B2B sales is a process in which companies or businesses sell products/services to other businesses or companies instead of directly selling to the consumers/customers. B2B or business to business sales are more complex than b2c sales and have higher-order values, plus the b2b sales cycle is longer as well.
The difference between b2b sales and b2c sales is quite evident with their full form which is- Business to Business Sales and Business to Customer Sales. As per a recent study-
B2B e-commerce sales will reach around reach $1.8 trillion by 2023, which is three times of the $600 billion B2C e-commerce sales by 2024.
What are B2B Sales?
B2b sales or business-to-business sales occur when companies or salespersons directly sell goods, products, and services to other businesses. The products, goods, and services in b2b sales are sold to the other businesses directly.
Sales reps in business to business sales techniques generate leads and channelize sales cycles, as well as sales funnel by connecting with other businesses and influencing their purchasing decision to convert. B2B selling examples can be like a sales rep of a tire manufacturer company connecting and converting a car manufacturer.
All in all, b2b selling refers to companies who sell their products or services to other companies.
Types of B2B Sales
There are three types of b2b sales for people to use in their industries as follows:
1. Supply Sales
Supply sales support other businesses, including office suppliers, employee workwear, and the needed equipment types with the same process as B2C sales follow. But there is a difference between them based on the purchase and quality authorization and properties. For example, rather than buying a single ink cartridge for one person, the business employee will purchase 50 ink cartridges after having approval from a decision-maker or the business manager.
2. Wholesale/ Distribution Sales
The wholesaler or the distribution salesperson sells the critical manufacturing’s retail components to other organizations or businesses. Perfect examples of a wholesale food distributor of a b2b sales are- businesses selling essential foods to restaurants and fast-food suppliers. They afterward serve the same food to the customers at a marked-up price of the market.
3. Software/ Service Sales
The service provider or the software b2b salespeople sell service instead of any product. For instance, a tax accounting firm that offers accounting services to other businesses. Also, CRM software that helps businesses in managing their customer relations.
Structure of the Modern B2B Sales Process
The old b2b sales process was more straightforward compared to modern b2b selling that involves searching for a solution, identifying the vendor for a buyer, talking with a salesperson regarding the needs, and consulting the decision-makers.
For vendors in the b2b sales process, marketing provides sales and leads directly with a linear buying journey. After implementing the complexity of the b2b sales process via the internet, the marketing and sales became interlinked by playing a synchronized role in lead generation. Now, the buyer path seems to be as follows:
- Company’s identification and agreement on a problem.
- The employees became able to research and develop criteria for the solution.
- All the potential solutions and options are mapped out.
- If the vendors are needed, buyers ask from their network regarding the professional recommendations by checking out the forums, review sites, and social media platforms.
- The buying decision is made after collecting all the essential information.
Best B2B Sales Techniques to Follow
The top three essential B2b sales techniques to follow with the b2b sales process are as follows:
1. Alignment of sales and marketing by using account-based sales
After focusing on target accounts, the account-based sales (ABS) overlap the funnel typically and encourage the marketing and sales to collaborate as the beginning of the b2b buyer journey. The ABS or the account-based sales approach begins with a solution where the buyer searches for a company’s problem.
Altogether it means sales and marketing agreement with the decision-makers on presenting any personalized solution to the buyer’s problem. When the leads get to drop out from the sales funnel with rising rates and pageviews plummeting, ABS is implemented by the companies.
2. Create compelling content to capture hearts and minds
Approximately 69% of successful B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy in document form because appropriate content builds a bridge between the gap of a buyer and a seller, which helps the vendor to tilt the consumer’s purchase decision in their favor.
Perfect content is the details of your company’s office, but it is about the capability to solve problems to develop a connection and establish trust with brand credibility.
3. Converting cold leads to brand enthusiasts using the social selling process
For b2b sales, social selling is the modern way to build relationships and deals before the competitors get a clue about the process.
The sales start to drop when the leads get close to a buying decision by time, and to protect declining sales, buyer’s radars should be noticed at the earlier stage. Social selling gained 1.7M opportunities in 6 months, 57% of the close rate, and $1M in their revenue.
Steps that B2b Sales Reps should Follow
Six steps that can increase your effectiveness for a more successful b2b sales approach as follows:
1. Research for each lead
2. Ask more questions
3. Listening more rather than disturbing in between
4. Teach to build loyalty among customers
5. Always be qualifying by following GPCT (goals, plans, challenges, timing) and BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline) approaches
6. Close the agreement after the completion of five steps.
How to Overcome Modern B2B sales Challenges?
You can overcome modern sales challenges by following the three most effective ways that can help you to generate a better lead.
1. For better buying decisions, embrace the sales enablement
The b2b buyers depend on the content that guides new buyers about the buying process. It does not mean that new generation’s buyers are not allowed to interact with you during the buying process; they can interact easily by finding the right information, which is the right kind of information they can investigate.
2. Make salespeople the spokesmen for your brand
To close the unnecessary deals, you can send or share your prospect some relevant content. However, you can overcome the challenges of b2b sales by positioning your salespeople by defining them as experts in the specific field. Because the b2b buyers want to interact with your salespeople for their needs, plus salespeople also provide relevant information.
3. Align sales and marketing teams to work for the same goal
According to studies, sales and marketing can cost 10% of revenue per year from the company. For example, here are some typical problems which are from the misalignment side:
- Qualified leads are fewer in number, and salespeople’s delivery contacts can not be closed easily.
- Sales teams will not be able to find specific assets to share with prospects, as no content library is introduced. Also, this sales process is very crucial and hard to suffer.
- The performance of each team fails to improve the irrelevant KPIs.
The process of b2b sales has been changed over time and usage. New channels are needed to be researched, and sharing of relevant content is also needed to address the contemporary needs of b2b selling.
It is important to be proactive with your b2b selling techniques and use those channels where potential customers are by using relevant content to serve their specific needs. Working with your marketing department and using their content as sales tools will help you convert your prospects.
It will help you optimize your relationships and trust with your buyers which will ultimately boost your b2b sales.
What kind of hiccups do you face in your b2b sales?
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.