B2B Sales: What is it, Best Strategies and Examples
The B2B journey statistics say 60% of customers will say no four times before agreeing to a deal, but only 12% of sales reps are willing to try to continue trying after the fourth no.
This means there is a massive opportunity for businesses and marketing teams willing to go deep in B2B sales. To succeed in B2B, you must master the art of B2B Sales.
However, B2B selling isn’t easy. It involves complex relationships between businesses that can include multiple decision-makers and stakeholders.
Even so, it is not impossible. As many others have done before you, you can master this art of selling. You need to know the proper knowledge and strategies.
In this article, we’ll go over what B2B sales are and the essential things you must know about it. After reading this article, you’ll understand more about B2B Sales and how to close a sale.
Therefore, keep reading to know the secrets of B2B Sales, the information in this article will benefit you enormously & sharpen your B2B Sales skills.
What is B2B (Business to Business) Sales?
B2B sales (Business-To-Business) refer to the transaction of products and services between two businesses. It differs from traditional retail because the transaction does not involve end consumers.
Instead, it occurs between companies – for example, a wholesaler selling to a retailer.
The purpose of B2B sales is to provide a more efficient way for businesses to obtain the goods and services they need.
With a direct connection between two companies, there is less margin for error and fewer intermediaries involved in the process. As a result, both parties can benefit from better pricing and reduced time-to-market.
Examples of B2B Businesses
- Supply Sales (Ink, Printers)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Service Sales (Marketing agencies)
B2B sales, however, are very different from B2C sales. There is a day and night difference. You can better understand B2B Sales by understanding the differences between these two.
The difference between B2B Sales & B2C Sales
For a deeper understanding, let’s examine the differences between B2C sales and B2B sales. B2C, business-to-consumer sales, refers to transactions between companies and consumers.
This sale usually occurs in retail and involves lower-value transactions than B2B deals.
Examples of B2C transactions are purchases made at the grocery store, online shopping for clothing, or services such as haircuts.
In these cases, customers have direct access to products or services and typically do not require long-term commitments or partnerships with the seller.
B2C is often seen as a more straightforward sales process since there is typically only one decision-maker involved in the purchase – the customer.
10 things that make B2B sales different from B2C
- B2B sales involve complex negotiations and contracts between two businesses, while B2C sales are typically shorter customer interactions.
- In B2B sales, the customer is usually more knowledgeable about the product and requires a more detailed understanding of its features and benefits than B2C buyers.
- B2B transactions are typically higher in value than B2C transactions as they involve multiple stakeholders with different needs.
- B2B sales typically have longer sales cycles because they involve decision-makers from different departments within large organisations making purchasing decisions on behalf of their company. In comparison, B2C has a lot shorter sales cycles than B2B.
- Selling efforts for both types of markets vary significantly; At the same time, a good sales pitch is essential in B2C, and effective relationship-building and negotiation skills are even more critical for success in the B2B market.
- The sales team in B2B markets has to be multifaceted and able to handle complex customer requests and manage relationships with multiple stakeholders.
- The sales process in B2B requires a clear understanding of each customer’s unique needs and purchasing strategy. In contrast, in B2C, the sales strategy is often more about creating an emotional connection with customers.
- B2B companies focus on long-term relationships with their customers, while B2C businesses usually have a shorter time frame when dealing with individual customers.
- For marketing purposes, B2B companies need to focus on more personalised marketing, such as content marketing and SEO. At the same time, B2C businesses’ sales funnel often includes more traditional methods, such as TV commercials.
- B2B companies typically have larger marketing budgets due to the complexity of their sales processes, whereas B2C businesses can often get away with a smaller budget when targeting individual customers.
If you want to go even further, check out these two articles, B2B marketing & B2C marketing, and see how their marketing strategies differ. To understand sales better, you must also understand marketing strategies.
Now that you understand what B2B is and the differences between B2B and B2C, you can go deeper into the B2B sales strategies.
