social media, outside salespeople make use of in-depth product knowledge and interpersonal communication abilities.
However, as outside sales representatives start to use the same communication tools and engagement tactics that inside sales professionals prefer, the distinction between inside and outside sales has started to become hazier recently.
Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales differ principally in their target customers, as their names imply. While B2B enterprises target other businesses, B2C businesses view the whole public (or certain subsets of it) as their target market and final customers.
The following are the primary distinctions between business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions:
- Price range. When compared to many consumer goods, B2B products and services are typically more expensive.
- Market size that can be served. B2B businesses may only have a few to several hundred potential clients, whereas B2C businesses target thousands to millions of consumers.
- Complexity of the sales procedure. B2C shoppers may quickly decide to make a purchase, however B2B buyers must patiently nurture leads before making a wise buying decision.
- The quantity of decision-makers. A B2B deal needs approval from several stakeholders, but only one person is needed for a B2C purchase.
- The speed of sales. Because selling to businesses is more complicated than selling to consumers, B2B sales typically have longer sales cycles.
- Sales techniques. B2B salespeople excel by using sophisticated selling strategies and carefully calibrated sales processes. Although they work in a less demanding setting, B2C sellers nevertheless need to improve their selling abilities.
- Customer support B2B organizations place great importance on customer service, contentment, and success in order to prolong and grow customers’ lifetime value.
B2B Sales Obstacles
B2B businesses frequently face a number of similar difficulties. The following are the top B2B sales concerns: Insufficient seller skills and training; misaligned sales and marketing efforts; competition for a restricted pool of potential clients; resistance to technology adoption.
The COVID-19 epidemic will present B2B sales with their biggest obstacle in 2020. Here are some tools you can use to modify your B2B sales approach at this time:
- How AuditBoard is Using Outreach to Optimize Their WFH Teams
- How Solv Health Uses Outreach to Onboard During COVID-19
- Selling in a COVID-19 World: Four Immediate Steps to Take
- Aligning Your Sales and Marketing Strategies During COVID-19
- The Effect of COVID-19 on B2B Intent & Sales Activity
- Stand-Ups, Slack, and SPIFs: Managing a Remote SDR Team at Outreach
What does B2B sales’ future hold?
The world of B2B sales is rapidly evolving.
The distinction between inside sales and outside sales is blurring, and B2B is adopting consumer sales best practices, particularly when it comes to personalization.
Sales solutions that were only recently developed (like sales enablement systems) are already essential for survival. The ecosystem is being shaken by technology and a focus on the customer as machine learning and artificial intelligence enable teams to scale customer engagement and revenue.
It is yet to be seen how COVID-19 will affect B2B sales in the long run. More teams will probably switch, entirely or partially, from in-person to virtual collaboration.
The structure of contemporary B2B sales procedures
Cold outreach was the primary tactic even for SAAS companies in the past, making the B2B sales process (and the buying journey) simpler.
When looking for a solution, a customer would choose a vendor, discuss their requirements with a salesman, and then speak with the decision-maker—the sales manager. They would shake hands after an agreement if they were satisfied.
For suppliers, marketing would generate leads, and sales would get in touch with the leads and make a cold call to close the deals.
The purchasing process was linear.
But the intricacy of the B2B sales process has collapsed thanks to the internet, just like most other businesses.
Sales and marketing are becoming more and more intertwined. Now, both work in unison to generate leads and close deals.
And this is how the buyer’s path to purchase appears:
- All viable solutions are mapped out, and possibilities are optimized.
- Buyers consult their network for referrals from industry peers if they require a vendor. They will also look at social media, forums, and review websites.
- They’ll decide what to buy after gathering all the necessary information.
- In the event that they haven’t been contacted, they may get in touch with a vendor or follow up with one who has given them a recommendation or who has communicated with them.
- The new B2B sales process affords buyers levels of autonomy previously unheard of, creating a whole different client relationship than sales teams have previously dealt with.
- Ideal clients can freely move between phases, retrace from the point of purchase, and enter and exit the funnel.
- Instead of being a narrow, multi-platform process with a single linear funnel, the B2B sales process now has many zigzagging touchpoints with buyers.
- What may B2B businesses do as a result?
- The key B2B sales strategies that produce results
- There are too many options for sales enablement, not a lack of ideas and techniques, which is the issue with the B2B sales cycle.
Should you produce videos? 11.
- Produce in-depth research whitepapers?
Run PPC adverts 13.
- Increase your email marketing?
- Buyer-centric techniques are the greatest B2B sales tactics. They were created with the sophisticated buyer in mind and the modern B2B sales procedure. My top 3 are as follows:
- B2B sales strategy No. 1: Account-based sales to integrate sales and marketing
- The era of separate b2b sales and marketing teams is over.
- There is no longer a line to distinguish between pulling consumers into the funnel and maintaining them there.
- Roles and duties continue to be connected and frequently cross paths; it is more like a Venn diagram.
- However, there are times when marketing and sales are at odds, and this misalignment reduces the productivity of B2B salespeople.
- By concentrating on target accounts, account-based sales (ABS) turns the conventional funnel on its head and promotes cooperation between sales and marketing.
- An ABS strategy begins with a solution that the customer is looking for and one that the business is confident it can provide, just like the beginning of the B2B buyer journey.
As a result, sales and marketing need to agree on the decision-makers and how to deliver a tailored solution to the issue that customers are trying to resolve.
- Pageviews were declining, bounce rates were growing, and leads were leaving the funnel.
- To address the problem, ABS initiatives were launched. Six digital account-based campaigns later, marketing had improved its messaging and was sending sales higher-quality prospects.
- As a result, DocuSign’s sales funnel increased by 22%, important call-to-action click-throughs tripled, and their bounce rate was more than halved.
- B2B sales strategy number two: captivate audiences with great content
Successful B2B marketers have a content marketing plan that is documented in 28. 69% of cases.
- It’s also understandable given that B2B purchasers typically consume 13 pieces of material prior to making a purchase.
- Content helps sellers and buyers connect. It leans the scales in the vendor’s favor while making a transaction.
- However, creating engaging content requires more than just talking about the office pet of your organization. To establish a relationship, foster trust, and increase brand credibility, it’s about finding solutions to problems.
- Hubspot, our integration partner, has quickly expanded from a start-up to a $513 million business thanks to content marketing.
Will you keep up with the B2B sales process?
The B2B sales process is no longer a straight line…
It resembles an overlapped Venn diagram with several touchpoints, pain areas, and value-conscious customers.
Should B2B companies and sales representatives be in despair as a result of this change? Oh, hell no, as a wise woman once exclaimed.
Instead, it’s a cause for excitement.
A difficult process results in a greater entry barrier. This is positive…
It will keep outdated dinosaur companies that are unable to change and reward buyer-centric B2B businesses with increased sales.
I say bring on the new B2B selling challenge: I’m hungry. It’s a new era.