B2B Sales Strategies – What are they & The Foundations
B2B sales strategies are essential for businesses and marketing teams that want to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
Businesses need to create an effective sales strategy that considers their target market, the product or service they are selling, and the company’s overall goal in generating sales.
Strategies help B2B companies understand their customer’s needs and develop practical solutions that meet those needs.
With the right B2B sales strategies in place, B2B companies can gain an edge over the competition by building relationships with customers that will last for years.
What are B2B sales strategies?
B2B sales strategies are the set of tactics used to market and sell products or services directly to other businesses.
They refer to the tactics and the sales funnel businesses use to generate revenue and close successful deals.
These strategies are designed to increase profits, reduce costs, and build long-term customer relationships.
B2B sales strategies focus on understanding the customer’s needs and developing a personalised approach that meets those needs.
B2B sales strategies involve identifying prospects, conducting market research and analysis, differentiating products or services from competitors, creating a sales pitch and presentation, negotiating deals, closing sales, and maintaining customer relationships.
Salespeople will combine tested strategies with their own strategies. Their approaches must align with their character, market, and business.
There are a million sales strategies out there. But instead of knowing them all, it’s better to focus on the roots and foundations of selling.
A house falls if it’s built on a shaky foundation—same with selling.
Here are the foundations of B2B Sales:
1. Customer knowledge is the key
B2B Sales is all about people. Knowing your customers at the B2B sales team is essential for success.
Understanding customer needs, preferences, and challenges help you tailor solutions that better meet those requirements.
A deep understanding of each customer’s situation allows you to craft a more effective sales strategy and sales funnel and provide superior customer service.
There are many benefits of knowing your customer:
- You’ll learn how to build long-term relationships because you’ll know what your customers look like
- You’ll find out who your best customers are
- You’ll know how to excite & engage your customers
- You’ll learn how to build trust and loyalty
- You’ll know what your customer needs, and you’ll be able to meet those needs
- You can adapt quickly
- You can be where your customers are
Your business can create personalised solutions for your customers by knowing your customer. By understanding customers’ needs, B2B companies can develop products and services that meet them and build long-term customer relationships.
B2B companies can use customer knowledge to identify potential opportunities and target the right customers with personalised offers.
Ultimately, B2B companies must deeply understand their customers for B2B sales strategies to succeed.
2. Value gives your customers a reason
Value is crucial whether you’re in B2B Sales or B2C sales. Without value, your customers see no reason to close a deal with you. You need to provide value like your life depends on it.
Creating value in B2B sales is about understanding the customer’s needs and how you can help provide them.
It starts with having a deep knowledge of your product or service and its benefits, but successful salespeople also focus on building relationships and trust with their customers.
This means getting to know them and learning about their goals, challenges, and current situation – as explained in the previous chapter.
A good B2B salesperson will also be adept at listening to customer feedback and addressing any concerns or issues that may arise during the sales process.
When done right, this kind of relationship-building helps create an atmosphere of collaboration that leads to better outcomes for both parties involved.
By delivering value through personalised solutions tailored to each customer’s needs, B2B salespeople can ensure they’re providing the best value for their customers.
Ultimately, a B2B salesperson should always strive to create long-term partnerships that are mutually beneficial and result in increased customer satisfaction.
B2B salespeople can generate more value for their customers in these seven ways:
1. Listen to the customer and understand their concerns and their needs.
2. Create personalised solutions that meet those needs.
3. Develop relationships with customers and foster loyalty.
4. Address customer issues quickly and efficiently.
5. Utilize data-driven insights to create targeted offers for customers.
6. Leverage customer feedback to improve B2B sales strategies.
7. Provide customers value-added services such as training, installation, and support.
Even though these are just scratching the surface, they are still the most important ways. After warming up the customer and possibly baby-stepping them, it’s time to close the deal.
3. Closing the deal
The art of closing the sale in B2B sales lies in understanding the customer’s needs and providing the right solution.
Remember, your customer is making a big decision, and B2B salespeople are helping them with that.
Understanding the customer’s problem is the key, as well as having a deep knowledge of your product or service, which will enable you to craft an offer tailored to your customer’s unique situation.
Marketing teams should be aware that every customer is unique and needs a customised solution. A sales strategy that worked for one company may only work for one company.
Sales reps need to tailor the closing based on your customer’s needs. What is it that your customer needs? Does he need to be reassured, or what concerns does he have? How can you make the buying process more seamless?
It would be best if you made the customers feel like they are taken care of.
As a general rule, baby-stepping works quite well in every situation. We are slowly taking the customer through the closing process and finishing the sale.
Closing a deal in B2B sales involves ensuring the customer is satisfied and confident in their purchase.
It’s crucial for sales reps to be knowledgeable about their product or service and to communicate clearly with the customer throughout the process.
Sales reps should identify any customer objections before making their final pitch.
Once B2B salespeople have satisfactorily addressed all of the customer’s concerns, they can make their final offer, summarise the key points and ask for the sale.
Sales reps often provide incentives to close deals, such as discounts, free products or services, or payment plans.
11 Best B2B Sales Strategies For Sales Reps
1. Relationship Building
Develop relationships with potential customers, even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. Increase customer loyalty and build trust by providing value through personalised outreach and understanding their needs.
It’s essential to develop relationships with B2B customers so that you can understand their needs and provide the best solutions.
Businesses must be mindful of a customer’s timeline, budget, and other vital factors when forming long-term relationships.
Personalising communication with clients is one way to build relationships in B2B sales. You can make your communication approach more comfortable for your clients by understanding their needs and preferences.
2. Content Marketing
A helpful guide, instructional video, webinar, or any other content demonstrating how your product or service can solve their business challenges can help potential buyers understand the value proposition.
B2B sales teams need a content marketing strategy to establish their brand and build customer trust – this is essential in 2023.
3. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
With this strategy, B2B companies can target specific accounts or buyers to accelerate the sales cycle towards purchase.
By focusing on specific accounts and personalising their messages and resources, ABM assists B2B sales teams to drive higher ROI.
An example of an account-based marketing (ABM) B2B sales strategy is personalising your outreach to a specific target account.
This could involve researching the company’s needs and tailoring your offer to meet those needs.
You could also use personalised emails, phone calls, or direct mailings to reach out to decision-makers at the account.
4. Social Selling
One example of social selling is connecting with decision-makers on LinkedIn and building relationships by interacting with them via direct messages, comments, and posts.
You can also use the platform to share relevant content that might be useful for their businesses, such as blog articles or whitepapers.
In B2B sales teams, social selling helps them quickly identify and connect with the right buyers.
Integrate B2B sales automation tools to automate repetitive B2B sales tasks like customer communication tracking, lead qualification, etc., to reduce manual work and focus on building relationships.
Automation helps B2B sales teams to move leads quickly and efficiently down the B2B sales cycle.
Customise B2B sales emails, campaigns, and other outreach materials for a more targeted approach toward B2B buyers.
Leverage data from B2B buyer profiles and create personalised content to increase the chances of conversion.
By tailoring their approach to the B2B buyer, B2B sales representatives can better understand B2B buyers.
One example of personalisation in B2B sales strategy is segmentation. Segmenting your customers into different categories based on their needs and preferences can help you customise the sales approach to each segment specifically.
For instance, you can design individualised email campaigns tailored to the specific needs of each customer segment.
7. Lead Scoring
An example of a lead-scoring B2B sales strategy is prioritising leads based on their engagement level with a company.
By assigning points to each type of engagement (such as website visits, opening emails, etc.), sales reps can quickly identify which prospects are more likely to convert and become customers.
8. Data-Driven Approach
Use B2B sales data to identify the best B2B prospects and understand their needs better to provide them with tailored B2B product/service offerings.
B2B sales teams can better optimise their B2B sales process by leveraging customer insights using data-driven strategies.
Segmenting customers is one example of using data-driven strategies for B2B sales.
Customer segmentation involves categorising customers based on demographics, interests, geographical location, and buying history.
9. Value Selling
Focus on providing value to B2B buyers rather than just selling products/services.
Show B2B buyers how they can benefit from using your product/service offerings and why it’s worth investing in your company.
B2B sales and marketing teams can increase conversion rates by leveraging value selling to build trust with B2B buyers.
Furthermore, it enables business-to-business sales reps to provide tailored solutions to their clients.
A value-selling B2B sales strategy includes focusing on the customer’s return on investment after purchasing your product.
For instance, if you are selling a SaaS to an enterprise company, you could explain how the software will increase their efficiency and save them money by streamlining specific processes.
Leverage referrals as a B2B sales strategy by asking for recommendations from current customers and partners or offering incentives for new B2B leads that are referred through existing connections.
Referrals are a great way to increase B2B sales quickly. The leads that come through referrals have higher conversion rates as the B2B buyer has already been pre-qualified by someone they trust.
Increase B2B sales by attending B2B events, trade shows, and conferences to network with B2B buyers and build relationships.
The purpose of networking is to build trust and credibility with B2B buyers and find new B2B prospects. Attending B2B events allows B2B sales representatives to establish themselves as thought leaders and gain valuable insights.
These strategies help B2B companies increase their B2B sales
Using these strategies, B2B companies can generate more leads, close more deals, and increase customer loyalty.
Building relationships with B2B buyers to grow B2B sales is essential.
By providing value through content marketing and personalising the B2B outreach process, B2B sellers can create memorable experiences for their customers, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.
By following these steps, sales reps can ensure that they close more deals and increase their success rate.
5 Examples of B2B Sales
This is a popular sales tactic that sales and marketing teams can use, especially for companies that provide services or products to other businesses. It involves making cold calls and leveraging relationships with potential customers and existing ones. It is best used to build trust and initiate conversations that can lead to further business opportunities.
2. Account Management
Account management involves nurturing existing relationships and looking for ways to increase sales and create long-term customer loyalty. It requires strong relationship-building, communication, and problem-solving skills to maintain B2B partnerships.
Customer relationship management plays a big part in the buying process of account-based sales – since it’s crucial to nurture existing customer relationships. Therefore it is recommended to use proper software such as Hubspot for CRM.
3. Consultative Selling
This sales process involves actively listening to a potential customer’s needs to suggest the best solutions.
Sales reps must become well-versed in the company’s products and services and then use that knowledge to recommend what will work best for the customer.
A sales rep can accelerate a customer’s buying process using consultative selling. Many sales techniques fail, but consultative selling is the number one strategy in sales.
4. Strategic Partnerships
This B2B sales technique involves forging alliances with other companies to sell more products or services. It is most successful when each partner brings something unique to the table, such as an established customer base or access to new technology. Strategic partnerships can increase revenue and market penetration for both sides involved.
Cross-selling B2B products or services involves suggesting additional items that complement a current purchase. It allows sales reps to leverage existing relationships to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. It also helps customers find exactly what they need without searching for other vendors.
In conclusion, businesses and sales leaders who want to expand and grow in 2023 need to understand B2B sales.
By understanding what B2B sales involve, having the right strategies in place, and learning from others who have succeeded with B2B sales, businesses can effectively connect with their target audiences and generate increased profits.
With the right B2B sales strategies, businesses can increase their customer base and grow faster than ever.
Take the time to understand everything written in this article, develop solid strategies and learn from the successes of others to maximise your B2B sales success.
Author bio: Jesse Kehusmaa is the founder of jessejzk.com, where he teaches about online business, B2B, SaaS, and marketing. After being in the online business space for over 5+ years and gaining valuable experience in eCommerce, content marketing, SEO and social media marketing, he is now teaching his blog readers how they can succeed in online business too. His goal is to help others relentlessly skyrocket their success by sharing his knowledge.